Telling the story

by Eddie Lyons

The story of Jesus is still compelling. The world still needs the Gospel. This generation needs it. Cultural changes in America have not made our country friendlier to the Gospel, but rather the reverse. More and more people declare themselves atheists. There is an all-out fight against God in public discussions like never before. People are now well educated and at the same time biblically illiterate.

I was teaching a Bible study one Wednesday night and a new couple was attending. Both the husband and his wife were very educated and managers where they work. I casually said as we discussed our passage, “You know the story of the Good Samaritan,” and I was going to make my point when this lady raised her hand and said, “I don’t know the story of the Good Samaritan.”

I tried my best not to act surprised and retold the story, but it left me stunned. I realized how little of the Bible the average person knows these days. Child Evangelism Fellowship reports that 60 to 80 percent of children in America are un-churched. That means most kids have never heard a clear and compelling presentation of the Story. The only thing they know about Jesus and the Gospel and Christianity is what they hear on television and in the movies, and most of those references are just for making fun. If we ever needed to pull together as a group of Christ-followers — especially among our pastors and leaders — to do more, to reach more, now is the time.

John (not his real name) was invited to church by a guy who attends High Street. John is a big guy, towering over me more than six feet tall. He attended church several weeks before I met him. One day the guy who invited him to church came to me and told me John was, in his words, “ripe for the picking.”

I set up a time to visit with him. John told me how this guy kept pestering him to come to church. Usually he was pretty good about refusing these invitations from people, but for some unknown reason, this time John decided to go to church.

And then he said, “When you preached, it was like you were speaking straight to me. Every week I returned, the message was like it was me you were talking to.”

John began to weep. I explained that what he was really feeling was God speaking to him, and I invited him to accept Christ. As we began to pray, he started but could not finish because he was weeping so much. He finally pulled himself together and accepted Christ. He now is in church pretty much every Sunday with his wife and son. This never gets old to me.

Our Fellowship was built on stories like this one thousands of times over. Let’s not let these stories be just a part of our past. Let’s do all we can to work together to keep these stories part of our present and lay a foundation for generations to come.