For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10

Monday, March 22, 2010

Soul Winning – Respecter of Persons - Judging our Motives

These personal reflections were submitted by a sister in her 80’s.

She was a widow who had left her home in Europe to live with her brother, a Roman Catholic priest in a town in Latin America. She was very ill when she sent a young man to ask me to visit her. For someone of the town’s hierarchy to ask a lowly Christian evangelical for such a visit seemed most unusual to me. Each week I continued the visits, giving her hand printed texts - before the days of Seed Sower texts. She would thank me but said little.

After visiting this sick woman for months, one Sunday I was told she was now dying. So, directly from the Children’s Class, I went to see her. The leading religious women of the town were sitting with her in her room. Before long she asked them to leave and to shut the door when they left. She asked me to remain. Could it be she would confess Christ as her Saviour?

“I would like to give you my treasures,” she said, pointing to her idols. “You would not have to put them in your living room, but in your bedroom. The Good Shepherd could go on your dressing table, and there is the Madonna and Child and the Sacred Family”.

“Oh no,” I said, “thank you, but God’s Word says we should not make any graven images, nor bow down to them. The Apostle Paul wrote to believers who had turned to God from idols. The Lord Jesus who died for us offers salvation through faith in Him”.

“I have understood what you’ve told me, and you refuse to accept my treasures,” the dying lady said.

I took her hand, said goodbye and left. The following evening before she passed away, she told her nurse: “It is all so dark”.

I went home and cried. She had rejected the gospel. But my husband encouraged me to get on with the work. Perhaps I had been too focused on one person – there were others who needed to hear the good news. He told me how he would not only pray for those who were currently attending Gospel meetings he was having but for those who would hear the Gospel later in another town. His point simply was – it’s our responsibility to sow the seed beside all waters and leave the results with the Lord. (Isaiah 32:20)

With a heavy heart I resumed our normal Sunday activities. After supper, I drove the old van to the other side of town where a group of women waited each week for a drive to the gospel meeting. Were their souls just as precious? Many years later, I learned that out of that group of women, one had been saved later and was now the wife of an elder in a local assembly.

But after my heartbreaking experience with that one lady who had died I reflected on my perspective. Had I been guilty of respecting persons? Did I value her soul more than the souls of others? Was I seeking recognition? After all, I would have attracted attention had I won her for Christ.

Why did I not tell the story far and wide, when earlier, a poverty-stricken young woman by the name of Petra had trusted Christ? Was she not important enough? Her situation was so different from the very religious widow who wanted to give me her idols.

When I heard the town gossip about Petra and her terminal illness I decided to visit her. Local gossipers assumed her slow death was because God would not allow her to die until she had confessed some grave sins. Although she could no longer speak, she seemed so glad to see me. Someone had told me that, as a child, Petra had attended Bible classes. I sang to her: “He did not come to judge the world, It was to save He came.” She responded affirmatively with a nod. I left her with a John 3:16 text.

Those in her room at the moment of her death said she refused to have the priest come to her room to perform the ‘last rites’ but instead pulled something out from under her pillow. She pointed to the John 3:16 text and then, with a smile, pointed upwards. They said she died in peace.

All souls are of equal value in God’s sight.

“In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand: for thou knowest not which shall prosper.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6). "Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9).

“…So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a very humbling article. Thank you