Oh how I get excited to see people zealous for God like me, but it breaks my heart to know that some of these extremely zealous people think that they need to go boldly in public to a secular environment with their Bible in one hand, a large sign in the other hand to draw attention, and proceed to stand there and yell at strangers. If that is truly God’s call for them, who am I to say it is wrong? But honestly, I have a hard time seeing that God intended for us in today’s world to stand there and yell at passersby telling them that they are being condemned to hell. Isn’t God the God of love? Almost everyone familiar with God’s Word is familiar with the “Love” chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. I highly doubt that someone who really needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ will be able to hear God’s lifesaving message through very loud noise (like a clanging cymbal) from words such as “You are going to hell!!!!” I am sure that some being yelled at might even feel threatened that they will get beaten down with the Bible.
Apparently, this is what is happening at the community college campus that I attend on a part-time basis. I have not observed this kind of behavior myself, but I recently read a disturbing review written by a female student who stated that she would have given the college a five star review if only authorities did a better job at protecting students. She mentioned some important issues that need addressing by campus security, but the one that really got my attention and saddened my heart is when she stated that she did not feel safe from those that she termed “Prophets of Doom” who are allowed on campus waving their Bibles in one hand, holding signs in the other, and yelling out condemnation to her and others walking by.
My heart hurts at the thought of that because how in the world can that possibly help draw people to Christ? I want people to have reverential fear of the Lord, but I do not want them to fear Him in a way that they will not run to Him. That is what happened to me when I was little and I ran away from God almost my entire life. Most of you know my life almost ended in drunkenness and depression, but God came to my rescue and I am grateful that no one ever yelled at me because I would have kept running away until I died with never accepting Christ into my heart.
I believe that there is a better way to preach the good news without yelling at people. Nothing sounds good through yelling. I live my life today looking for opportunities to win hearts for Christ. I look for guidance from God for what to speak, whom to speak with, and when to speak it. Sometimes a heart may not be ready and I have a good chance of scaring people away if I run ahead of God. I do not want to do that. I want God to use me to draw hearts into His light of grace. I want to share my own story of the great lifesaving things God has done in me. He literally brought me from death to life and that is the message that I want to share. It is part of the greatest true love story ever told in the Bible and I am always ready to share it – when He makes a way for me to do so.
Judgement day is not here yet and didn’t Jesus say Himself that He did not come to condemn the world, but came to save it? Then why are some of us condemning people causing them to run away while there is still time for them to turn to Jesus?! I may sound naive and I guess I am as a fairly new Christian of less than seven years, but I am praying for those zealous people to open the eyes of their hearts and try a new way. Besides, how can we love anybody like Jesus if we are too busy condemning them? I do not believe we can. I have heard others get so caught up in saving souls that they forget that it is Jesus, and only Jesus, who does the saving. Let’s all seek God for guidance first because too many lost souls are at risk of being lost forever.
I certainly do not want to be known as a prophet of doom, but a messenger of God’s great love. Thanks for listening. There’s so much more I can say, but instead, I just want to pray. Pray with me?
Ah, truly, love never fails…thank You, Jesus. ♥