We can follow Jesus’ steps by using the darkest night of the year, Halloween, as a way to shine the brightest of all lights—the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. We can turn the tables on the enemy.
April 5, 2023
There was a sound that was heard 2,000 years ago by no one but God. It was the tiny thump of a single heartbeat in the body of the Son of God. Minuscule though it was, it reverberated like thunder throughout the universe, with eternal implications. Jesus said that He had the power to raise Himself from death (John 10:18), and He did. That heartbeat was evidence that what He said on the cross was finished (John 19:30) was indeed finished. His sacrifice had satisfied the wrath of the Law and flung open the once-barred everlasting doors. The King of Glory could now grant immortality to the sons and daughters of Adam.
Ten million trumpets would fall short of proclaiming the greatness of this event. How, then, could we ever do it justice when sharing it with the lost? The answer is that God knows our weakness, and He can guide the arrow of the truth of the resurrection right into the hearts of our hearers. He can give our words thrust as we preach the simple truth of Christ, Him crucified, and the glory of what followed three days later.
Easter is an opportune time of the year for any Christian who cares about the lost. This is because it isn’t only a celebration of the greatest event in human history. It is also a legitimate opportunity to talk to the lost. It’s a national celebration, when the blind world talks about eggs and other meaninglessness. Nevertheless, it’s an excuse for us to ask them if they know what Easter is really about and why it’s so important.
“Easter is an opportune time of the year for any Christian who cares about the lost. This is because it isn’t only a celebration of the greatest event in human history. It is also a legitimate opportunity to talk to the lost.”
Easter is the time when we see visitors come to church—visitors who wouldn’t normally darken the door. Some go out of a sense of religious duty. Others go to please a spouse or a child who has asked them. Nevertheless, they go, giving the preacher a God-given opportunity to proclaim the unspeakably good news of the gospel.
But how can that be done on the street, over a neighboring fence, or in a church building without undue offense? I say “undue” because we know the cross has a natural offense. But there’s reason for that natural offense.
Think of a doctor who has a patient in front of him who believes he is healthy. The doctor has seen X-rays and knows that the man has just two weeks to live. He has a cure on his desk, but should he give the patient the cure immediately, or should he first show him the X-rays? If he knows what he’s doing and cares for the well-being of the patient, he will hold back from giving him the cure. This is because the patient will understandably reject it if he believes he is healthy. Instead, the doctor should show him the X-rays and deliberately point out the poison seeping through his system. He should do this until his patient becomes deeply concerned and even fearful about his condition. Once that happens, he’s ready for the cure. He will now appreciate it and appropriate it—because he has been made aware of his disease.
When we tell the lost that Jesus died on the cross, it’s foolishness to them (1 Corinthians 1:18). It doesn’t make sense because we’re giving them the cure without first convincing them of the disease.
There Is a Way
There’s the old adage that we can lead a horse to water, but we can’t make him drink. This sounds right, but it isn’t true—because we can salt his oats. And there’s a way to salt the oats of sinners and cause them to desire the good news of the gospel. Human beings are unique in creation in that God has placed eternity in their hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Something in them cries out for immortality. They don’t want to die. Scripture tells us that they are haunted by the fear of death all their lifetime (Hebrews 2:14-25). The way to salt the oats is to address their will to live. This is the phrase I use regularly when talking to unbelievers: “In the Old Testament, God promised to destroy death, and in the New Testament, we are told how He did it.” What sane human being isn’t going to be interested in that?
“When we tell the lost that Jesus died on the cross, it’s foolishness to them (1 Corinthians 1:18). It doesn’t make sense because we’re giving them the cure without first convincing them of the disease.”
Think of how a waitress approaches the table of important businessmen. She walks up and boldly says, “May I take your order?” She’s bold because she knows she has what they want: food. And we must be bold because we know that we have what this world desperately wants: immortality. We have everlasting life in Jesus Christ. If only they knew that, they would plead with us to share the gospel. This is what Jesus said to the woman at the well: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).
Don’t let this opportunity pass you by this Easter. When you speak to the lost, address their will to live. Jesus said that the harvest is ready (Matthew 9:37). People are ready to come to Christ. Our problem is that the laborers are few. Change that this Easter.