In the mid sixties my dad came to faith, trusting Christ for the salvation of his soul.
The saw dust trail....revival services held in a large tent with saw dust laid for the floor. Oh I can still smell the awesome oder, especially when it got a bit damp!
That all started when I was ten. For the next years we follow evangelist Oliver Greene in tent meetings all over the Pennsylvania, Maryland area. During the winter months the revival services were in area churches.
As a boy the preaching of the gospel was so clear. It actually was the power of God unto salvation and I came to Christ myself in a little church in southern Lancaster county when I was twelve. I can still remember that night when the God of creation gave me faith to trust the Gospel for my salvation.
September 10, 1960....an insignificant date accept for the fact that the Gospel is as real to me today as it was then.
As a boy I saw grown men shake, grasp the chair in front of them till their knuckles turn white. And then to see, sometimes people by the 10s and 20s walk weeping that saw dust trail.
I digress......yes the Oliver Greenes, Jay Vernon McGees, Sumner Wemps, Jerry Falwells, James Dobsons, Billy and Franklin Grahams not only taught me the meaning of the gospel but also taught me the importance of sharing the gospel with those God brings into my life. They not only taught me to share the gospel but were a living example themselves of not being ashamed of the gospel.
I must not fail to mention another hero of the faith who touched my life greatly and that was Jack Wertzen who came to faith himself as a result of street evangelism.
Now as I grow older I find I am out of touch. God no longer uses those who confront the "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" crowd. Rather I find that since I am not Jesus I cannot know what a persons need really is. This results in me needing to establish "a relationship" with each individual that will lead them to one day ask me what I have that they don't. I fear that they will never ask since most days they will probably see little in my life that causes them to desire Christ.
But maybe as the surgeon who must give a bad diagnosis and sometimes prognosis so that good health can possibly be achieved, so a person who has been changed by the gospel has an urgency to share the gospel with all who like him are sinners. Today is the day of salvation .....tomorrow we have no assurance of. The bridge is out .....we know that it is....we must warn of pending disaster.
There is no other name give amongst men whereby we must be saved....that name is Jesus
The gospel is indeed good news! It is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe. And the gospel that good news is simply this....the death of Jesus, taking my sin apon Himself , He who knew no sin, the burial of Jesus, 3 days in the grave, and His resurrection.....alive today ....seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for me ....for you if you believe.