Ministry is not just about salvation, but the salvation of the lost is very much a part of what ministry is about. For the weeks preceding my coming to the Lord, there were different people that witnessed to me by their actions. I was in a county jail and a pastor visited me. A few weeks later, I was in a hospital and the same pastor visited me. A few other people spoke with me about the Lord and not one of these people accused me. It was obvious that the life style I was living was not something these people believed to be right, but not one pointed out my ungodly life style. I think it was the way these people carried themselves that allowed me to know that there really is such a thing as being a Christian. If they had accused me I would have thought them to be a bunch of hypocrites and not accepted a word they said.In those days, it wasn't a problem of having messed up doctrine because I really didn't have doctrine. I was 24 and only had been in a church a few times in my life. My perspective on people who called themselves Christians was that they were all hypocrites. It was the gentleness of these new people that the Lord brought into my life that allowed me not to label these new people as hypocrites. It was their gentleness towards me in my obvious sin condition that witnessed to me and not their words.A few weeks after the hospital stay, a few of these people invited me to go to a Christ Ambassadors Convention and I went along. At the convention, God brought to me the reality of hell and heaven. It was pointed out that the answer for my sin condition was by believing on the offering for my sin that Jesus paid for at the cross. I responded to an altar call and from there on out prayed, read the word, went to church and grew in the Lord.If it wasn't for the demonstration of love by those few people and their not accusing me, I doubt if I would have ever come to the Lord.
It was obvious that the life style I was living was not something these people believed to be right, but not one pointed out my ungodly life style.
Thanks Gary and Diane,This thread is beginning to overlap "preaching to sinners vs. saints" but the bottom line is that it is the "goodness of God that leads men to repentance."Shout it from the housetops Gary.Love will prevail.Jeff