I met a man who reminded me of what Bible characters might have looked like, with a long, conservative looking beard. As I began my canvass I noticed that he had a huge bookcase full of books, so I made a comment about it and asked if he loved to read. He told me that he loved reading and then began describing all the kinds of books that interested him. I immediately pulled out The Great Controversy and held it out to him. He glanced at it and looking back at me, said, “I already have it.”
I was surprised and blurted out, “Oh! Are you a Seventh-Day Adventist?”
He said, "well, if you would put me into any category or particular denomination I would have to say that I am Adventist because the truths they believe in are closest to what the Bible teaches." Then he continued saying, “I used to go to the Adventist Church but I don’t any more..."
I asked him, “Why did you stop attending church?”
He said that he was tired of all the hypocrisy that was in the church—people saying all the right things in church, but then living like the rest of the world. He said, "If people really love Jesus they would be out here doing what you are doing, going door-door. That’s how you know if your a true christian!”
At the prompting of God’s spirit I responded, “It’s really easy to make judgment calls about others, but what about our own lives? Are we holding ourselves to the same standard we require of them?” It was like a light bulb turned on inside him, and he started to think about that.
He told me that this was one of the best conversations he had had in a long time. I encouraged him to go back to church and be united in the body of Christ. Then, I took half of the tracts I had in my bag and said, "I don't want to leave you empty handed, so here’s a job for you to do. Share these Bible tracts with anyone you meet. Be a witness for Jesus like you have been saying that true Christians do."
Experiences like these remind me why I’m doing this work. Not only is it to reach the unchurched, but we also to ignite a desire in Christians to share their faith. As college students you get the idea that you don’t know much yet, and can’t do much until you’re older or more educated. But God can use me no matter what stage of life I’m in—He just needs me to be willing!
“Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near...”
They’re ready, all we need to do is go out and invite them to join us.
By Reina Navarrete
Northwest Mission Institute Student