Summary: "The Communist was very sober. After reading a couple of other passages from God’s inspired Word, this young man was obviously very moved. His entire countenance had changed. He made a life-changing decision."
Illustration: From Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. "One day some years ago, I was speaking on a large university campus. A young radical student confronted me. I later discovered he was the head of the Communist Party on this big campus. He demonstrated and railed at me before all the students. He didn’t like the idea that I was
encouraging students to follow Christ as their Lord and Savior. He had other plans for these students.
Rather than argue, I invited him to come to our home for dinner, which he did. He was a very brilliant young man, articulate, and winsome. I found him to be a delightful guest.
Finally, after dessert, I picked up my Bible and said, "I want to read something to you from the Bible." He reacted with obvious irritation.
"I have read the Bible from cover to cover," he exclaimed. "It’s a ridiculous book. It’s filled with contradictions, lies and myths. I don’t want to hear anything from the Bible."
I replied, "If you don’t mind, I will read it anyway." I began to read to him from the Gospel according to John, chapter 1: "Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has
always been alive and is Himself God. He created everything there is --nothing exists that He didn’t make. Eternal life is in Him, and this life gives light to all mankind...." (The Living Bible).
When I concluded reading, he said, "Let me see that -- I don’t remember reading that." He read it houghtfully, then handed the Bible back to
me without comment.
He was very sober. After reading a couple of other passages from God’s inspired Word, this young man was obviously very moved. His entire countenance had changed. We chatted briefly, and after a time as he
stood to leave, I asked him if he would write in our guest book. He penned his name and address, after which he wrote these words, which I shall never forget: "The night of decision," a decision to receive and follow Christ."
Jesus gives us eleven principles in witnessing to skeptics by appropriating the fact we are to overcome with the power of His word, His Spirit and His love:
1. Jesus taught His disciples to be upbeat, confident and strong in the power of our heavenly Father. The Lord Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) With the power of Christ we can prevail over any problem. The Lord Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit to make us victors amidst the strife, hardship and adversity. Our Savior gives us a mastery over whatever complex difficulties we face to demonstrate His omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. Jesus continues to actively work all things together for the good of those us that earnestly love the Lord and obey His directives. Ask God to help you be more upbeat, confident and strong in Christ’s promises.
2. Jesus showed His disciples how to be an overcomer through prayer. The Lord Jesus prayed, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak." (Matt. 26:41) Ask the Lord to make you more vigilant and prayerful through all of your waking moments and challenges.
3. Jesus knew that is impossible to overcome all of the problems of life with the empowerment of the Spirit. The Good Shepherd said, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you_Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:26,27) Ask the Lord to give you greater power, wisdom, and enabling through the Holy Spirit’s directives.
4. Jesus knew that our biggest enemy would come from within our own sinful human nature. The Good Shepherd said, "It is not what is on the outside of a man that defiles him, but what comes out of his heart: evil thoughts, immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly." (Mark 7:20,21) Ask the Lord to help you be led more by your spiritual than fleshly impulses. (Rom. 8:6-8)
5. Jesus knew that all men need to fear God to be overcomers of the world, the flesh and the devil. The Lord said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matt. 10:28) Ask the Lord to help you develop a healthy fear, respect and veneration of God in every aspect of life.
6. Jesus knew that nothing could separate Him from the heavenly Father’s love. The Lord knew that Paul would write, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Rom. 8:35-37) Ask the Lord to grant you a greater knowledge and appreciation of the breadth, length, height and depth of God’s overcoming love.