This Dad’s Corner I expect to be the last in the series on sharing our faith with others. A good introduction to this article is an e-mail we received from a mom because I believe many will relate to her thoughts on the series. A fitting conclusion would be some pretty amazing statistics that Christopher, my twenty-eight-year-old son, wrote down that further highlight how critical this topic is.
“Some months I take a few extra minutes to read the Dad’s Corner as well as the Mom’s Corner. This month was one of them. Just last night on the way to church, I was explaining to my children, ages 8, 6, 4, and 2, what our purpose in life was. I told them our purpose in life was not to have fun playing or doing chores or schoolwork or anything else. Our purpose is to tell people about Christ and how to get to Heaven. I pointed to the person in the car next to us and asked them, ‘What if that man right there is going to go to hell when he dies?’
“I explained to them that since we knew the way to Heaven, we needed to make sure we told others because if we didn’t tell them, they might never know that Jesus died for them and will forgive their sins if they only would ask Him. (At this point in time only my eight-year-old has gotten saved, but I thought they all should be taught to tell others about Christ’s love.)
“After all my talking and explaining to them what our purpose in life was, my six-year-old son looked at me very confused and replied, ‘Why don’t we then?’ Of course it hit directly to my heart. Very sadly I had to confess to him, ‘I don’t know.’ When we got to church, the message that God sent to my heart was about ‘our purpose in life’ and that we are to be telling others about Him. And today I read the Dad’s Corner which talked of the very same thing. I have purposed in my heart, as of today, to start telling people about Christ for their sake, and for the sake of my children, so that they have an example to live by and hopefully not have to struggle with this issue as they grow into adults.
“Thanks for taking the time each month to encourage people like me.” (Used by permission.)
Statistics and Thoughts from Christopher
When I was twenty-six years old, the Lord began burdening my heart to share the gospel. I was convicted over my unfaithfulness of not being an outspoken witness in the years prior. As I began to speak with the lost, I was overwhelmed to see the Holy Spirit working in hearts and lives.
For some reason, which I couldn’t explain at the time, I felt His leading to keep track of the number of people with which I was able to share. After a period of time, I felt led to stop keeping track. I realized that a month had transpired.
December 10 through January 10:
Total tracts given out: 155
Number of individual people who received tract(s): 101
Number of people who rejected a tract: 4
Sharing on the telephone: 18 (telemarketers, customer service calls, etc.)
Number who were closed/cold: 1
Number I was able to share the gospel with: 11
Number who were already saved: 6
Strangers who in one form or another heard the gospel: 112
It wasn’t until several months later that I realized the significance of those numbers. Those numbers represented one month of my life as I sought to share with the lost. But one hundred months had transpired from the time I was eighteen until that particular month; one hundred months during which I was not as faithful of a witness as I should have been.
What would happen if I were to multiply the numbers in that one month by one hundred—with the resulting figures representing the prior years of unfaithfulness?
Age 18 through 26: (years of unfaithfulness)
Tracts NOT given out: 15,500
Individual people who didn’t receive a tract: 10,100
Number of missed rejections: 400
Missed telephone witnessing: 1,800
Number missed who were closed/cold: 100
Number missed sharing the Gospel with: 1,100
Number missed who were already saved: 600
Potential number of strangers whom I DIDN’T share with: 11,200
Those numbers could have been a bit higher or lower, but they are still staggering! The numbers represent just one person’s efforts (or lack of efforts) over the course of eight years. While I cannot go back and change those years, I can seek to obey on a day-by-day basis as the Lord Jesus continues to give me breath.
I wonder what numbers you might be amassing? Are they numbers of faithfully sharing with the lost? Or are they numbers of disobedience by keeping quiet?
As a father, besides considering your personal impact on others, what about the impact of your children? If they do not see you sharing the gospel with the lost, do you think they will become faithful witnesses?
Instead of one person being responsible for 11,200 souls not hearing the gospel, might a father, through the lives of his children, be responsible for hundreds of thousands of souls? The math is simple and straightforward. The result is either heartbreakingly sad or incredibly exciting—depending upon whether the numbers represent good or bad.
When reading an article it is sometimes tempting to skip over the Bible verses that are shared, especially if one recognizes the Scripture reference. May each of us take a moment and carefully read these next two verses, remembering that God is the One talking!
Ezekiel 3:18-19: “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”
Warning the wicked equals active evangelism. Notice that the warning was a spoken warning. Yes, Ezekiel was supposed to live a holy life. That goes without saying and is the basis for one being able to speak credibly with the lost. He wasn’t to silently live his life and wait for the wicked to ask him questions about his lifestyle! Ezekiel was to open his mouth and proactively warn the lost.
How does God measure my success or failure in evangelism? I believe it is by whether or not I open my mouth and share with others. Success equals sharing, while failure equals keeping quiet. As God told Ezekiel: the listener is responsible, before God, for his decision. I am responsible for warning him.
As we wind up this series on the importance of sharing our faith with others, I want to encourage you to make sharing Christ with the lost a priority in your personal life and in the discipleship of your children. Do you have beautiful feet? Do your children have beautiful feet?
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isaiah 52:7)
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)
As a side note, we have been very blessed by The Soul Winner’s New Testament. They are a perfect size to put in your pocket and carry with you at all times. We normally carry one with us and often give it away while witnessing. The New Testaments are listed on our site.