Evangelism. It is a word that strikes fear into quite a few people, Christian and non-Christian alike.
But evangelism is nothing to fear. In fact, as Christians we are called to spread the Gospel. If you have spent more than ten minutes reading the New Testament, its a pretty apparent little factoid. But what most people don’t get is that we are called to spread the Gospel outside of the church. In fact, no-where in the New Testament do I find that I am supposed to bring people to church for them to hear the Gospel. I do, however, find plenty of Biblical examples of folks bringing the Gospel to the public at large.
As believers, bringing the Gospel to Christian and non-Christians outside of the four walls of the church is something we are all supposed to be doing.
Even bringing that Gospel to devil worshipers.
Because, man, in my experience, God really loves devil worshipers.
Evangelism 101: God loves devil worshipers
Don’t let a person’s expectation, or lack thereof, intimidate you. The Holy Spirit is a big boy. And it is all about Him anyway. It’s not about me. And not about you.
So Mr. Mohawk says its okay for us to pray.
And so we do.
Stephen and I don’t make bold proclamations standing on top of park benches. We don’t hold up signs. I don’t yell at Mr. Mohawk through a megaphone. I merely sit down next to him, put my hand on his shoulder…and pray.
With my eyes open.
Two young dudes in conversation, looking each other eye to eye. No one else is the wiser. We don’t stick out like sore thumbs. No one goes looking through their smart phone for Bible verses. Just two guys chatting.
Now understand, we know Mr. Mohawk’s name at this point. But I’m not going to broadcast his name into internet land. Because, let me tell ya, the Lord began to give me a serious download on this guy. As we give Mr. Mohawk a short thirty second prayer, all of a sudden, the Lord begins to tell me quite a bit about him. He tells me that Mr. Mohawk has serious father issues, that he has been homeless for some time yet follows his parents around as they move from town to town, constantly looking for acceptance (yet is constantly rejected due to his own rebellion, anger and orphan mentality), that he dropped out of high school his senior year, battles a drug addiction that has gotten so severe that he is huffing gasoline out of desperation when he can’t find the money for a quick fix, that there was physical and sexual abuse in his past and that due to some of these issues, he cuts and burns himself. He was saved at a young age and attended church with his family, but due to judgment and condemnation within the church, turned away from the faith long ago. And the list went on.
Now I didn’t tell Mr. Mohawk everything I saw. I am a firm believer that you don’t tell someone you are praying for everything you are given about them. If I told Mr. Mohawk all of this bad stuff that I saw, doubtless, he would have gotten a little freaked out.
I mean, some of you are freaking out right now just reading this. And its okay. Let that religious spirit just fly on away.
I wasn’t there to prove to Mr. Mohawk how I feel God speaks to me, or that He speaks to me at all. This was all about Mr. Mohawk. After all, why in the world would the Lord give me all this information? Did He do it so I could hold it up in front of Mr. Mohawk to make him feel like crap? No. Of course not. But what the Lord DID do was give me a roadmap for my less than a minute prayer.
Write this down and burn it into your heart. If you have an evangelistic calling on your life, or shoot, if you just want to be a decent human being, realize that it doesn’t take a Christian to point out the trash in someone. The world does a good enough job of that. Every time this guy looks in the mirror, because he doesn’t know his identity in the Lord, he sees what the world says about him.
It DOES take a Christian man, however, to pull out the gold in someone the world doesn’t think deserves it.
Remember the calling of Levi? If you don’t, you should look that up.
Seriously. You need to look that up right now.
Now back to Mr. Mohawk…
The Lord began to show me what He thought about Mr. Mohawk: that he gave Mr. Mohawk a compassionate heart, a sensitive longing for something greater in himself and in others, a creative ability with an emphasis on writing- poetry, lyrics and song. That he was even given a prophetic ability to write things that were on the Lord’s heart. And then the Lord showed me how the enemy slipped in during his adolescence and twisted these things through abuse and anger. And how the enemy perverted and subverted the giftings and anointing of a man destined to harvest souls for the Kingdom of God in an attempt to drive this young man to the brink of suicide.
His gifting was so great, the enemy wanted him to be destroyed.
So I prayed for another fifteen seconds. Short. Sweet. To the point. And I told him who God created him to be and who God said he was. A rifle shot to the heart with a Father’s love.
And with that, the Spirit of the Lord dropped, altering the atmosphere of downtown Wilmington, NC. We had claimed this corner of downtown, inserted a stake in the ground, and God’s love was flowing free.
Tears brimmed in Mr. Mohawk’s eyes. His hands shook. The breath caught in his throat. He lit another cigarette and took a long drag.
In this moment, maybe for the first time in his life, Mr. Mohawk finally saw what his real Father actually thought about him, in spite of everything he had ever done wrong, in spite of every misstep, in spite of every perceived failure. He felt the love his Father had for him.
By this point, people were starting to notice that something amazing was going on. Another man had come up out of curiosity, and Stephen quickly ministered to him while Mr. Mohawk had his moment with the Lord. Nothing was going to ruin this moment. Nothing. I told Mr. Mohawk about Jesus’ extravagant love for him, about His radical pursuit of his heart, and how soon, he would see exactly just how much he was loved.
It was beautiful.
The idea that love takes time is erroneous. After all, God is outside of time. And God is love.
It took no more than a minute. Just sixty seconds. 1/1,440th of a beautiful day down by the river.
No time at all really.
It wasn’t about converting him. It wasn’t about trying to get Mr. Mohawk to pray some salvation prayer that you cannot find anywhere in the Bible (what, you didn’t know there wasn’t a salvation prayer in the Bible?).
It wasn’t about putting a feather in my cap in trying to win a soul to the Kingdom to make myself feel like I had done “my job” or that I could get a bigger crown in Heaven.
It was about spreading the simplicity of the Gospel.
It was about planting a seed and watering the parched soil with love.
It was about letting a young man whom most people believe is a lost cause know that he is being pursued by Radical Love, and that he IS loved. And when he’s ready, the Father will be there waiting with open arms, ready to put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
A Father ready to welcome him home.
Time is precious. Every day, as Christians, we are the difference between life and death for someone, somewhere. The Gospel was never meant, never designed, to be confined to a pulpit.
But to Mr. Mohawk, in that moment, that 1/1440th of a day was an eternity. At the conclusion of a short prayer of telling this young man how much he was loved by the Trinity that created him, the guy who was used to intimidating others with his jean jacket and purple mohawk reached over and clasped my hands in his, tears falling down his face. He said thank you, that he felt so blessed just to be in this place.
And as I stood up and patted Mr. Mohawk on the back, trying not to draw public attention to this intimate moment on a bench in the center of downtown, the Lord showed me the surprise that He had for me.
As I lifted my hand from his shoulder, for the first time, what was stitched into the back of Mr. Mohawk’s jacket came into view.
It was a wild scene: 13 upside down pentacles were sewn in blood red onto a black background. In the center of the jacket, a naked woman was stretched out on an altar with a menacing figure in robes standing above her. A baphomet pentacle (goat head in an upside down five pointed star) patch was sewn in as well, and for the piece de resistance, “lord satan” was stitched in above the patch.
That’s right. The Father had illuminated a young, purple haired and mohawked devil worshiper to Stephen and I …just so the Father could tell his lost son how much he loved him.
And man, that kid got wrecked.
What God thinks of His children is greater than what we think
You see, it’s our Father’s desire that all men come to him. Even devil worshipers, satanists, witches, hindu, sikh, athiests, muslims and buddhists. And they are just as worthy of His love as I am and you are.
He wants their hearts healed.
Now, hear my heart. I’m not saying that the Lord thinks that they are okay in living the lifestyles that they are. They aren’t. But scripture tells me that He sent his Son for the world. And if the worth of something is established by the price that is paid for it, Heaven paid the ultimate price through Jesus Christ to bring this young man home! God believes this young man is worthy of His love.
And before you get high and mighty and say “well this young man is guilty of too much to feel the Father’s love,” step down off your high horse, remove the plank from your eye and realize that we all are just as guilty as this young man. After all, according to the Law, if you violate JUST ONE of the six hundred and thirteen laws and Ten Commandments, you are guilty of violating them all.
Good thing Jesus came to fulfill the Law, and when we believe in Him, the condemnation of the Law is removed. The Holy Spirit gets to convict the world of its sin.
Get over it. God doesn’t need enforcers. He needs laid down lovers.
My job is to bring Mr. Mohawk the good news. After that, the choice is his.
I have no doubt that this young man is going to come to know the love of the Father through Jesus. All I did was just help to give him a taste. And the love of God is better than any high you can get from anything of this world. Trust me. I know. Much of my adult life was spend addicted to something or other. Pleasures of this world are mere shadows for what He desires to give us.
Not only that, but now that young man has a choice.
He may not make it today.
He may not make it tomorrow.
But eventually, he will.
The seed of God’s love has been planted in his heart. He is marked with God’s love.
In his darkest moments he may recall the day two young guys came up to him and asked to pray for him. He will recall how the simple words of two men spoke to his heart, how one of those men, through the Lord, could seemingly read the darkest places of his heart and mind, but didn’t hold it against him. But on top of that, even when that man that prayed for him realized that he had an affinity for the darkness, he didn’t freak out. That man didn’t “take everything back” and run to the hills or didn’t make the sign of the cross and try to cast out demons. He merely leaned in closer and said “Jesus loves you bro. He’s madly in love with you. No matter what you think you have done, the Holy Spirit is a big boy and loves furiously. And when you are ready, He’s going to show you.”
No sales pitch.
Did you get that?
Let me say it again: No sales pitch. No church pitch. Just Truth. Just Love. Because Truth and Love is not an idea. It is a Person.
When he’s ready, the Lord will bring him to a church. But first he needs to know the Church (capital -C-) loves him.
God is bigger than my thoughts. Bigger than my ego. Bigger than the church I attend. Bigger than the church you attend. Bigger than my need to prove how great He is. Bigger than my need to be right.
So who am I to try and limit Him in who He wants to love on? God DOES have a plan to change the world, you know. Want to know what the plan is?
So today, when you go out to do your Christmas shopping, go to fill up the gas tank, or take out the garbage, realize that the people you see…realize the Lord loves them as much as He loves you.
And its your destiny as a Christian to let them know it.
And that, my friends, is how to spread the Gospel. Even to devil worshipers.
The simplicity of the Gospel. Just Jesus. 100%.
This won’t be the last time Stephen and I speak with our new friend. Of that you can be assured. And I know the road won’t be easy for him. But I know this…no one who gets a taste of Real Love can ever go back to anything else. For love isn’t an aspect of our God. God is love
Peace be with you.
And as always, please comment and share, even if you disagree.