Do you remember what it was like when you were lost? I was saved in my early 30's. I refer to those years of darkness as the forgotten years. The time apart from God. The key to reaching the lost is not to forget what it was like and thank God for bringing you through it. This is where your testimony comes into the picture.
Thousands die every hour going straight to hell. You and I were once heading straight for hell too. Now do you remember the things Christians once said or did to you that made you despise them? Yes, many was the truth that at the time we just did not want to listen too. Some actions we still despise to this day.
Innocent as it may seem to fellow brothers and sisters of Christ I still despise those who quote scripture as if they are reading me the Miranda rights. Even the police will take out a card and read from it just to make sure there is no mistakes made. Often that is not the case with fellow Christians. I like what Reverend Billy Graham once said on the matter. When he quotes scripture he first states, “My bible says this.” Guess what, he then produces his bible to show you. If you quote scripture you might just be called on it. Before I was saved when one of those religious people came down on me quoting scripture I would ask them does the bible really say that? Of course I had already noticed that they were not carrying their bible with them. Better to have the sword of God in hand than to trust our little old minds. We make mistakes. It is easy to argue about our words coming out of our mouths. Open your bible and point out the scripture and read it aloud. Hard to argue with God's Word directly. I keep a small pocket bible with me nearly all the time. See Ephesians 6:17 ...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
When you were lost and you actually entered into a church did you feel a whirlwind of meet and greet? Many young adults and teenagers see this as chaos today. Near the beginning of the church service everything seems to stop and people run around shaking hands with a laser beam to anyone new in the audience. You are trying not to be noticed but deep inside you are crying for help. You smile and now have no idea who is who and if they really wanted to meet you. Perhaps an announcement towards the end of the service that assigned greeters are waiting in the lobby to meet you and to just hand you a gift from our church would be a little more personal. The person who brought you to the church often gets swept away with the crowd.
One thing we usually remember is that Christian person who was so pushy. The moment they looked at me they started condemning me. Never took a moment to get to know me. In fact they never really seemed to even care if I existed. I was just a target they wanted to hit and hit hard. A human punching bag perhaps. In Luke 18 beginning in verse 18 we see Jesus being straight forward but not offensive. Using God's law he lets the person realize for themselves what is wrong in their life and the need for Christ. Jesus did not beat around the bush about it. He used God's law to pierce the hard heart. Getting right to the root of the problem. Like a Doctor. The doctor does not just walk in and tell you when he has scheduled surgery. He first comes in and shows you the evidence on what has been found. After you are fully convinced of the urgency of the matter does the doctor start to talk to you about treatment. Do we really come to the lost with the same reverence of a doctor seeking to cure and save the lost? Many times we wipe off the sweat from our forehead thinking wow I am so glad I just made it being saved. Instead we need to say thank you Jesus now help me lead someone else to you.
Christian actions that intimidated you probably still intimidate others as well. Sometimes later in our Christian life do we realize why they are done. Walking around like a lunatic in my opinion is not very biblical. It might get the message out but to who? Many times street preaching or open air preaching tends to condemn rather than rally for Christ. Perhaps we are approaching it in the wrong way? When was the last time you heard God's Word read aloud on the streets?
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 1 Tim 4:13 (ESV)
For most of us we do not want to look back. I understand that. Remember your past for it is your testimonial from the darkness into the light of Christ Jesus. The lost are looking for what is real. Give it to them.