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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Witnesses Unto Me JUNE 14


I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. Rom. 1:14, 15.

Our task as Christians is not to lecture people or to get into an argument or even a discussion about our religion with an approach that is detached from people. Like Paul, we are witnesses. We confess our indebtedness to love the unlovable, to strengthen the weak, to be a faithful friend. We are to care so much about people that we cannot go to heaven without them.

To feel ourselves debtors to God and man is to possess the highest qualifications for success in the Christian life. Several years ago a student named Chang came to America and attended Princeton Theological Seminary. He had been a flaming political revolutionary in an Asian country. Captured and put in prison, he was abandoned by his former friends. As he lay in prison a man began to visit him. Later Chang said: "Every now and then he would drop in, and seemed to be interested in me. It was the first time in my life that someone cared for me as a human being. For the first time, I became an individual, loved for my own sake. I asked the man: 'Why do you come to see me?' He replied: 'I am a Christian. Jesus Christ, who is my Lord, told His disciples to visit those who are in prison. I like to do it.' " Said Chang: "Tell me more about this Jesus." This gave the Christian man the opportunity to open up the gospel and tell the revolutionary that nobody ever loved people as Jesus did, even to the point of giving His life for man. This captured Chang's heart. He entered the ministry. The last that I heard of him, he was teaching in a seminary in China as a professor of religion and a witness for Christ. He found Christ because someone cared enough.

Paul does not call upon us to be fanatics. He asks for no unattractive intensity of mind that pressures people unduly or unkindly. Have you considered how responsible we are for one another? That if we fail in our witness, if we allow any personal deflection from principle, love, and kindness, everyone about us suffers? Christ needs us to be undismayed and unashamed.

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