The letter below is from my good friend and evangelism partner James Bynum. He wrote it following a Christmas evangelism outing, and sent it to members of his church to encourage them in their evangelism efforts. I think it will be an encouragement to many of you too.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As I write this, Diane is sleeping in the other room. After service tonight, I dropped off Diane at home (because she has bronchitis) and I went to “Christmas in the Park” to share the Gospel. I was alone this time, but that’s okay, as a Christian I know I’m never really alone.
I handed out a few hundred Gospel Tracts, then I read the story of Christmas from the Bible aloud. I actually drew a crowd of people who listened. I ended with the Gospel, and explained why Jesus came, and how their sins could be forgiven.
When I finished and decided to go home as we have to get up early in the morning. I walked to the parking garage praying for all those I shared the Gospel with.
A man approached me with a paper cup with a dollar in it and asked if I could spare some change. I could smell alcohol on his breath. I explained that I don’t hand out cash because some might spend it on drugs or alcohol. I offered to feed him if he was hungry, and he said he was. I walked with him a short distance to a restaurant that I know is open late.
As we walked, I asked him if he knew the meaning of Christmas. He said he didn’t, so I explained it to him. He did have a Christian background, and I was able to explain how we have sinned against God, and how Jesus came to earth to save men who had condemned themselves by sinning against an infinite and holy God, who is a just judge.
As it turned out, the restaurant was closed, but we stood there on the street and talked for a while. I told him all about Jesus, and his loving sacrifice for sinful men like us. I told him how He had made a way that men could be saved. I explained repentance. I explained faith. The man’s eyes teared as he spoke of his own sinfulness. He freely admitted his guilt. He was deeply moved…I could see it in his eyes. He told me that he was thankful he had met me. He said he believed it was not a coincidence, and I had to agree. He has been struggling, and he knew that he was not right with God.
I apologized that the restaurant was closed because of Christmas, but I gave him some gift cards I had for a nearby McDonalds. I gave him a Gospel Tract, and copy of the ‘Gospel of John’. He set down his cup and took my hands and asked if we could pray. He called out to God with a thankful heart. When he finished, I prayed for him. I asked God to grant him repentance, and to forgive him as he has forgiven me. I asked God to bless him.
We had talked for quite a while before I wished him a Merry Christmas, and explained that I needed to go home to my wife. It was hard to leave. The man’s heart was overflowing with joy and thankfulness. I would say good bye and he would come back after me time and again. He said he hoped we would meet again. I gave him information about our church, and told him how to find me downtown on Saturday nights. After a second loving hug, we parted ways. As I drove home, I prayed for him and I wept for joy.
I set out on Christmas Eve to bless the Lord, and to bless the Lost with his Gospel. As He does so often, it was actually me that He blessed. Who would have dreamed that a man on the street with a paper cup in his hand, and a soft heart overflowing with joy for the Lord, would become one of my all time favorite Christmas memories?
Praise you Christ Jesus, you are righteous, and loving, and kind. No one is like you O God, forgiving, and full of mercy and grace. You have blessed me all my days, and filled my heart with joy. I love you with ever fiber of my being, and I owe you everything. Please let the seed of your Gospel grow in this man’s heart Lord, and save many with your Gospel. How can I help but love you O God, my God. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Glory to God in the highest!
Brother…Sister…We must NEVER rest while there is even one who does not know Him.