Michael Pearl: Vlad told me awhile back he started going around asking people some questions. He asked them this question: "If you don't witness to someone, if you fail to give the gospel to them, will God send somebody else?" He said most everybody he asked said yes. "What if someone is destined to be saved," he said. He said this to the Calvinist. "What if somebody's destined to be saved and you don't share the gospel with them?" They said, "Well, then God will send somebody else." God doesn't depend on you. You don't really have to go, do you? Because somehow, God's going to get it done whether you do it or not. Reluctantly? Well, yeah. God is sovereign and the job will get done.
That's revealing, his little examination. I think that's where most Christians are. Most Christians have fallen to the devil's doctrine of Calvinism, even those who wouldn't call themselves Calvinists. They think that somehow if they don't do the job that God sent the Holy Ghost for us to do, that somehow this sovereign God will get it done some other way.
Vlad asked, "Is it possible for somebody to go to hell that could have been saved, but they just never heard? Is it possible for them to go to hell?" Some people answered one way, some another. If you really believe that people are going to go to hell because you don't tell them, and God's waiting on you—Christ is silent. He's saying ask them that heard me. They'll tell you.
It's your job to tell. I can't tell the people that you meet. The people standing next to you at the gas pump, I can't tell them. You're the only one there at the time. The people that you work with, I can't tell them. You're the only one who can tell them.
Now you know there's all kinds of ways. You can give out gospel tracts. You can give out CDs. I know some Christians keep a briefcase full of everything. They got books, CDs, gospel tracts, sermons, Bibles. They're salesmen. That's their job. They're selling Jesus. They're always ready. They'll talk to somebody, they'll pull out something, and give them something. Got a return address, call me if you need some help.
Every Christian ought to be a salesman for Jesus. You got the best product in the world. Only thing that can save a soul. If you had a product that could cure cancer, wouldn't you be selling people on the idea of using it? Wouldn't you be offering it free and distributing it? If you had a cure for cancer or for any disease for that matter? Well, you've got a cure for what ails people in this world. You ought to be telling it, telling all the time. Don't worry about what they say.
I understand that we don't want to barge in and just be offensive to people. In other words, if you have a manner about you that's going to turn people off, then keep your mouth shut. Don't just walk up to somebody and say, "You're going to hell if you don't repent and believe the gospel." If that makes them mad and they turn away, then it's not the gospel that's offended them; it's you and your manner.
I put in the front of my Bible years ago. "When you treat all people you meet as if they were already members of your church, then you'll start winning them to Christ.” You can't treat a sinner like a sinner if you want to win him to Christ. You have to treat him like a saint. You say, "What do you mean by that?" If you don't love him and care about him, if you don't want him to be your friend, then you're not going to win him to Christ.
You've got to befriend the people you're witnessing to. You've got to care enough about them to bring them into your life. If you don't do that they're not going to . . . If you just stand off throwing the gospel at them, "You need to repent and be saved," then they're not going to want to be a part of your religion. And I don't blame them. I wouldn't either. You have to love them. You have to care. They have to know that. But if the message is what offends them, in other words the resurrection, the crucifixion, the coming of the Holy Spirit, if that's what's offensive, we can't help that.
We'll try to moderate as much as we can to not be offensive, to communicate the message as delicately as possible, but when we can't be delicate, you can always do this.
Yesterday, I was at an auction. I was in this barn with a bunch of power tools. Another old man about my age there, a little bit older. We were looking at these power tools, and I guess the man had died that lived there. It was an estate auction. All their furniture, all their clothes, bed sheets, personal quilts, and all that stuff. Tractors, the whole farm, everything in the house was all being sold, gone like that.
Here's this man with all these power tools, and there's a few pieces of furniture he'd made sitting around. He's gone, so we're looking at the power tools. I said to the old man, "This is where life comes to, isn't it?" He said, "Yeah. You just get all of your tools up." I said, "There comes a time when it doesn't mean anything. Everything that you've done that's meaningful is just sold at auction for nickel on the dollar."
He said, "Yeah, I guess that's where we're all headed, isn't it?" I said, "It is, and you know what matters is where you go afterwards." I said, "You need to know God." Said "If you don't, there's two places. There's a heaven and a hell." I just explained it to him.
Now see, he took that. He took that where he wouldn't have at some other time. That was the right moment, that was the right place. That was the right context to turn that into a challenge to his soul. Can you see that?
Sometimes all you can say is something positive to the person. You're getting gas, and it's a beautiful day. You say, "It's a beautiful day God made, isn't it? I've got 20 grandchildren. They all love God, my wife loves God, we're a Christian family, and God's really blessed us." That can be really impacting on somebody.
Sometimes, you don't have a big window in which to say much. You want to say something that's going to bring them to Christ. It can be a positive message. Some people you might want to be bold with. You might want to say to a guy, "If you died now, where would you go? Would you go to heaven or hell?" And just jump right into it. You have to let the Holy Spirit lead you. That's what he's there for.
I'll stop there, and I hope you don't stop there.