There is a line from a movie that speaks volumes to the idea of the desires of man, “Look, but don’t touch, touch, but don’t taste, taste, but don’t swallow.” It is of course what is considered representative of the precepts of God towards those who would follow Him, it is how the world sees what being a Christian means, denial, guilt, and fear.
It is difficult to witness to the lost, they want, and they want continuously, they are satisfied for only short periods of time in their lives, they are nearly always pursuing, and rarely if ever do they find the completeness of what it is they are searching for. The reason that some I believe are more adept, if you will, at witnessing to the lost is because they too were once lost, as all of course were before they came to the cross and fell on their knees, but these lived in and for the world, and not for a short period of time either.
It is one of the reasons I believe many pastors are inadequate, if you will, when it comes to the area of sin, they have the word and truths of the Scriptures as examples of it, they have the only answer to it, but they have not experienced it, they have not lived a life of sin. Oh, perhaps a foray into it in high school or college, a trip here or there, but they have not willingly dove into and enjoyed thoroughly the pleasures of sin. (Heb. 11:25) They have the concept, but no life application, and so to many that approach them seeking Christ, they seem filled with the right words, but yet hypocritical at the same time, they have looked, but not touched.
Many times when the Lord begins to draw someone to Himself, He does so through those who have experienced the same pitfalls of sin, those who are now called out ones who once lived in the mire, who did not shy away from the temptations and pleasures of the world, but embraced them fully for an extended period of time. They have practical experience in the matter, their words of the saving grace of the Lord can be backed up with the reality of life experiences, they have not only touched, but have tasted the pleasures of sin, many times in their life.
Herein is one of the problems as to why many refuse to spend time with the lost, not extended periods of time, we are not to become a part of their lives while they remain in their sins, the past has shown that the majority of the time the sinner will drag the saint back into the world, we are not to “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) We have been there, many of us know the dark corners quite well, and we will not dishonor the name of the Lord, we will not allow the name of the Lord to be blasphemed by the heathen if there is an opportunity for our actions or words to cause that.
Platitudes are what these individuals hear from many who call Jesus Lord, they will not bring up their past sins as examples of who they were before Christ, either for fear of embarrassment or in the misinterpretation of Ephesians 5:12, “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Or for a host of other reasons, and so the lost are only shown themselves, and my friends, if the Almighty is calling this person, if He has placed them in front of you for a testimony of His saving grace in His Son, then you might want to pay attention here, this moment is no game, this is not a test of your faith or character. “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 10:33)
Many there are in the family of the Lord God who have touched, tasted, and swallowed, many times, and with much passion and delight, it wasn’t just experienced, but experienced to the fullest possibility, it wasn’t waited upon, it was sought out, with vigor and desire, it wasn’t rare moments, it was life itself. “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Luke 7:47)
We are adamant, we are seen as contentious, we have been there, done that, and we will never go back, but we can visit quite easily with those that are still there, and we know the way to the cross, the pitfalls are easily seen, for we have been in them. We happily lead all who will but follow to the One who all will eventually serve one day, we can show them Him that can save them from their sins. Then it is Him that they must follow, as John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
The world does not understand us, it is in fact impossible for them to, (1 Cor. 2:14) but some of us can understand them quite easily, we are well versed in the life of the world, that path was very familiar to us. You have been through the fire before, you can go through it again, for their sake, and for His glory.