Praise God for 3 fellow workers who joined me this past Friday. By God’s grace, we preached the gospel to many people on the streets of Don Mills. What follows in this post is (1) a glimpse of something we looked at in our devotional time; and (2) a glimpse of one conversation I had with a young man about Jesus.
Who Went about Preaching the Word?
One text we looked at was Acts 8:4, “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.” Who does “those” refer to? Acts 8:1 tells us, “there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” So, who were those who went about preaching the word? It was the church who was scattered excluding apostles. Very interesting. Sometimes we hear that the work of evangelism is reserved for pastors, missionaries and evangelists; the early church certainly didn’t think so. May the God help us, all of us, to be like the early Christians, going about, preaching the word. And notice what we find in Acts 9:31, “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”
Resurrection, Not Reincarnation
Keith and I approached a young man waiting for his friend at the gas bar. I knew we wouldn’t have much time so I gave him a good tract to read and asked him, “What do you think of Jesus?” He smiled at me, so with a smirk I asked him, “What are smiling for?” “Nothing; it’s just … well, I’m Armenian; do you know what that is?” “Yep,” I replied. “Well, I mean, that’s my background but I don’t know; I don’t know what to think of Jesus and all that stuff. There were a lot of wars and bad things that have happened with Christians.”
I knew I didn’t have much time so I cut to the chase. “Which car is yours?” “The white Hyundai.” I said, “Imagine someone put a Toyota sign on it, I drive it and just down the road it breaks down. And then I say, ‘I’m never going to buy a Toyota!’ Do you see the problem?” He replied, “are you saying those people in history weren’t really Christians?” “Maybe not, but I’m not saying Christians haven’t done bad things. My point is this: Don’t judge Christianity by people who went to war. Look to Jesus. If you want to know what Christianity is, it’s Jesus. You know the four gospels? Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Seek Jesus. Read about Jesus.”
He said, “Can I ask you a question?” I responded,”sure.” He asked me, “well, what to you think about reincarnation.?” I said, “My opinion doesn’t really matter, but I’ll tell you what Jesus said; you see, my opinions are governed by Scripture, so I’ll just tell you what Jesus said. In Matthew 25, Jesus clearly taught that all people who have ever lived will stand before him one day. And he will separate all peoples and judge them. The righteous will go into eternal life, but the unrighteous into everlasting punishment.” He replied, “Really? So you don’t believe in reincarnation?” “No, Jesus clearly taught in John 5 that there is a resurrection of the just and the unjust. All people will receive resurrection bodies, some furnished for everlasting pain, that is, for hell; and others, bodies prepared for eternal reward, heaven.”
He had to go. We left him with some good literature and a gospel bite about Jesus. By God’s grace, may he chew on it.