Labor Day Witnessing

Tonight my wife and I took the family to the local Labor Day weekend festival, Matthews Alive.  Having grown up in this area yet lived away for ten years, it had been a while since I visited the festival.  Everything is still the same it seems – arts and crafts, carnival rides, fair food, live music, and people.  Lots of people and lots of teenagers.

We weren’t there for very long when I asked Jennifer if it was ok for me to go hand some tracts to the teenagers hanging out by the music stage.  With her blessing, I proceeded over and handed them some trillion dollar bills.  Almost immediately after glancing at the back of the tract, one young man named Justin said he had actually just gotten baptized again today.  I said, “oh yeah? Tell me about that – why did you get baptized again?”  He said he was baptized when he was seven years old and didn’t really understand what he was doing back then.  Now as a high school senior, he said he did understand and took the opportunity to be baptized with one of his good friends.  When I asked Justin if he could share with me what he might if he knew I was going to die in 48 hours, he gave me the brief facts about the Gospel.  Not knowing where his two friends stood on the matter of salvation, I proceeded to explain the law and Gospel to them.

Daniel, Zack, and Justin all seemed to understand God’s justice, their deserving of it, and the mercy and grace of God.  They all seemed to be fine young men who confessed to be born again several years ago.  After talking about repentance, I explained to them I did not want to cause them to doubt their salvation, but I did want to point them to the Word of God to examine themselves as Paul instructs in 2 Corinthians 13:5.  I told them not to trust in a prayer they once prayed or a decision they once made, nor take what a pastor might declare over them.  The only objective way we can know we are saved is by examining ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word, and a good place to start with that is 1 John.  Daniel, Zack, and Justin seemed to be encouraged by our conversation, and I pray a divine seed was planted if they have yet to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.  They sure were a pleasant group of young men to speak with and I hope to hear from them soon.

As our family walked through the festival, I handed some tracts to another group of teenagers and continued on.  As we walked down the street, I heard a young man behind us say, “man, this sucks all the fun out of life!”  I turned around and saw him reading the tract, then asked him what he meant by that.  Abdul said, “look at all these girls around here, man.”  I said, “well, Jesus said

whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).”

The look on Abdul’s faith was one of surprise.  I then asked him if he had ever stolen anything or ever lied, and he quickly affirmed he had broken both of these laws.  We found ourselves stopped in the middle of the intersection, Abdul no longer looking for his friends, but realizing he had just been hit with a dose of reality.  It was amazing to see the Law change his countenance from one of flippancy to one of concern.  It reminded me of this video, Wake up Call.  If he died in his sins today, he would be at the merciless hands of an angry God.  I shared the Gospel with Abdul and he seemed to recognize the urgency of his need to be reconciled to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.  I told Abdul that becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you have to quit having fun, however the purpose of life is not about fun and games.  Becoming a Christian simply means that one finally understands their purpose in life to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  Abdul said he would be sharing what we talked about with his friend who showed up at the end of our conversation.  Who knows, maybe he has become a fisher of men already.

Tonight was a great low-key night for our family, and I was blessed with the opportunity to speak with a few group of teenagers, hand out close to fifty tracts, and my wife and I even met another believer who I hope she and her husband will be contacting us for fellowship and ministry.  I’m really looking forward to next year’s Matthews Alive in hopes to make a day of evangelism out there as there were so many teenagers.  The ones I spoke with were easy to engage and I can only imagine how plentiful the harvest truly is with a team of evangelists.

Let me encourage you to always keep tracts on you.  You never know when the opportunity will present itself to share the Gospel with others.  While I spoke with Zack, Justin, and Daniel for 30 minutes or so, my other conversations were no more than 5-10 minutes.  Witnessing doesn’t have to be a full sermon, and it only takes a few minutes to sow a seed of Life into someone’s life.

p.s. for those perhaps visiting the website after we met today, be sure to check out this message from Dr. Steven Lawson: It Will Cost You Everything.  Contact us for any questions – we’re here for you.  May you come to know the glorious grace of God through Jesus Christ the King!

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