Monday, August 30, 2010

The Privilege Of Bearing The Gospel

In July 2004, nine U.S. soldiers were returning from Iraq for a two-week leave. The soldiers had tickets in coach class. Before they boarded, one of the first class passengers went to the ticket counter and arranged to exchange his first-class ticket for the soldier's coach class fare. As the plane boarded, eight more first-class passengers did the same so that all of the soldiers came home in first-class, not coach class. The flight attendant on the American Airlines flight, Devilla Evans said, "it was a privilege to be flying with those two groups of unselfish people: those who would put their lives on the line to protect their fellow citizens' freedom, and those who were not ashamed to say thank you."

Not long ago I was asked to stop by and see Doretha. She is dying and sent word that she wanted to see a preacher. That can mean many things. For Doretha it meant she was scared to die. She had no idea what would happen to her in eternity. She knew she had not been what she should have been and knew that somehow she wasn't going to make it once she died. I told her what God said about her condition and his offer of forgiveness and hope for her. She believed. We prayed and cried. All through this encounter, I kept thinking, "Anyone, anyone can do this. Anyone can carry the gospel and share it. What a privilege to carry it. What a privilege to be here with her."

Jesus is the hero who laid down his life for the world. He is the soldier who defeated our mortal enemy. And, He has offered us the incredible, incredible privilege of carrying the gospel, the good news of His salvation to the world. Anyone can do it, anyone. Every believer is commanded, but the only ones who experience the joy of the gospel are those who give up their privilege to accept His. Those who do find that coach class is the best seat on the plane.