Evangelism

Fear of Witnessing? Read about Hudson Taylor.

Hudson Taylor. A Christian missionary to China born 1832 – died 1905. Directly and indirectly involved in seeing 18,000 Chinese saved. I’m reading his book “A Retrospect” which skims over his early life plus many of his experiences in China. This man had faith I cannot imagine! And right in the middle of reading this he recounts his thoughts after unsuccessfully trying to save a drowning man.

Hudson Taylor jumped overboard in an attempt to rescue the man and appealed to a nearby fishing boat to drag their nets in a particular area. Apparently he at first thought there was the slimmest hope that the man might be saved.

The response from the boat? “It is not convenient.” “We are busy fishing.” And then, “How much money will you give us for helping you?”

Naturally enough the man drowned and the body was eventually retrieved.

Hudson’s initial response to the entire situation was that the fishermen for whom rescue of a downing man was “not convenient” was so unbelievably sad. They had the means at hand to save the man but would not even try when they obviously knew that the man was lost without their help. “Assuredly they were guilty”, he concluded.

And then his perspective on this broadened.

“Is it so hard-hearted, so wicked a thing to neglect to save the body? Of how much sorer punishment, then, is he worthy who leaves the soul to perish, and Cain-like says, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ The Lord Jesus commands, commands me, commands you, my brother, and you, my sister. “Go,”says He, “go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

“Shall we say to Him, “No, it is not convenient”? Shall we tell Him that we are busy fishing and cannot go?”

He continues, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body.”

I have not seen a drowning man that I could save his life. On the other hand, I do come in contact everyday with lost people that are drowning in sin and it is often “not convenient” for me to tell them of sin and salvation.

Neither of us would hesitate for a second to move our boat and save a drowning man but how often do we confront the lost with the consequences of their sin?

Which is sadder? To see a person drown and know that their life is over or to believe the Bible when it indicates that life never ends and some of the people that you saw today will eventually “drown” and spend eternity in Hell separated forever from God? Could you make a difference in their life?