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It’s inherent: Urgent news demands telling!


Jul 6, 2005 - Steven Prine, one of our WCM Cadre members, tells a story that, I believe, capsules all the reasoning why we should hustle to take the Gospel to the streets.  These are his words: “Five years ago a minister told me of a night when he was visiting an elder’s home when someone knocked at the door.  Answering the door, he saw two young men in white shirts and ties. After just a minute or two of conversation the elder excused himself, asking, “Could you please hold on and let me go get my Bible?” Running to his bedroom, he retrieved his Bible and, getting back to the front door, he said, ‘Now that I have the Bible, let me show you what God says about getting to Heaven!’  Before he could say anything else, one of the young men said, ‘First, may I ask you a question?’ ‘Sure,’ said the elder. ‘Well,’ the young man paused, ‘If you have the Word of God and how one gets to Heaven, then how come I am at your door and you are not at mine?’”

Words that lead to eternal life.  Are you persuaded you have them?  If you are, then, isn’t the question obvious here: Are they locked up, hidden in a box, there between two leather covers on your table in your home, in your office, on that pulpit?  If so, why so?“How is the church going?” ask one Christian, only to hear another say, “Oh, it’s doing well if you count doing well the number of, ‘How awfuls,’ and ‘we shouldas,’ ‘couldas’ and ‘wouldas.’”There is an old Apache proverb that says, “It is better for lightening in hand than thunder in mouth!”In a Bible class we heard an elder, the teacher, speak it right; he said, “When it comes to winning souls, it should cost us our convenience.”  Well said!  But then came the stinger. He said what methinks tattles on too many a philosophy among us.  He said, “When they ask us, we should drop everything and answer.” “When they ask us …”The first two letters in Gospel are GO!  Gospel means good news, whatever that news may be.  It’s inherent.  When we have good news, we are to do the jumping!  And that is true especially when it leads to life in the face of harm or death!  We are to take the initiative!  We are not to wait until they knock our door, until they ask us anything!  The Lord says we are the ones to “hop to it!” If you have something that’s good news, why wouldn’t you want to tell it!  But, actually, that is true whatever the news, if it is urgent!  When it is either life threatening or life saving, that is urgent news!  Ask CNN.  Ask Fox News.  Whether it be a “weather alert” or the latest “breaking news,” “it’s the nature of the beast!”  Telling it is not only natural, it is the only right thing to do!Both the Cheyenne and the Sioux (or Lakotas) heard their scouts, or criers as some called them, running to tell their people Custer and his soldiers were coming that fateful day of June 25, 1876, at the Little Bighorn. “They are not carrying a white flag with the American flag,” they informed them, meaning Custer was not coming in peace.  A Cheyenne scout saw Custer and his troops coming,” says Albert Longjaw, telling the stories passed down from his grandfather, Charles Limpy, who fought in the battle. “There’s a lot of dust out there!” he said.  So, as Yellow Horse, Sioux chief and crier, announced, “Get ready for battle!”  Then, it was Crazy Horse, after crossing in front of the soldiers four times, who turned and said to his warriors, “Hokahey!” or “Let’s go!” or “Hurry!  Hurry!” And into battle they hurried.What if there had been no scouts?  No “criers?”  What if there had been none running to tell others the urgent news?  The victory would have probably been the opposite call and history very different.  But, the point is, it is inherent; urgent news demands telling!  It is the natural thing to do!“This day is a day of good news,” said those four lepers in 2 Kings 7.  That life-threatening famine in Samaria drove them into the camp of the Syrians, looking for food.  When they got there, they found the LORD had already been there.  He had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses; the noise of a great army.  Those enemies of the Lord said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” Therefore, they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact; their tents, their horses, and their donkeys; and they fled for their lives.  And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.  Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right.”And they weren’t!  They weren’t doing even what is natural.  They were selfish.  Self interferes with the natural.It’s inherent.  Urgent news demands telling.And to say, “Telling the Good News of Jesus on the streets won’t succeed in growing churches,” or “Door knocking doesn’t work,” is not truth.  We have discovered in this work over the last nearly 30 years that, nationally, one person is at home out of every three doors we knock; of those at home, one out five will sit and listen to the Good News of Jesus!  And among those who listen, one of four is prompted to obey the Gospel to be saved.  At this writing, in our present and ongoing We Care Campaign in Indiana, today we had 12 teams of three on each team out and on the streets; out of those, we conducted 11 Bible studies; out of those we saw four souls baptized into Christ and another was restored to Jesus and His family, the church.  Those numbers are actually better than our average national stats.

The young man said it right that day.  Though shaming he was.  Though humiliating, he was right.  To capture his words, “If (we) have the Word of God and how one gets to Heaven, then how (can we wait for someone to come to our) door and (we) are not at (his)?’”