Witnessing God’s Grace for All Sinners
Often in my ministry, I have the incredible opportunity to participate in people getting baptized. In most cases, the person being baptized has experienced some really rough times since I serve in inner-city neighbourhoods. What I love about these baptisms is that each person going under the water has experienced God’s eternal love for them. They are testimonies of God’s immense love for all people at all times and in all circumstances. Each baptism reminds me that at this very second God is at work on every single individual on this planet — drawing them towards his salvation in Christ Jesus. Incredible isn’t it?
I know gang bangers, drug dealers, pimps and more who have come to accept the love of God in Christ Jesus and each one of them will tell you that even in their darkest sins God was working on them because God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (See 1 Timothy 2:4). So, God is busy at work in all people’s souls.
The Apostle Paul said this:
“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
Did you catch that? Paul says; “now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.”
This is true for every person you meet and see. The time is “now” for them to be saved because God’s favour is “now” in their lives.
Let me illustrate how this looks. I know a Pastor who had new neighbours move in next door to them. This Pastor went over with her husband to welcome these newcomers with a steaming hot plate of homemade cookies. In return, the neighbours invited this Pastor and her husband over for dinner that night. While touring the house they were introduced to what the host called their prayer room. Inside this room were candles, strange statues and pictures and an eerie ambience of evil. The host declared that he was a witch and it was here that he prayed to Satan. This began an incredible friendship of a Christian couple and a pagan couple, a Pastor and a witch, living as neighbours in a nice suburban neighbourhood.
One Sunday at church the Pastor got up to make an announcement about the need for a photographer for their church newsletter. To her surprise, sitting at the back of the sanctuary was the witch! It shocked the Pastor to see him at her church. What shocked her more was that at the end of the service he volunteered to be the church photographer. The Pastor was at her wit’s end. Does she allow a witch to be the church photographer? If yes, does she tell the rest of the pastors that their church photographer is a witch? She decided to let this man, witch and all, to be the church photographer.
One day, months later, the witch invited the Pastor out for a coffee to chat about something. It was here, over a cup of java, that he told her that he asked Jesus into his life. He had changed his prayer room to Satan into a prayer room to Jesus! How did he become a Christian? He was moved by the testimony of someone in the church in whom he got to know by taking his picture for the testimony section of the church newsletter!
“Now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.”
This witch was never out of God’s favour, never out of God’s salvation. God was always working on him and in time this witch, in whom most Christians would say is out of God’s grace, came to know of his sin and accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. What a wonderful God we serve!