On the other side?
Dear Members and Friends,
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to our service this coming Lord's Day!
Last Monday Connie and I went shopping at Costco. As I followed with the shopping cart I noticed 4 young men wearing black pants, white shirts and dark ties and name tags identifying them as Elders of the LDS Church. I was hoping to talk with them and purposefully pushed my shopping cart near them.
Before I could engage them, one of them commented on an item we'd placed in the cart. Here was my opening. We began talking and before long they got around to asking what I did. I explained I was the pastor of the Midvalley Bible Church in Bluffdale. We talked more and finally I asked, "Do you mind if I ask you a question?" They said sure and so I asked, "If you came across a terrible auto accident on Interstate 15 and a man was on the side of the road near death and asked "How can I get to heaven, what would you tell him?" Both men looked a bit puzzled and the leader of the two finally spoke up and gave me an answer that I'd never heard before. "Talk to the missionaries on the other side." We talked more and it was clear they taught that a dying man has no hope. Salvation is found in this life through good works, ordinances, sacraments, church membership and human effort. I listened respectfully, asked questions and when they were done I said, "Let me tell you what I'd tell that dying man," and I proceeded to give them the gospel.
If you've attended MBC for any length of time you know I believe every person needs to master a presentation for giving the gospel in a matter of minutes. It's the elevator presentation of the gospel where between floors you can give the gospel. For me the best is simply this:
Man's Problem: All men are sinners and sin separates us from God (Isaiah 3:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23).
God's solution: Jesus Christ, God's wonderful Son came and died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead as the only provision for man's sin (Romans 5:8; 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18).
Our Responsibility: Exercise Saving faith. Saving faith is claiming by personal choice that we are going to rely exclusively upon Christ's death on the cross and resurrection from the dead as our only hope for eternal life and the forgiveness of sin (John 1:12; Romans 3:23-25; Hebrews 6:18; John 3:16; Acts 16:31).
Let's make sure we've mastered a gospel presentation that we can give it at the drop of a hat. People are open to engage in a conversation if we are respectful and courteous. When the door opens, let's be ready to walk through it. Talking to the "missionaries" on the other side is not an option.
In the light of His glory and grace,