Reflections on Together for the Gospel 2012
There are two individuals who I’ve come to know recently – neither one a believer, both seemingly interested in spiritual conversations. I’ve been praying for them regularly, and as I’ve had the opportunity, I’ve been sharing the gospel with them. Two weeks ago, I encouraged them to join my family for services on Easter and for a meal afterwards. They turned me down.
Puzzled by the response, I looked them up online. I found some old posts from a social networking site, and I quickly discovered that my new friends were not only non-Christian, but anti-Christian. Though they had been engaged in conversation with me and seemed open to the gospel, their history online said otherwise. Either they are more open and have moved away from their old views, or they really do stand against everything I stand for and are merely patronizing me as I share Christ.
Either way, I was disappointed. The whole situation put a damper on Easter. I went to T4G thinking, These guys are farther away from God than I ever thought. It’s going to take a miracle for them to be converted.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
I was right. It’s going to take a miracle. It always does. And the same is true of every conversion. It takes a miracle.
So imagine my surprise and delight when last week, as I joined 8000 other people to celebrate “the underestimated gospel,” I heard three testimonies from people you’d never expect to see on the T4G stage, much less in a Christian environment. One by one, they shared how the underestimated gospel changed their lives. I smiled. I choked back tears. This is what it’s all about! I thought. Getting back to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ that has been changing hearts for 2000 years.
There are many wonderful things about a conference like Together for the Gospel. The simplicity of Bob Kauflin leading us to sing the great hymns of the faith… the opportunities to connect with old friends, meet new people, get great books… the challenge and encouragement that comes from listening to the preaching of God’s Word… All these things are precious.
But for me, the highlight of Together for the Gospel 2012 was the personal stories we heard in the first ten minutes. Nothing got any better than that. Those testimonies set the course for a wonderful conference that focused on the power of the gospel, and the mission we have as those who have been changed by the gospel.
Thank you T4G for reminding me not to underestimate the power of the gospel.
I’m not discouraged anymore.