Oh how this goes so deep into our hearts, as there are many reading this sermon who are longing and crying out for the salvation of loved ones, not the least among them old hardened sinners who have not repented and believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If I have heard it once, I heard it hundreds of times, “Pastor, would you please pray for my father who is nearing the end, for he is not saved.” There is nothing so filled with love and pathos as a cry like that.
I am sure you also have heard it all before, nothing really new. Statements like, “What’s the big rush? There is plenty time for things like that. My intention is to someday do this, but not right now. There are a lot things I want to be able to do first, and then I will consider what you are telling me. I have to think about it for awhile, I just need more time. The time needs to be right, and this is not the time. I’ll probably get around to it some day, but right now I just can’t. I hope you understand.” If I have heard these delay tactics once, I have heard them a hundred times throughout my life.
It happened not too long ago to my wife when witnessing to a precious woman of the world, and my wife asked her to pray the sinner’s prayer and give her life to Christ. She said with tears flowing down her cheeks, “I just can’t right now.” But if not now, then when? That is the pressing issue that we face in people’s lives again and again.
God has a great plan for your life. Or if you will, God wants you to discover His purpose and plan for your life. The primary message of modern Christianity that has taken over the church and media pulpits is that of purpose discovery and goal setting to realize your life’s meaning.
The “purpose fetish” has become so permeating and pervasive, that children now are no longer rebellious or sinful, but rather, they are simply mis-purposed and misguided. That would have been so helpful to know when as naughty neighborhood kids we set dog-poo filled bags on fire on neighbor’s front steps, and threw eggs at their storm doors during Halloween. We weren’t really bad kids, just misdirected. What a relief!
Bar none, the bigger-than-life character in the Bible that I relate to the most is the man that we all know as “John the Baptist.” Since the Robin Williams film Mrs. Doubtfire, I did cop the name from that film and have affectionately renamed my favorite Bible character John the Baptist-Johnny Doubtfire, and why will become clear later. I can’t wait to meet Johnny Doubtfire in Heaven one day soon. I feel as an evangelist particularly close to Johnny Doubtfire who was really the Old Testament’s last prophet and the New Testament’s first evangelist. A prophet-evangelist like none other before him and like none after him! The likes of him is rare in this day and age. The world and the church are deteriorating because of the great lack of the likes of Johnny Doubtfire.