On my way out of the grocery store with several other people, a man (“Benny”) was trying to get my attention, waving to me as if he wanted to talk to me. He acted as if he knew me, but he did not. He wanted to talk for some reason, and as he got his bicycle, he approached to chat in the parking lot. Keeping a safe distance, I introduced myself and he started asking me questions about what I do, and he correctly guessed that I was a teacher. He asked me what school I teach at and I told him I have my own school. The conversation was going in strange directions, so I took charge and changed the direction of the conversation, asking him what things he is concerned about in the world.
He started talking about earthquakes, tsunamis, and war. I suggested that there are things far more dangerous than these. He asked, what could be more dangerous than natural disasters and war? This gave the opportunity to bring up spiritual truth and share the gospel, starting with the law, our sin, and the fact that God will judge sin, being right and just. I explained this in detail, using scripture, and he asked if we would get another chance after this life (as in another life) and I told him of the one life we have and then the judgment. He was genuinely concerned after hearing all this.
Then I told him all of what God did for us in and through Jesus, because of His love for us, because we are helpless and lost in our sin, unable to save ourselves. I focused then on God’s mercy, grace, love, and willingness to save us Himself, through Jesus, that we would not come under judgment. I explained that Jesus took the judgment for those who believe, and accounts His goodness to them. I explained about repentance, trust and faith in Jesus to save from sin.
At the beginning of our conversation, he was talking silly. Now he had a look on his face that told me that he was interested and concerned with this topic of judgment and salvation. He asked me if I believed if Jesus was coming back. I told him yes, and soon, and that is why it is today that is the day for salvation, and not tomorrow. We had talked a long time by then and I needed to get home to make dinner. In my pocket was a copy of my message, “Safe?” which I gave to him. I told him it explained more about the things I was telling him. As he got on his bike and waved goodbye, I waved and told him I’d see him around town.
Sometimes when we share the gospel, the person will have that dreaded (but expected) roll of the eyes, an argumentative, skeptical, mocking or cynical attitude. But sometimes, the person will show on their face, and respond in a way that lets you know that they want to hear, that they want to know; that they have been waiting to hear this.
To them, we have good news.