Who would have ever thought my most popular article so far would be called “I Bought My First Six Pack.” It made its way to hundreds of computer screens, sunday school classes, and the newpaper. While that story is totally true, God taught me so much through a six pack of beer. As many of you know, I delivered some beer to a man I had never met back in October 2012 just as a way to break the ice between us. At that time, he was still undergoing cancer treatment, but right before Christmas he became one of my hospice patients. I helped preach this man’s funeral this past Friday afternoon. Here is what I learned from it all.
GOD CAN USE A BUD LIGHT
God can use anything he chooses to build a bridge of eternal opportunity. We need not get so hung up on the method, but stay focused on the mission God has given to every believer. It doesn’t matter how you go about it people need Jesus. If I were trying to rescue someone from a burning car I would go to any extent just to help that person get out alive. I wouldn’t care if I got dirty, if I impressed others, or if everyone around me agreed with my approach. Many are dying and headed to Hell and you need to do whatever it takes to make sure they know Jesus.
THE CHURCH HAS TO GET OUTSIDE
Listen, many people like this man are not coming to your church. You can build beautiful buildings, have great services, and even put up big signs. People outside the church could care less what we are doing on the inside of our churches. These people are lost, clueless, and going on about their business. The only way you will reach them is to go where they are. Show me in the Bible where it says “Go and invite people to church.” No, it tells us to go out where they are with the good news of the gospel. Jesus hung out with lost people, sinful people, and those living out in the real world. He met them where they were with a message of hope.
TIMING DOES MATTER
I still remember God tugging at my heart saying, “You’ve got to go check on this man who has cancer.” From what his wife told me it did not sound like he knew Jesus. And, God was moving in my heart to go and do all I could to change that. All I did was show up at his house, strike up a conversation, and tell him about the hope I had found in Jesus. Two hours later he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Two and half months later he died and fortunately was ready for his eternal transition.
THE GOSPEL HAS POWER
I would like to say I gave some great speech that day. But, I really just delivered some beer, talked about life, and then shared with this man the life changing gospel. I informed him that God loved him so much he sent his only son Jesus to die on a cross for his sins. That because Jesus died, was buried, and arose from that grave he could face even death with hope. I simply presented what God’s word says to us all and this man chose to accept that message. At that very instance he believed in Jesus, his eternal future changed. In his own words, “I now have hope and I now have a future no matter what.”
PEOPLE CAN’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE NEVER TOLD
This man was a very nice and approachable gentleman. This man had many friends who were church people. But, for some reason no one had ever took the time to make the gospel clear and to make sure this man knew Jesus. This grown man needed to hear the truth put in simple language so that he could decide for himself what he would do with Jesus. Thank God he chose to accept him, trust him, and put his eternal hope in Him.
Now, most would have looked at this man and said he has plenty of time to live. But, the truth was when I met him he was just two months away from meeting his maker. During his funeral I just sat there in awe of how God used a simple man, a simple gospel, and brought hope to an entire family. My friends God has called us all to be “Bud Lights” to a dark world. To carry out into a lost world the life changing message that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one will ever enter into Heaven without knowing Jesus personally and receiving him into their hearts. Personally, I can’t wait to deliver my next six pack or whatever God tells me to do that I know can lead to eternal hope for someone.
14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”[ (Romans 10:14-15)