Paris hit me hard. Over one hundred people killed and hundreds more injured at six different sites across the city. But as terrible as the loss of life was, in my mind there was an even worse casualty: peace of mind. It wasn’t the fact that people died, but that it could’ve been anybody in that theater or in that bar or in that restaurant or on that street or outside that stadium. It’s a sobering thought to realize that it could’ve just as easily been me on the wrong end of a gun on Friday night. Or, it could’ve been my friends, my family. Or maybe it could’ve been that guy that I thought about sharing the Gospel with but kept making up excuses until I’d convinced myself that he didn’t need me.
Well, that’s actually true – he doesn’t need me. But he does need Jesus. And my heart breaks for each one of those lives that were cut short on Friday night without knowing the saving power of Jesus Christ.
And honestly, I’m a little afraid too. Not of the terrorists themselves, and not of my own death either. What I fear is that someone will be taken away from me before I get around to telling them what they need to know: God loves you; God cares about your needs; God wants you to be with Him; but that relationship is impossible unless you’re washed clean through the sacrifice of the Lamb.
I understand that there are different techniques to evangelism, that you can’t always bring people to Jesus in a single conversation. In fact, I’d be kind of wary of someone who converted after just one conversation. Sometimes, evangelism needs to be long-term, through relationship. But that isn’t an excuse to just live your life without talking about the power that saved you. You need to start. Strike up a conversation with the person in line with you at the store. Frequent the same places at the same times and actually get to know the workers there. Commit to keeping up with the people in your life and get to know them on more than a surface level. Have deep conversations with people. Ask lots of questions and listen more than you talk.
I know that all of these things are going to be awkward and difficult and probably won’t show results right away, but that’s ok. The modern world has become too obsessed with getting quick results with as little effort as possible. But that doesn’t work with Christianity. God has been working this plan for the past 6,000 years, and it’s still not done. We need to commit to saving souls in the short span of time we have here on Earth. We don’t have thousands of years to play with, just a few decades. There’s a lot of work to do and not much time to do it, and it’s probably less time than you think, so get started now.