I would like to set a task before you today, and as it is with nearly all things in our lives, the decision will be completely up to you, very little, speaking generally, is forced upon us in this life. I would like you to start praying about someone, this can be someone you just met, an individual that you have known for a number of years, friend or foe, family member or a new acquaintance, it matters not, there is only one stipulation, and that is that this person is lost, they have yet to accept Christ as Lord, they are still living in open rebellion, in sin, against God. But I would ask that you do more than just pray that they would come to know Him, I would ask that you pray specifically that God would prepare their heart to meet Him thru you, that you would be the instrument of His blessings for them to come to Christ. Kind of puts you on the spot, doesn’t it, it requires effort on you part beyond just the prayers that you are offering up for this lost soul, this unrepentant sinner, it does not allow you to maintain a position of “wait and see,” but one of “go and do.”
This is why I started this letter to you with an open invitation, received invitations do not necessarily require us to accept them, just because you have been invited to the party, does not mean you have to go. If you accept the invitation though, you must prepare yourself to attend it, the clothes you will wear, the time you are expected to arrive, calls made to see if you need to bring something or if just your presence is enough, plans must be made, preparations begun. If you decide to not attend, should you inform the one who invited you of that decision, and if so, should you give an explanation of your reasons for not attending, concerning yourself with the knowledge of whether or not those reasons will seem viable to the one who has invited you. Like I said, the choice is yours, this is not a mandate, it is no more than a suggestion, a way to encourage all who read these letters to perhaps step beyond the boundaries that they have set for themselves in their service to the Lord, to take a step further in faithfulness in their obedience to His will for them.
There is a two-fold blessing that awaits those who would accept this task, your prayer life will find a specific purpose, at least toward this individual, for you are asking the Lord to use you for His glory, to use you to bring this individual to the foot of the cross, and I mean this in no disrespectful way, but salvation is of the Lord, whether this individual acknowledges Christ as Lord is secondary. Of course the desire would be that they would repent of their sins, but it is not the focal point of this letter to you, are you willing to be used in this way is. The second blessing would be upon you personally, for you will have committed a large part of your prayer life in a specific direction, an intentional, sought after purpose for one reason, to draw you closer to Christ. By accepting this task you would need to prepare, for it is you that you are asking the Lord to use, you have accepted the invitation to the party, and you know what you are supposed to bring to it, the Word of God, specifically those verses in the Scripture that can convict a man of his sin, and show him how the One who hung on the cross and rose from the dead is willing to take all those sins from him, and forgive him of them.
You must bring along the entire Roman’s road; “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” (3:23) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (6:23) “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (5:8) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (10:9) The glories of Heaven and the terrible punishment of eternal damnation must be brought along, examples of His grace and mercy, and those who did not heed the call must be a part of your gift to them. You must prepare, if you accept this task, for if it is the Lord’s will, this person that you will pray for and you are going to meet, of this there can be no doubt, and an “I’ll just invite them to church or have them talk to the pastor” is not the objective, your words, the Words of God that you have hidden in your heart, the words that you know to be the Truth, are the ones they need to hear, from you.
There is something also of great importance that you must remember, many times our Lord calls us when we are at the bottom, when there is nowhere left to turn, when He is all that is left. You must prepare yourself with what you will wear to the party, and if past instances serve as preparation for the future, you must put on love, compassion and caring, you must be prepared to grieve with those who are grieving. (Romans 12:15) When we accept the invitation in this area, the Lord prepares the heart of both individuals, the one who has been saved by grace thru faith is preparing to serve his Lord and Master, the one you are preparing to meet, this individual that you have specifically been praying for is also being prepared by the Lord to meet Him, and He meets all of us for the first time at Calvary, where we are shown His suffering, the blood that He spilled for us is seen, and by His stripes we have been healed.
These will be at the bottom, and they will need to know of His love for them, and you will be the one to tell them, the hope is that they will heed the call, honestly, openly and in true repentance, but that is not your responsibility, it is theirs, but you must also prepare for this possible moment, that they may reject Him. You did not have to accept the invitation to the party, you could have declined, and whatever excuse you gave to the one who invited you would be immaterial, the decision to attend or not was completely in your control, but you must know this, with or without you, the party will happen, and it will begin right on time, the door will be closed to all who choose not to attend.
Far too many are willing to lead people to Christ who will not warn them of the consequences if they refuse the invitation, they will speak of His perfect love, but not of His perfect justice, they will expound on the wonders of Heaven but not the eternal torment of the lake of fire. If you are willing to accept this task, you must be prepared to speak of the entirety of the Word of God, they must be told not only of the loving Savior, but of the Righteous Judge of the whole world, the baby born in the manger, and the One who will cast the unrighteous into hell. The decision is theirs, just as it was yours, you are simply a messenger, an ambassador of the Kingdom. Prepare your heart for one of two paths, either they will join you at the party, or they will choose to remain outside of the door, your heart must accept the Will of God no matter which path they choose.
Again my friends, you do not have to do this, perhaps the Lord has you busy enough with other work that He has placed before you, if so praise God, do it as unto the Lord, (Col. 3:23) but if you accept this task, if He lays a particular person on your heart, remember this, when you get up off your knees in prayer for this individual, you must then prepare your heart to go, to meet them, to speak with them, but do not expect it all to happen at once, the Lord was patient with us before we heeded the call, be patient with them, He loves them also. But do not be slack in your efforts, the party is about to start, the door will soon be shut, we will all be there who know Christ as Lord, and your desire should be for them to be there also.