Obligated – Memories in Philly

Probably the greatest form of love that you can show to a lost person is simply to share the Gospel with them.  The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.  It is the only message by which a man can be freed from his sin and saved from God’s coming jugement. 

Paul was so gripped by this fact that he wrote to the Christians in Rome,

“I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.  I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Romans 1:15-16)

Paul considered himself obligated to all people, whether Jew or Gentile, to bring the message of salvation to them.  It was as if there was no other option for Paul – I must warn the lost.  I must preach Christ crucified.  I must obey my Master.

Could you imagine the transformation there would be if many Christians had the heart of Paul in the land of America?  Evangelism would no longer be an optional part of our faith like it has become for many Christians today, sadly.

I was looking on google maps this week at the street that I used to live on a few summers ago in Philadelphia.  As I took a tour down the street seeing the different houses and intersections, so many great witnessing memories flooded my mind.

I remembered one hot summer day when I had stayed home from going downtown to witness.  That day I was so struck by the fact there were so many neighboorhood kids and broken families living all around me who were lost.  I longed to be able to reach out to them somehow.   I spent most of my days in Philly witnessing downtown ut every morning and night on my walk to and from the subway, I would be able to talk with neighboors on the street.  One night I even got in the middle of a drug sale as I witnessed to the supplier.  In the middle of our conversation, he said to me, “Hang on just a minute, Josh.  Don’t leave.”  He walked a few feet away, sold his drugs, came back and said, “Okay, now where were we?”  That was interesting!  Another night around midnight, I had just run out of money and was still looking for a job.  As I walked from the subway to the house praying for God’s provision, I came across some hispanic guys talking by their car.  I walked up to them and began to witness to them but they wanted nothing to do with me. Somehow though, by God’s grace, their attitude changed entirely and they began to ask me questions.  One of the men started translating what I was saying into Spanish for his friend who couldnt speak English.  And the friend who couldnt speak any English began asking me questions through the man who could.  It was unbelieveable.  I was with them for at least an hour.  At the end of our fascinating conversation, one of the men pulled out a poem he had written about God and read it to me.  He then asked me if I had a job.  I told him I didn’t but I was looking for one.  He asked if I needed any money and I told him not to worry, the Lord is my provider.  Next thing I knew, he pulled out $20 and shoved it in my hand and said to me, “Thank you so much for talking with us.”  The Lord provided!!

But this particular summer day, I decided to stay home and try to reach out to the lost who lived all around me.  So I made some Lemonade and some popcorn and filled a bowl with Cheetos (lol!) and went outside and placed all three of my delicious masterpieces on a table on the sidewalk with a sign that read, “Free Lemonade because God’s grace is free!” I grabbed my guitar and sat down on the sidewalk and started playing worship to the Lord as I waited for people to come up.  Eventually, many people came up and many great conversations happened.  It was such a great way to talk with neighboors.

Crazy and strange, perhaps; but it was at least something to reach out to the lost.  We must do something.

We are obligated to all people to testify about our Lord.  We are obligated to people who are in rags and to people who are in robes. 

Every man and every woman needs Jesus. 

Pray for boldness.  Pray for a supernatural desire to witness.  Pray for the grace to obey.  And by faith, step out to the lost around you and share the Gospel with them.

There is nothing more imporant than their eternal salvation.

The Lord is with you, friend!