But today, I am witnessing one to one, with the hope that some people around will hear and be saved. First, though, I had an errand to run in North St. Louis County, so I am catching the train at a different location than normal. But this used to be the only local train line in town, so I know it quite well.
So far this morning, I am able to get all of what I intend to say out of my mouth. Different things for different people. But the same basic message: Do you really think that you are a good person? Look at yourself in the light of God's Law. Don't you see your need for a Savior? This is how you avail yourself of His help.
To a degree I am louder than normal, in part because we are on the train and it gets loud sometimes (well, most of the time), and in part because I want others to hear what we say. So, almost open air.
This evening, I have just finished an errand about one station up. I see a man waiting for the same train that I am. He seems talkative and friendly enough. We talk about the fact that our train is late, then I asked him about himself. Then I asked him about what he plans to do after his retirement; and after that; and after that; and after that....Finally he asked me, "Okay, what are you getting at?" So I told him, "What do you think happens after death?"
We had a pleasant discussion of the Law. He didn't seem offended in the least. Now, I was being kind, but hearing that you are a liar, a thief, a murderer at heart, an adulterer at heart, etc., or admitting this to a total stranger, is usually kind of embarrassing, but he was game. Toward the end of our conversation, a young lady sat next to him. I thought, Good--now I can witness to more people!!
When his stop came up, we parted pleasantly, even though he said, "Don't worry about me" and I said, "I'll be praying for you." Heh.
Then I turned to the young lady. Turns out she claims to be saved, and I didn't find anything in her confession to cause concern. She gladly gave her testimony, and asked me to give mine. I asked her what she would say if she were trying to convert me. Well, she obviously needed some practice. But at least she gave it a legitimate shot. I encouraged her to check out livingwaters.com for some tips on getting better.
After I got off the train and was walking home, I let a guy catch up with me who was headed my way, though beyond my house, so I could witness to him, too. He had a hard time with the definitions of human behavior demanded by God's Law. But I helped him through it.
Then he said that he really couldn't know for sure about the after life. Boy, I was licking my chops as I told him about three things in the Bible that scientists didn't know about until the last 300-500 years: that the earth is round, that the earth hangs on nothing, and that the life of the flesh is in the blood. He said something about the false ideas that the scientists of the day had being what they could detect in their human limitation, but I pointed out that if they had just listened to the Bible, they would have known plainly the whole truth (even though it would have necessarily been by faith).
Then I talked to a young man who was leaving the parking lot of the previous man's destination (it took that long to get through the Law, etc), I guess on his way home. Again, he was walking away from my destination, but I figured, Hey, if I do witness to him, I don't have any guilt later, if I don't witness to him he might die tonight and go to hell. He said that he was a Christian, but gave me cause for concern. So I ran him through the Law, explaining to him the logic of the Gospel in the light of the Law. As we parted ways, I encouraged him to read his Bible daily.
I was unsuccessful finding any one willing to talk on my way home from there, though I did try. May God still hold back on those who did not want to hear.
I knew I needed to go get my car from the other station, but I still needed to check my email to see if I should just bring it home or go on out to St. Charles. St. Charles it was, and I hopped on board a rather empty train. So I prayed for God to send someone for me to witness to, and, sure enough, at the next station, a young lady boarded the train and walked up to take a seat two rows behind me. She had barely made the train, so I used that as a spring board to our conversation.
She thought she was a good person, and willingly went through the Law. She didn't think she was a good person anymore.
Now she understood the need for the Savior and I explained the Gospel to her. She said it made sense and that she understood.
Shortly after we finished talking, three rather uncouth young men boarded the train and sat behind her talking loudly and rudely. I prayed, "Lord, let these boys get off on my stop so I can reach them." They did.
While we waited for the other train on the platform, I said to them, "Hey, I heard you guys talking about people going to Heaven [actually, one of them had said that in anger]: what do you think it takes for people to get to Heaven?" A lady sitting nearby perked up. I didn't know if it was gladness or hostility, but I just prayed and kept talking to the boys.
They readily acknowledged their sins, and, as we boarded the train, were willing to hear the Gospel. One of the boys said that he wanted to put off repentance until he was old. I asked him, "So, you know when you are going to die?" Well, no. "So why put it off? You could die tonight, and if you die in your sins, you will go to Hell."
I explained to him the urgency of repentance and told him to read his Bible daily and obey what he reads, because God is going to look on Judgment Day to see what he has done, and if he does not show fruit of repentance, then God is going to send him to Hell as a faker (see Matthew 7:21-23 for those who don't believe me). I think he understood.
Then I talked to the lady who had perked up earlier. She said that she was a Christian, but she did give me some cause for concern. However, since I had already been through Law with the boys in her hearing, I didn't feel it necessary to repeat it. I did ask about whether she witnessed to people or not, does it concern her that people are dying and going to hell, and I told her about livingwaters.com so she could get some Gospel tracts. I also mentioned John 8:31-32 and Psalm 1 as reasons that she should read her Bible everyday.
Then I went to a man sitting at the end of our car section (actually in the middle of the car, but facing backwards to the direction of the train). He was glad I asked him about the Law (ha! that's a first!) and about Jesus. We talked for quite some time after we had disembarked, going through almost all of the Ten Commandments and the various punishments for them. It was pretty cool.
Then we parted ways, and I left for Saint Charles. Had a nice Bible study with a friend (though we were the only two that showed up). Got to talk about the events of the day and better explain why I witness the way I do (this friend had some previously discussed reservations).
One thing the Lord brought to my mind tonight while I explained myself to this friend is that, no matter that we are in the Age of Grace right now, sinners who have not yet repented are still under the condemnation of the Law. Jesus has fulfilled the ceremonial Laws, but the moral Laws are still in full effect. Once we have come to Christ, however, we still live in the light of the Law, because we seek to please God.
I wrote more about this in detail on one of my other blogs. View it here. We parted in good spirits, even though we didn't get as far as we had planned. Sometimes it just works out that way.