At age 19, I was already the pastor a small rural church. I called a former pastor, Rev. Cain, and invited him to preach a revival for our church. Several of the congregation had kept in touch with him across the years. The Lord had greatly blessed his ministry with a harvest of souls. He had shepherded two churches through exceptional growth and building programs. He was also in demand as a revival speaker.
I so wanted to impress Bro. Cain, and I must confess I felt pretty important being a pastor at 19 years old. In an ill-fated and inappropriate attempt to make an impression, I said, “ Bro. Cain, in my experience I’m finding it more and more difficult to get men saved. Have you had similar experience?” He paused for a moment, and I expectantly waited for a reply that I was sure would stroke my youthful ego. His response shook me to the core and forever shaped my ministry. He replied, “No. No, I haven’t found that to be true at all. I’ve spent my ministry trying to get people lost. You see, young man, if you can convince unbelievers that they are lost, if you can help them see the fires of hell and eternal separation from God and all that’s good, they will gladly flee into the arms of the Savior.”
“Getting people lost” is still a phrase that comes to mind whenever I have the opportunity to preach. Of course, the objective of preaching should be to bring people to the Savior. The difficult part, it seems, is to convince most unbelievers that they are lost and must be born again. The Apostle Paul often refers to the unsaved as “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:3).It is good to re-read the account of Nicodemus from time to time and know that “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:1-21).
~ Brother Roy