One of the hardest things to do is wait for an opportunity to proclaim the gospel. As a pastor, I have that opportunity every Sunday morning. But the rest of the week, I have to listen for what I can best describe as door left ajar, a question or a comment that immediately shouts, “Tell them the gospel!” I love it when God simply cracks a window or creates a moment. I had that happen two times in the last month.
The first was a conversation with Brad (not his real name) who was dying, hard to understand, but still hanging on to life. i don’t know if it was a test or a genuine inquiry: “How good do you have to be to get into heaven?” O boy, when I hear that question, I have to take a breath and pull myself together to give them some very good news: you don’t have to be good. Jesus was good enough for you. His righteousness is yours. Heaven is your eternal home because of him. Sentences that fill me with joy; sentences I hope filled him, too.
Moment number two. Visiting Andy, also dying, I asked, “Are you ready?” He said, “I’m scared.” I asked, “What are you afraid of?” He said, “The darkness.”
Once again, I had to take a deep breath and pace myself. I had so much to say, but most importantly, “In [Christ] there is no darkness.” He knew that. He had been faithful for ninety-plus years. He just needed to hear it again.
Short, simple conversations filled with gospel hope. Thank you, Jesus, for being the answer to so many worries, concerns and questions!