Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Apparently Jesus is a “door knocker”, knocking on the door of our hearts to invite us into fellowship with Himself! He also promised us that if WE will “knock…it shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7)
Recently we have been taking teams out into the neighborhoods of Norman to “knock doors”, and we have been seeing this promise fulfilled –open doors! As we have been going out, we have had opportunities to pray, encourage, and share the gospel with several people.
Steve and Luis have been doing some outreach, as well as Sue, Natalie, Evelyn, and Rebecca. Not only folks from our church, but Chris, a meteorologist from the National Weather Center and his friend Larry have been joining us to learn how to do evangelism. That makes 3 and possibly 4 evangelism teams that we are sending out from our little church, which all started with Steve who began doing evangelism and then inviting me along with him to work together 7 years ago!
We have had some divine appointments in these recent efforts! One was an 84 year old man named John who had been a widower for 22 years. As you can understand, he was probably experiencing some loneliness, so he invited us in for an extended conversation about the gospel and prayer! He was a man that was struggling with faith and had been for many years. He said “I have been praying to God for 40 years that I would believe.” So, I said, “well, here we are, the answer to your prayer!” He did not receive Christ that day, but he is open to us following up with him again.
After meeting John, I was struck by the idea that there are probably millions of others like him who are struggling with having faith in God and withering away in their homes. They are not only open but eager, even desperate, to have a spiritual conversation if we would simply go out into the community and “knock”. God does not desire that any should perish, but do we!? It will require millions of workers to be sent into the harvest if we will fulfill the heart of God to minister to all of these lost and lonely people!
There was also another John that we met through neighborhood outreach just this past Wednesday. We had been knocking several doors without a good conversation, but then Larry said, “Let’s do one more house.” It’s a good thing he did, because the LORD definitely provided a divine appointment!
We met John and his wife Liz who have two kids and attend Antioch church. What really caught my attention was how familiar John looked to me, so I asked him, “Did you live in Oklahoma City and go to P.C. North high school? He said no, but his wife did! She graduated 2 years before me! I found out John, on the other hand, grew up and went to school in Edmond, but he attended OU and did a lot of evangelism in the OU dorms…
So, then I remembered that it was my freshman year at the Adams dormitory at OU that a couple older college guys knocked on our door which we opened and allowed them to come in. I was not yet a Christian at the time so it was very urgently needed that someone was willing to knock on the door to share Jesus with me!
I told John that night, you remind me of the guy that was trying to reach me through personal evangelism! He couldn’t remember, it was 19 years ago…but was John the one that came to my dorm room that day to share the gospel or someone that looked just like him? Well, it certainly gave me chills and goosebumps thinking that it might be a possibility that I was now standing at and knocking on HIS door!
Whether it was John, or someone else, or an angel from heaven that visited me that day, that was the first time that I can remember that someone had compassion to share the word of God with me, a complete stranger! There were others who planted and watered and reaped, but it was God who gave all the growth! What a reminder that day was to me, that if we will be faithful to sow the seeds of the gospel with the lost who desperately need it, we might discover that one day they have become evangelists that are sowing seeds themselves, making disciples, and continuing to multiply the fruit of our labor for the glory of God!