It’s a little town called “Guadalupe” at the edge of the Cloud Forest. We’ve been going there for a while, bringing the Gospel of the Kingdom, and have already seen many come to know Christ. Some of them have been baptized, and all of them are active in their faith. A little over a week ago, myself and a couple of brothers visited a family there in Guadalupe for the first time. We came simply saying, that we had a message from God for them. When we asked what they knew of Jesus, the man of the house said,
“I’ve heard of him, but don’t really know much about him or why he came to earth.”
I don’t know that a God Orchestrated
encounter could have been any clearer.
Today, myself and a couple of brothers (spiritual brothers) visited the same family again, and while the man of the house wasn’t there, we spoke with his wife. I shared a short story from Ezekiel 20 and then talked about an experience I had in helping some victims of a bus accident some time ago.
In a nutshell, I was traveling back to our home in the Cloud Forest, and came across a bus accident that had just happened. The injuries were extensive and they had already pulled out a few dead. There was a woman with serious injuries and bleeding and some had asked if I could carry her to a local hospital which I gladly did. We made it to the hospital only to be followed by an onslaught of other victims of the crash. The nurses and doctors were few and so they had to do triage in the parking lot. They had taken the woman out of my car and put her in the back of a nearby pickup truck laying down but conscious. A doctor came by and performed a quick examination and then left. While he didn’t say anything I discerned that his prognosis was not good and he was going to see if he could help someone else. I looked at a friend of mine who was with me and said, “you have to share the Gospel with her now!” My Spanish at the time was poor and I felt an extreme sense of urgency. He hesitated, but spoke a simple gospel message to her. Just a few minutes later the woman said, “Jesus Save Me, Jesus Save me, Jesus Save Me,” and died.
I’ll never forget that.
Why did I share this story with the woman in Guadalupe? I felt that it was appropriate for her in the moment. I and the others sensed that she was very close to repentance and belief. I reminded her that our days are not guaranteed and that it was God who arranged this encounter and it was Him who desired to have a relationship with her.
Normally for me in the past, and perhaps for many of you reading this, it would have been the perfect time to ask her if she wanted to “accept” Christ into her heart and say a “sinner’s prayer.” But, at this time, I didn’t. I told her that if she had any questions during the week, she should go into her room when all was quiet, ask God, and wait for an answer. We did pray for her and her household and told her we’d be back in a week. When we had gotten to the main road, I asked those with me if we should asked her to “Accept Jesus into her heart,” and “pray the sinner’s prayer,” and they said…
Well, I’m not actually going to tell you what they said, but I am going to ask you what you would have said.
In fact, I’m going to ask you 3 questions:
1. Was I wrong to not ask her if she wanted to receive Christ in that moment and pray the sinner’s prayer?
2. If she dies between now and next week, is her blood on my hands?
3. If I said that “getting others to pray a sinner’s prayer was actually more dangerous to a person’s spiritual condition than not praying it,” would you agree or disagree?
Before answering these questions, I want you to know that not a single person in Guadalupe who has recently come to faith and are living for Jesus ever prayed a sinner’s prayer.
On December 29th 2012, both Angelica and her husband were baptized! Now I’ll tell you what my fellow harvest workers told me on the main road when I asked if we should have asked Angelica to “accept Christ into her heart,” or “pray the sinner’s prayer.” He said, “No, we’ll trust God as both the Author and finisher of her faith. We did, and here are the results: