If you live in a metro area, you’ve probably seen someone with a salvation sign – you know, the person stands on a corner, much like a pan handler might, with a sign that says something about “Jesus Saves” or “Hell is real” or something to that effect. I have always wondered if any one ever “sees the light” because of their efforts. I’m pretty quick to remind myself that everyone thought John the Baptist was a lunatic because he ate locusts and stuff, so I try to not label these people as crazy…but are the effective?
Quite honestly, I have to say that yes, as a matter of fact, they are. Let me tell you what happened this morning while I was taking my two younger boys to school…
The older of the two read the salvation sign, out loud, moments after I had read it to myself. Sitting at a red light, I’m wondering about the effectiveness of this style of spreading the gospel, while my two boys begin a tirade of questions. Guess what? I was very tempted to issue the “hush, eat your doughnuts” decree, when I realized that the younger of the two had just asked me what hell is.
He’s 5 years old. How do you say to a 5 year old that there is a place of eternal damnation, away from God, and the torment there is beyond our comprehension? I heard the voice of our Pastor say “Heaven is not the default destination, hell is…” and I realized I could not mince words, tread lightly, or sugar coat the hard truth here. These boys have to know that being separated from God forever would be AWFUL.
So I proceeded, explaining, and wincing, that hell is a lake of fire, where you burn and feel it, forever, away from God. That it is not a good place. And the only way to avoid it is Jesus. And my older boy said “Like when we talk about having Jesus in our hearts and His blood making us white as snow?” Exactly. I reminded them that they both have made bad choices, which is disobedience, which is sin and that separates us from God.
And I winced and cringed and tears readied themselves to pour down my cheeks…because it is really hard to admit that my boys are sinners. I know I am, but these are just children and that whole “born into sin” thing is a little hard to wrap my mommy-brain around. And it’s really hard to admit that their disobedience is sin…really really hard. But I didn’t see my kids shrinking from this message, I heard questions about how to get Jesus in our hearts, and how to go to heaven, and I got to talk to them about how big of a decision that is, and what a commitment it is to live for Christ…but there is no better way, of this I am convinced.
They were in a hurry to go inside once we reached the school, and my heart and mind were torn between letting them go, and spending more time talking about it before we prayed for their salvation (something they both said they wanted to do) tonight, when we weren’t rushing, or letting it be a rushed prayer, because I didn’t want them to spend one second longer without having prayed that prayer. I let them go without praying, and prayed that I hadn’t made the wrong choice…they still had questions, but had become so distracted by their desire to go into school that I let them go.
And to think, this conversation…and the biggest decision my boys will ever make, came because someone had the courage to stand on the corner with a sign that proclaims the gift and necessity of salvation…yep, it takes all kinds to reach people for the glory of God!
Have you ever been impacted by something or someone that maybe appeared “crazy”?