“Are ye saved?” I looked at the kid who just asked me the question. “What are you, a pilgrim?” I’d never seen him before; he looked like a freshman. I was a senior at Chicago’s Lane Technical High School. I was walking through a packed hallway to my next class. This kid sidled up and asked me, “Are ye saved?”
Okay, those were the days when the King James Bible was it, except for the few who had a Living or Phillips paraphrase or the Catholic Bible. Pre-NIV. Pre-NASB. So a few ye’s and thou’s mightest be expectethed.
How about, “Hast thou been regenerated?” That has panache.
Or maybe, “What meaneth thy life? Whence camest thee? Wither goest thee?” Probing and penetrating.
Maybe even, “Knoweth thou that God lovest thee and hath a wonderful plan for thy corporeal sojourn?” That would have drawn my attention to the divine, like snot on a teacher’s face.
“I said, Are ye saved?”
“Oh, uhhh, yeah. I’m saved.”
And he melted into the crowd. I guess he was done with me. Weird. Angel, possibly. Probably. Maybe. Who knows?
But I do know that he stuck with me. To this day I remember him. He stands as the only stranger who has ever witnessed to me. He had guts. I used to witness to strangers. I used to hand out tracts. Go door-to-door. Turn conversations to the subject of Christ. I never saw fruit, though.
Then I heard about life-style evangelism and felt liberated. That confrontational evangelism stuff just turns people off.
There are people in my church who distribute Bibles at a rest-stop on Interstate 5; they’re part of an organization called the Gideons–maybe you’ve read one of the Bibles they placed in your hotel. They tell amazing stories of people who receive Jesus. May God increase their tribe.
My friend, Kevin D, told of a time he walked past a liquor store and some kids asked if he’d go inside and buy them some beer. Kevin told them, “No, but I have something better than beer.” Their eyes got wide and they smiled. “You got some weed, man?” “No, I have Jesus.”
They got mad. But is that so bad? Is mad bad?
Did lifestyle evangelism morph into non-evangelism?
Whenever I think of that nameless kid, I think that a big part of me likes the weird way he witnessed better then the inoffensive way most of us don’t.
So try this one on somebody today: “Hast thou imbibed at the water of life?” Or the proven, “Are ye saved?”
Let me know how it goes. I’m getting itchy to get people saved.
““But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”” Acts 1:8, NKJV.
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15, NKJV.
“in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” Romans 15:19, NKJV.