“If you warn them (the lost) and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed Me.” (Ezekiel 3:19 NLT)
Some reading the above verse may respond: “Whoa, brother, that’s Old Testament. Haven’t things changed since Jesus came?” And my response would be: “Yes, they have changed, they’ve gotten more intense, our times are more desperate, and our responsibility to warn the lost is more vital now than ever.”
Do you remember the last words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20, commonly referred to as the Great Commission? What is a commission? It’s an order. A directive to make something happen. It’s NOT a suggestion! Yet, largely we, the Church in America, have ignored it and the state of our nation is evidence of God’s displeasure. So, what must we do? May I offer some suggestions that the Lord is stirring in my heart?
As I’ve mentioned on other occasions, as I walk around my small neighborhood of about 100 houses, I pray for each person in each house. I pray for their families, friends, and each person in their spheres of influence. Why? Primarily because prayer is the work, then God works.
Is it presumptive of me to believe God will listen when I pray? You decide. Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
When we ask in the context of our love for and devotion to Jesus, He promises that He WILL LISTEN. So now it becomes incumbent upon us to ask, seek, and knock. So, for what do we ask? How do we seek? On what do we knock?
This is where I’d like to have you respond. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m just an old man who loves and desires to serve Jesus with my whole heart. I’ve very likely forgotten more than I currently know, but I believe the Lord wants us to draw near to Him in these closing months of planet earth and cry out for the hearts and lives of those in our spheres of influence who are lost.
What might that look like? That’s where you come in. I’ll share what the Lord is telling me, but I’d genuinely desire to hear what He’s saying to you.
For example, for months the Lord has been prompting me to be more outspoken when I’m walking in the neighborhood. I engage neighbors in conversation about how nice their yard looks, how much I appreciate how they care for their property, in short, any way I can to open the channels of friendship.
Lately, I’ve been letting neighbors whose names I remember, know that I pray for them every morning. I ask them to let me know if they have anything about which they’d like me to pray. I talk to them about their kids, pets, hobbies, anything I can think of to build rapport, laying the groundwork to speak about the Lord or at least, invite them to church.
Something else the Lord is prompting me to do is write a note to each neighbor, and each person He lays on my heart. This can be family, long-lost friends, old schoolmates, anyone He prompts you to write, text, email, or call. My first attempt at a “note” to the neighbors, was too long, but I haven’t given up on the idea.
One last idea, which my wife and I have done, and it worked out well, is having an open house for your neighbors or lost friends and do a BBQ or carry-in to give you an audience to begin a spiritual conversation.
What are your thoughts? Let’s get creative about ways to reach our lost loved ones, friends, and neighbors before it’s eternally too late. Let’s do what Frank Reagan (Blue Bloods) said: “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” To God be the glory!
Blessings, Ed 😊