But Was It a Waste of Time?

Sometimes we wonder if our witnessing is having any effect. Mark Cahill shares this short little story in his book One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven:

It's important to keep in mind that repetition is very valuable in witnessing. I heard recently that it takes an average of 7.6 times for people to hear the Gospel before they commit their life to Jesus. And you don't know if your conversation with someone is going to be number 1, 5, 6, or 75! God could be sending you to follow up on what someone else has done in that person's life. The key is to be faithful. First Corinthians 3:6 says, "I have planted, Apollos watered: but God gave the increase." Some of us plant seeds, some water the seeds, but only God is able to make those seeds grow.

Have you considered that this might be the perfect time for an individual to hear the Gospel? Because of circumstances in that person's life, today might be the day that God sends you to have a conversation with that friend or stranger. The person may have heard it before, but timing is very important.

A few years ago, I was witnessing to a man in an Atlanta mall who told me, "you are the eighth person this year to talk to me about Jesus Christ." He had apparently been thinking a lot on the issue, and recalled exactly how many people he had chatted with about it.

One time I approached three guys at a mall in Dallas and asked them, "If you died tonight, are you 100-percent assured that you would go to Heaven?" All three gave me an immediate no as they turned to walk away. I quickly handed each one a tract, and they were gone. After they had walked away I wondered, Lord, what was the point of that conversation?

About thirty minutes later, one of them walked up to me an said, "About two minutes after you approached us, I stopped dead square in the mall and asked myself the question, 'If I died tonight in a car accident going down Emerson Road in Dallas, am I 100-percent assured that I would go to Heaven?' And my answer was 'no.' I began at that moment to pray to God."

After he prayed, he came and found me. We sat down and had a thirty-minute conversation. This happened in late January, and his New Year's resolution had been to leave the homosexual lifestyle. We talked about how to repent of sin and to start living for God. You will be amazed at what God can do when you just faithfully plant seeds. What I initially thought was a waste of time; turned out to be perfect timing in that young man's life.

As believers, we all know we should tell others about the Lord, but we often don't know how. This practical book, One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven, will give you ideas for starting conversations, examples of witnessing situations, and answers to common questions. It will help motivate and equip you to reach both friends and strangers for Jesus for the rest of your life!

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