Tag Archives: wedding reception

A Report on Wedding #2: An Open Door

I had great time at my my cousin’s wedding on Saturday. I went to support her and her fiance (now husband). I also went to dance (with my lovely fiance) – you should ask her about my moves! But more important than dancing, I went there praying for an opportunity to spread the Gospel. Now, this was not a Christian wedding and most of the people there were not born again Christians. The wedding and reception were outside at her parent’s place in the country (just outside of Guelph). 

After the wedding there was lots of time to mingle before the reception. I met some relatives who I didn’t know well, nor had I seen for a long time. It was great to see them. I had a great talk with my dad’s cousin’s husband. He is a very friendly man with a background in the United Church. He grew up going to church and mentioned that he wants to get going again. 

He learned that I am training to be a minister. Somehow we ended up talking about the technological advances in our age. From there, somehow we ended up talking about technology and the church. We talked about whether or not the church needs to be more technologically advanced to reach out to her culture. This opened the door for a good discussion about the nature and importance of preaching the Word of God. We talked about church for quite a while. In fact, we talked about church, the Bible, preaching, and other stuff, but I had not asked him about his soul. I had some thoughts, “Something isn’t right here; he can converse about these things with great comfort, but unless he knows Christ he shouldn’t be comfortable – for the wrath of God is on him; we need to talk about what’s most important: the Gospel and what he believes.” If truth be told, we can talk to people about the church, the Bible and preaching all the way to the gates of hell. May the Lord help us to be bold and confront sinners with Gospel of God’s grace.

I said, “You know, there is an important question that I often ask people and that I like to talk about. Now, I am sure that you believe that God will accept you on Judgment Day, but my question is this: what is the main reason for your confidence that God will accept you – in other words, what are you ultimately banking on?” He was silent for a moment. He thought. Then he spoke. He shared with me a long list of the good things that he does (and has done). He shared about his integrity, his honesty, his character and his helping hand and so on. He also mentioned that he has asked forgiveness for the wrong he has done. If I could summarize his answer for him, it would sound something like this, “Though not perfect, I am a good person, who has lived a good life before a good God – I trust and hope that I will be okay on Judgment Day.”

After he shared for quite some time, I gently responded, “What if I told you that the Bible actually teaches that we are not saved based on the good that we have done, but by the good that Jesus did?” I forget his exact response, but he seemed sincerely interested. At this point I was certainly a little scatter brained, for I thought – wow, the Lord is opening a door here . . . what do I say! I am sure that I spoke too quickly, but praise God for giving me the grace to speak. 

I shared Ephesians 2:8-9 and tried to expound. I shared that we all have sinned. I tried to explain the exceeding sinfulness of sin. I shared that God finds our sin repulsive in a manner similar to the disgust and anger we feel toward the sin of child molestation. My point was that God is holy and that he hates our sin intensely. Furthermore, I went on to speak of the just punishment of our sin which is death. From here I sought to explain the Gospel of Christ’s work on our behalf and our need to believe on Christ. By God’s grace, I shared the truth of the Gospel. Not a smooth delivery – but God was faithful to help me not to be afraid, but to speak, and not be silent. I am thankful to God for this courage, for I was certainly struggling with feelings of nervousness. Our conversation had gone so well . . . so nice . . . why stir up a sea that is calm? Why not just leave it at church, Bible and preaching? Why say, “what about you?”

He responded to my explanation of the Gospel by talking about his desire to get back to church. He seemed to agree with what I was saying. I thought, “He doesn’t get it; how can he agree with what I said?” I knew that he was not trusting in Christ alone, for he told me (at length) that his confidence before God is primarily rooted in his good works without any mention of Jesus. Thus, again, I preached the Gospel, emphasizing that you cannot work to gain God’s acceptance. I referred back to Ephesians 2:8-9, sharing how Christ must receive all the glory – not us. I spent more time emphasizing the guilt of our sin. If I could talk to him again, I would like to spend more time speaking of God’s righteous standards.

He seemed to really enjoy hearing what I had to share. Later on I learned that my brother spoke with his wife about Christ. She had a hard time with the exclusivity of Christ, but John responded, “The Bible says its true and I believe its true.” May the Spirit bless the Word and accomplish the work for which it was sent.

I thank God for opening a door for the Gospel and for giving me the grace to walk through. I hope this post will encourage you to keep praying for open doors wherever you are. May He receive much glory for the good things that He has done.

A Report on Wedding #1: I didn’t Spread the Gospel

Those of you who regularly follow this blog may know that I am in the midst of a two week break. I am utilizing this time to work on my thesis at Toronto Baptist Seminary (due very soon!!!). You may also remember that I had two weddings which I am honoured to attend during this time. I attended the first wedding this past Friday (the other is this upcoming Saturday). These are the only occasions that I will likely meet non-Christians during my time off. 

Praying and Going

Praying for an opportunity to share the Gospel, I went to the reception. I wasn’t overly zealous to share the Gospel. My mind had been consumed in thesis research during the afternoon and when I first arrived at the reception I felt a little overwhelmed by the social atmosphere that was so contrary to my private study. Nevertheless, I wanted to share the Gospel and I was hoping that somehow an opportunity would arise. In due time I felt relaxed and at ease. 

Talking with Christians and non-Christians

Even though there were many Christians, there were also many non-Christians. As far as I know, most of the people at my table were Christians. The man I sat beside at dinner was a professing Christian. I had a good talk with him, learning his testimony and about what God has been teaching him lately.

I had great fellowship with many of the saints there. I was also delighted to see many non-Christians who I had met (really briefly) at a previous engagement party and/or or other weddings (through my fiance). I was happy to see many of them again. Though I did not share the Gospel with any of them, I was glad to see them and I look forward to seeing them again.

I Didn’t Spread the Gospel

I met one young man and talked to him for a while about various things (he went to the same high school as my fiance). After we had talked for a while I began to wonder whether the Lord was opening a door for me to preach the Gospel. I was thinking about whether I should somehow attempt to preach Christ, but as I contemplated . . . before long . . . he decided to go. Possibly the Lord opened the door but I simply did not go through. I am not sure, but I do not want to beat myself up. This is never beneficial and tends to reveal a high view of self (as if I am someone fully capable and should have . . .)

That was it. I did not feel guilty for not preaching the Gospel to him. Nor did I feel great . . . just sober and even headed. I am not sure if it was the right time or not. But I wonder: to what degree did I really mean it when I prayed to the Lord to open doors for the Gospel. I prayed this way because I knew I should. But I am not sure if my prayers were really lifted with even a mustard seed of faith. May the Lord increase my faith. Now, I am aware that the Lord may have been slowly opening doors at the relational level. And though this is great, the Lord knows that was NOT what I meant when I prayed for open doors. 

So, why do I write this post? Who wants to hear that I went to a wedding, praying for open doors, but not really being zealous to evangelize – and then, though taking an interest in people and enjoying them, not sharing the Gospel with them? Well . . . I do not know who wants to here this, but my judgement says that many people can relate to situations like these.

What do I do when I do not preach the Gospel to others? I preach it to myself.

So how do I deal with them? Well, at the end of the reception I preached the Gospel to myself. I reminded myself that my own performance is NOT the most important thing – what is most important is Christ’s performance. IF I am guilty of lack of faithfulness to the Lord, lack of faith in the power of God, and lack of love for the lost, what shall I do? Well, I obviously need to repent, BUT the place to do this is at the CROSS. 

On the one hand, if I am guilty of sin, God forgives me because of Christ’s work. Jesus paid for my sins (even the sin I committed that very night). Do I really believe this? I must, for God commands me so. God is not holding these sins against me. I am NOT condemned (though my heart may try to condemn me!). What a relief! On the other hand, what ultimately counts for me is the righteous performance of Christ – HE was always faithful, HE never lacked faith, but HE always trusted his Father perfectly, and HE always had perfect love for the lost – this is the righteousness that counts for ME!!! This is the Gospel!!! Not just for the lost, but also for me (a Christian)!!! May we keep believing the Gospel every day – and may we do this in a fresh, ongoing and active manner! And let us go about preaching this Gospel, which we shall daily savour under our tongues and gaze upon right before our eyes!

Now, you may have noticed the “IF” above (IF we are guilty of sin). Here is another thing we ought to do: really contemplate and pray about whether or not we actually sinned. If we did not sin, we ought not ask God to forgive us. What kind of person asks another for forgiveness if he or she is not truly convinced that he (or she) has sinned? This is foolishness (something I struggle with!). However, if we have sinned, we must not only believe in the forgiveness of the Gospel, but we must also seek God for the grace to obey his command to spread the Gospel.

Pressing on!

May the Lord grant such grace at wedding #2 – stay tuned. And may the Lord grant such grace to you too. We must remember that He has NOT given us a spirit of FEAR, but of a Spirit of LOVE, POWER, and SELF-CONTROL (2 Tim 1:7). In light of this truth, may we heed the four fold call to “always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim 4:5). May the Lord help us. May we pray to him with faith.