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Overheard Evangelistic Effort

Heard a guy “witnessing” today about the Gospel.  He spoke about “grace” saying it was “God’s unconditional love expressed in Jesus.”

The other guy was very receptive.  “I really needed to hear that God unconditionally loves me after the week I have had.  I have always loved Jesus.”

Then the evangelist guy said, “To get this grace you have to…”

The laundry list of proper words, actions, confessions, and doctrines were presented (seriously, the guy brought up the Virgin Birth, Inerrancy, a particular prayer formula).

The response, “I thought this love was unconditional!”

Evangelist guy:  “God’s love is unconditional, as long as you meet certain conditions.”

I tracked down the witnessee fellow.

“I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation!  I heard what you said:  ‘I really needed to hear that God unconditionally loves me after the week I have had.  I have always loved Jesus.'”

I continued: “I just wanted you to know that God does love you onconditionally.  I am so happy to know that you love Jesus, too.  That’s a great response to what God has done.  All God wants (and it it not a condition, but a gift) is for you to let him keep loving you as you.  Your response to Jesus certainly cover that.”

Right then and there the guy asked me to pray for him (he was in the YMCA).  He wept and told me about his wife leaving him and his daughter finding out she had AIDS.  He was broken hearted and needed somebody to listen, love, and assure him of grace.

We both prayed.  He thanked Jesus for loving him and forgiving him and accepting him.

I then tried to find the other guy.  Following him around and correcting the message he was preaching with the gospel is a calling all by itself.

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