Ever stop to wonder if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re making a difference with the lost person youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re talking to? You give them truth, point them to the gospel, and explain the way to Heaven, but youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not sure which direction theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to go afterward. Then some crazy connection happens either years down the road or even in the moment, and you realize that God was totally in that encounter. A little faithfulness is much in the hands of the Lord.
We heard from Ronnie the other day with one such encounter:
So . . . kind of weird story I have. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even know where to begin. Years ago, I met some friends in Wyoming and next thing you know, they asked me if I wanted to move to Washington state. Now, 17 years later, I still live here along with the family IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve started. We go to church from time to time, but my son goes every Sunday.
So, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m at the public library one day and come across this book titledÃ‚Â One Heartbeat Away, Your Journey into Eternity.Ã‚Â Right away, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m intrigued and take it home. I started reading it and liked it, and right away it started talking about science and atoms and the start of lifeÃ¢â‚¬â€¢things IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always wondered about and had questions of my own. And then it started getting into God and Jesus. Now, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never fully read the Bible, except a picture Bible I got when I was young at church camp. And when I first saw your book, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think it was going to go in that direction. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really know what to expect.
I kept reading because it was going in a direction where I was gaining knowledge. I felt like I was getting answers. And as I read on, I started to feel like,Ã‚Â I know this person.Ã‚Â I felt like,Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve met him.Ã‚Â And right away, I remembered that before I came to Washington, I was coming out of this grocery store in Denver, Colorado. At the time, I was obviously younger, no kids or family of my own. I was on drugs and living a wrong and rough life.
So, I was coming out of this grocery store, and this stranger walked up to me and asked me what I thought about God and the afterlife. Being the curious person I am, I talked to him. He was asking me where I thought I was going to go when I passed away, Heaven or Hell. I said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure, but I do believe in God.Ã¢â‚¬Â Then he asked if I had ever sinned before. I said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure I have (knowing that I had).Ã¢â‚¬Â Then he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Okay, well letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s see.Ã¢â‚¬Â So he asked me about the 10 Commandments. Well, I knew about the 10 Commandments but never really cared or gave much attention to them. So then, we went through the 10 Commandments, one by one. I was slowly coming to realize that I had sinned against nearly all of them, not feeling good about it but also feeling I had no choice. So heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now where does this leave you in the end?Ã¢â‚¬Â It left me knowing that I was going to Hell when I died. And that was very unsettling. But since that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to happen anytime soon, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to worry, right? Well, it took growing up to realize I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have been more wrong. And I should have known better then but didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
So, like I was saying, this book is one of the few books IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve started reading, and I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t put it down. And then when I realized this was the guy I met years ago, it was a little mind-blowing to me. Then I read the part about miracles can happen, but theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re called a divine moment. And I believe that moment in Denver, meeting that stranger, was a divine moment and was supposed to happen. Not too sure why. Still not quite certain, but in my heart, I just know that person is you. And then, when I got to the end of the book, I saw your picture and felt like you looked familiar, which is crazy. So a stranger walks up to me years ago asking me about God, and years later, I find a book he wrote that has me thinking differently and wanting to know more about God and Jesus. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s amazing, I think.
Not too sure where IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m supposed to be going with this message, but I just wanted to thank you for all that you do for us and the good Lord. Your book definitely has me thinking, and I hope to find more of your books because I still have questions and hope to find answers.
Ronnie was trying to let me know that I was the guy who witnessed to him in Denver. Now, that is a possibility. I have an aunt who lives in Denver, and whenever I would speak in Colorado, I would try to swing by her house. So it is very possible that he is talking about me. Now, for the life of me, I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember Ronnie. Just being honest. But I sure hope all of us are witnessing so much that we cannot remember all of the people we have shared Jesus with before.
A friend of mine, who likes to witness, canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember everyone either. So when someone says to him, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hey, you talked to me atÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â and that encounter does not come to mind, he just says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tell me about it.Ã¢â‚¬Â Then they are off and running, talking about their last encounter! That is an excellent way to handle those moments.
The good news is that Ronnie now realizes the Lord cares about him and where he spends eternity. All he needed was conviction and answers to the questions he has been wondering about for a long time. And these crazy connections encourage us to keep pointing people to truth and to the gospel while they still have time.
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S.Ã‚Â We now have overÃ‚Â 900,000Ã‚Â copies ofÃ‚Â One Heartbeat AwayÃ‚Â in print. What does that mean? It means you folks have given away a ton of them to so many different people through the years! The emails and letters we receive about that book are just amazing. Thanks for blessing others with eternal truth. And now that we have overÃ‚Â 900,000Ã‚Â in print, let’s have some fun and give even more of them away.
So to help your outreaches, campus witnessing, and day-to-day conversations, we are offeringÃ‚Â One Heartbeat AwayÃ‚Â at a discounted suggested donation ofÃ‚Â $80 for a bundleÃ‚Â of 18 copies andÃ‚Â $200 for a caseÃ‚Â of 44 books. You can pick them up through Labor Day at the link below: