“I Can’t Read This”

“I can’t read this” were the words I heard as I opened the door to walk out of the floral shop of the Cotswold area. As soon as I heard those words, my face turned red as I knew I had to turn around and engage in a conversation I thought the gospel tract I had given the two ladies would do all by itself. But our Lord Jesus Christ knew better, for He knew Renee needed some real biblical truth about the true gospel of Jesus Christ. There were unbiblical misconceptions that Renee had about death, original sin, and the sufficiency of Christ alone to save her from hell.

But first allow me to bring you up to this point in the story. I left work to pick up some flowers I had purchased for my wife, Andrea, the day before. Knowing that she worked on the other side of town I knew I had to hurry to get there and then get back to work on time. I had one million dollar gospel tract left, I grabbed it and walked inside. I thought this is simple enough I’ll just act like I’m paying for the flowers with the tract. There were two ladies at the cash register, and a man cutting flowers.

“Are these my flowers” I asked.

“Yes they are” the lady said.

I handed her the million dollar bill and said,

“Check it out; it has the million dollar question on the back.”

They smiled just like everybody does.

“Have a blessed day” I said, as I turned to walk out the door. And then it happened, one of the ladies said;

“I CAN’T READ THIS”

Do you believe in the sovereignty of God? I do. The gospel tract I had given the two ladies was SPANISH and they couldn’t read Spanish, therefore I had to explain and proclaim what was on the back of that tract, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

With a red face and sweaty palms I asked her if she were to die today, would she go to heaven. One of them said;

“I hope so.”

I said “you can know for sure.”

I asked them both if they believed that there was a God who created the heavens and the earth, they both said yes. By this time one of the ladies walked off, leaving Renee and I. In a time frame of two minutes we went through the holiness of God, man’s sinfulness, and how we have broken the moral law (Ten Commandments) that God had given us to perfectly uphold. I asked her,

“Based on this information, where will you spend eternity since you have been found guilty of breaking Gods holy law?”

Here is where the false doctrine comes in. She said,

“Well I’m Catholic, and I believe that I will go to purgatory for the purification of sins.”

In this moment I understood why the gospel tract I had given her was Spanish. God knew she needed someone to stress to her the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as being enough to pay the penalty for sins committed, and that by placing faith in Christ alone for salvation was enough to attain eternal life.

“Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:28-29)

And there was nothing else she could do to add to the finished work of Christ, if there was, then Christ died in vain.

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then CHRIST DIED FOR NO PURPOSE” (Gal 2:21).

I asked her to show me in the bible where it taught the doctrine of purgatory, she couldn’t. In a 45 second time frame the Lord gave me an opportunity to help her understand that she was depending on herself and others to get her into heaven, and it was a lie to be told that Christ wasn’t enough. I shared with her the scripture about:

“God making Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinth 5:21).

She had never heard this scripture. I then shared with her about Gods grace:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8).

I really believe that the Holy Spirit was dealing with her. She had the look that most people have when light begins to break in a little. Then out of nowhere a man said from behind the partition,

“We don’t talk about politics or religion in here”

I said back with gentleness and respect,

“Sir I’m just encouraging Renee here.”

And I said one more time back at her,

“Think about it Renee, Christ is enough, you can’t do anything but believe in the work of Christ, stop depending on yourself and come to Christ.”

Once more the man repeated himself, so I said

“Ok, thank you for the beautiful flowers, have a blessed day.”

And I walked out rejoicing in the Lord that the gospel was given to a young lady who had been lied to, and for me, I got ridiculed for the gospels sake. (Matthew 5:11-12)

So my encouragement for you brothers and sisters, be willing to push through the red face and sweaty palms by trusting in the sovereignty of God and believing that in that moment “this is important, it is a matter of life and death.” I have found that in a group of Christians that are witnessing it is much easier to talk to people about eternal things. Being paired up together as a team when witnessing is very helpful, but this is not the norm – a majority of your time you will be by yourself and then what? Could this be the true test of an authentic evangelist’s heart that is really concerned for the souls of the lost? In simpler terms “am I an evangelist only in groups or when I’m by myself?”

I am guilty more times than not, please pray for me. We must constantly remember that the Glory of God is at stake when we evangelize, and we have the great privilege of partaking in this eternal endeavor. So join with me as we reach lost with the only name given among men by which we must be saved!

For more information about the heretical doctrine of purgatory, please see the following article by Mike Gendron: Purgatory: Purifying Fire or Fatal Fable

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Comments
4 Responses to ““I Can’t Read This””
  1. Keep up the good work my brother.

    • Aaron Beane says:

      Thank you so much Dustin for the encouragement. Heard alot of good things about you from Justin, look forward to meeting you soon..

  2. Thanks, brother, but I have to pass this off to Aaron who wrote this one. He’s using us all…hallelujah!

    • You may have known that already, but since it’s his first post, wanted to clarify. 🙂

      By the way, I’m hoping to get something going on Saturdays down here, I’ll keep you posted of details in case you can join us.

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