Joel of Jerusalem Oct/Nov 1987
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must be “diligent in season,out of season” (2 Tim. 4:1) and “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh [us] a reason of the hope that is in [us], with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15). We must always be prepared to witness for Him because we never know who the Lord may choose to bring across our paths.
And so it was in my home recently, and I must say that this was an exceptional situation. A lady came to visit, and it was not the first time she had come to speak with me. She was one of my daughters high school teachers and lives in our neighborhood, and for several years she has made it a practice to visit us from time to time. We always welcome her gladly to our home, and she is very kind to us, even though she knows that we believe in Jesus as our Savior. But this time, it was not just a social call. This time, she wanted to know about our faith, and she asked many questions. Of course, I was happy to answer her and tell her about Christ. She said, ‘l want to know more about Him,and I would like to know how you came to believe in Him.” I was delighted to give her my testimony, and I encouraged her to visit us as often as she liked. I told her, ‘lt may be that in time the Lord will open your eyes and your heart to Him. “But what can I do by myself to come closer to Him?” she asked, and I replied, “We can talk together, learn together and pray together, and the Lord will do what you and I cannot do for ourselves.”
I was pleased that she continued to visit me, and each time she asked if I knew others who believed in the Lord and how they had come to believe in Him. One day I asked, “Have you come here to draw closer to the Lord or to investigate me?” She answered, very sincerely, “I appreciate our talks together. You are always very pleasant to me, and I do enjoy coming to your home. I am sure this will not be my last visit because I am truly interested in knowing how you came to your faith in the Lord, and I would really like to know the one who brought you to this faith.” “Since you seem genuinely interested,” I responded, “I will be glad to tell you about the One who led me to the Lord.” I then gave her a Bible and said, “Take this home and read it, and, as you do, pray to the Lord and ask Him to be your guide, to show you the way to come to Himself. As He guided and directed me in my search for Him, I am sure He will do the same for you.”’ She accepted the Bible and left.
But that was not the end. About five hours later, her husband knocked on my door. “’I have nothing against you,” he assured me as I invited him in, “but please do not give my wife any more of this poison,” he said as he handed me the Bible I had given her. I asked, “Do you believe in God?” “Yes, I believe in God, ‘ he replied, “but not in the way you want my wife to believe.” I then told him, “I only want to help her find the truth according to the holy Scriptures. If this is poison, then tell me, what in the truth? In what can we believe, If not in the Bible and in the living God who is described in its pages?”
He was far from happy and said, “To be perfectly honest, I do not really believe in God — I never have. And now you want me to believe in Jesus? Are you crazy? Let me tell you about my work, which I am sure will surprise you. I work against Christian missionaries in Israel and against all Jews like you who believe in Jesus — the apostates! Yes, this is my job, and I am very happy doing it. I am happy to fight against all of you who try to make the Jewish people accept a new religion.” “If this is so,”’ I said, ‘then you have come to the right place. You can fight against me!” “Oh no,’ he said, “I would never fight against you because we are good neighbors, and, what’s more, you have been a good friend over the years.” I told him,”What you are saying is very nice, but you must remember that I did not come to you or your wife and ask you to believe in me. I am just a human being, like any other person on the face of this earth. I am not eternal, and I am helpless to save myself or anyone else from sin. But, I can help you to know the Lord, our Savior. I can be a fescue — a pointer — pointing you to a true knowledge of God according to the Bible, His holy Word.”
I then said, “If you think what I am doing is against the law, feel free to bring to my home other members of your organization, other people who are fighting so hard against believers in the Lord Jesus. But remember what the Prophet Isaiah wrote, ‘Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear’ [Isa. 59:1 ]. It may be that the Lord will enable your friends to believe what you refuse to believe. If you would like to come back with your friends, you may be sure that I will not run away before you get here. I am ready to face them. As a matter of fact, I am willing to go with you to your office right now, and I will give a good report of you to your superiors— I will tell them that you are doing your job very well. Why, you may even be promoted!”
He then became very serious and said, “Don’t you realize you could be killed if I did what you are suggesting, especially if I tell them you tried to make my wife a Christian. Are you sure you want me to bring my friends here?” “Yes,” I replied, “but I want you to know that I will not be alone.” “Who would dare to join you at such a time?” he asked. “I am sure no one would be that crazy!” I then reminded him what God said to Abraham, Jacob, Moses and all of His servants. He told them not to fear because He would be with them and would protect them. “And so it will be with me,” I assured him. “At a time when I will be among wolves, the Lord will be at my side, and I will not be afraid.”
He said, “You may not be afraid, but I am. If I tell these people that you are my neighbor and that I don’t really fight against you, I will probably lose my job.” “I lost my job many times because of my faith in the Lord,” I replied, “and I have been in more serious, even dangerous situations than I can remember, but I never lost my hope in the Lord because He has told us in His Word, ‘be not afraid of them [our enemies]’ (Dt. 20:’); Neh. 4:14).”
This man then left my home, and I wondered what would happen next But I didn’t have to wonder for long because the next day his wife visited me again, and she seemed more self-confident and sure of herself than she ever had in the past. I asked, “Are you not afraid to come here? Don’t you know what your husband told me and that he plans to fight against me because of my faith in the Lord?” She replied, ” I have no fear. My husband knows where I am and what I am doing here, and he told me not to be afraid because he will not inform his superiors about you. Now, please tell me more. I want to know about the Lord!”
I praise God for this woman — for her courage, her interest in the Lord and her desire to know more about Him. Please pray with me that very soon she will come to know Him as her Messiah and Savior. Also, please join me in prayer for her husband. It is possible that he is under strong conviction from the Lord and that he may one day yield his life to Him. In the interim, pray for his safety among those with whom he works on a daily basis.