A Pastor's Ponderings: Reaching the Unreachable Approaching the Unapproachable
Every believer (especially pastors) must figure out how to
reach the unreachable; and approach the unapproachable. Relationships must be
built in loving compassion before calamity hits! Believers must use every
opportunity to build these relationships, knowing that most of them involve the
less-thankful tasks of planting and watering. Pastor Jim Vail wrote such a
story of relationship building.
Pastor Vail wrote: “Rock was a big-time biker who had
developed cancer. I went to visit and befriend him. He was friendly and
welcoming but would say cringe-worthy things! After a few visits, it seemed
apparent that talking about Christ was not something he welcomed. Determined to
befriend him, I visited him almost weekly, enduring his often foul language and
ideas of life and death.
His declining health became evident by his weight loss and
his turning yellow from liver failure. One day I said, “Rock, I know you don’t
want to hear about Jesus Christ, but soon you may no longer be alert and oriented.
If you change your mind about Him, you will need to know and understand how to
be forgiven by God of all your sins and how to know that you have eternal life!
If I promise not to pressure you into anything, can I give you the knowledge of
how to become right with the Lord?” He agreed.
I sat next to him with my Bible and asked him to read and
explain selected passages about sin, God’s justice, and Hell. He explained them
fairly well. Suddenly, in shock, he gasped: “I’m in trouble! I’m going to
Hell!” I then had him read about the deity of Jesus Christ, His sacrificial
death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and promises of eternal
life to those who repent of their sins by trusting in Jesus Christ.
Suddenly, he burst into tears as he exclaimed that he had
never heard or understood this before! “I want Jesus Christ for me…NOW! Can I
ask Him to forgive me right now? I want Him to be MY Saviour!” As I held his hand, he poured his heart out
to the Lord, sobbing the whole time. Afterwards, he had me promise to conduct
his funeral and tell this good news to all attending.
The following day, his wife phoned my office. “Rock is a new
man! He is cheerful, sweet, and loving…and all he wants to do is talk about
Jesus and pray together! Thank you!” I went to see Rock almost every day and
grew to love him as a dear brother. His mind never lost its alertness. We would
study, pray, and cry together tears of joy. A few weeks later, Rock called his
family to his bedside and said, “Let’s pray together!”
They each prayed, and then Rock prayed. Then he smiled,
closed his eyes and went to be with his beloved Saviour. A few days later, I
kept my promise to my dear friend and told a packed crowd what Jesus Christ had
done for Rock and what He could do for them!
Will you ask God if
He wants you to explore new avenues of reaching the unreachable by approaching