Wednesday, July 19, 2017

An Open Door For The Gospel

In this past Sunday’s sermon I made the comment that we need to be willing to ask God to give us opportunities to tell other people about Jesus Christ and he will do that very thing. The Apostle Paul certainly agreed with this when, in Colossians 4:3, he put out the following prayer request: “…pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ….”

Recently, I ran across the following true story in the June issue of the Voice Of The Martyrs magazine, that helps us see just how God can give such opportunities and how he can use these divine appointments to change lives through his powerful gospel. I pray that this will motivate us to repeat this prayer regularly. The article is titled, “How Could You Get Upset By Hearing Such Good News?”

      “Hey, brother, would you like a ride?” a skinny, grinning man in a rickshaw shouted at “Walid.”      The evangelist climbed into the vehicle.

The driver, “Taab,” chatted cheerfully as he wove in and out of the chaotic Pakistani traffic. Although Walid could tell the man was from a people group that many Christians in Pakistan fear, he boldly offered the man a memory card filled with Bible stories.

 Walid told Taab to watch the videos in preparation for Eid-al-Adha, or the Festival of the Sacrifice, in which Muslims sacrifice an animal in commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to God. The feast was only a few days away, and Walid knew that a video about Jesus’ self-sacrifice was timely, though potentially inflammatory.

In recent years, even the smallest perceived offenses against Islam have resulted in huge riots, with neighborhoods destroyed and Christians imprisoned or killed. Those who openly share the gospel do so at great personal risk. VOM helps reduce that risk by providing digital Bibles to a network of church planters and evangelists who distribute them to Muslims and others who don’t know Jesus.

Walid saw Taab again a few days later. “Brother, I have watched your video,” Taab said. “Get in the rickshaw and I will tell you all about it.”

Slightly nervous about what he might do, Walid stepped into the rickshaw. Taab told him that he’d watched the videos and even called his wife and children to see it.

“But did anything in the videos offend you?” Walid asked carefully. The stories on the memory cards clearly shared the gospel, stating that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

“How could you get upset by hearing such good news?” Taab replied.

Walid lost contact with Taab, but he ran into him again about a year later on a visit to the city. After returning to the spot where they’d first met, Walid was surprised to see Taab’s rickshaw pull alongside him before he could step off the sidewalk.

“Hello, my friend, do you remember me?” Taab grinned at him. “You gave me the card last year. I have so much to tell you.

 “Oh, that wonderful card, brother. My family and I are still watching that card you gave us. Oh, it is so good. I have shown it to other people. I was wondering, do you have any more of these cards?”

Walid’s heart leaped. “Yes, I do,” he replied, pulling memory cards from his pocket. Taab and Walid then arranged to meet at the bus stop a few days later.

“If God can orchestrate a meeting after a year in a city of 20 million with a man seeking to hear Good News from the Lord, I’m sure he can allow us to meet again in a few days,” the evangelist told VOM workers.

“Don’t doubt God’s faithfulness to deliver when we pray and ask for his direction.”

Praying for open doors with you,