“God withheld nothing to show His love to me, and I knew I could not withhold my life from these men,” Charis Bible College student Matthew Brown said after returning from his missions trip to Croatia. Having never before been out of the country or ever really sharing the Gospel with anyone, Matthew left the States a bit apprehensive about this new experience. “I didn’t feel like I had the knowledge or skills to share the Gospel and be a blessing, but I was excited to try.”
During part of the street-ministry time in Croatia, Matthew had his first opportunity to try. Approaching two guys to see if they knew Christ or were open for ministry, Matthew heard, “Jesus isn’t real.” Not knowing how to respond to that, Matthew began telling them his healing testimony. “Do you have a video of it?” they asked.
Matthew didn’t, but he did have other proof: “Why would I spend money to fly across the world and lie to people I don’t know? Why don’t you believe in God?”
Their responses varied from “The church ruined God” to “America ruined God.” But they didn’t say that America made God up or that there was no evidence for Him.
So, Matthew kept talking. “God was before the start of time, the church, or America. And none of those things define Him. You should figure out for yourself if God is real.”
As the Holy Spirit began working on their hearts, the two men began fidgeting. Matthew said, “When I saw them doing everything they could to find a way out of our conversation, the compassion of Christ overwhelmed me. I’ve never felt that for anyone before. I knew that God loved them and that He wanted to extend His grace to them. I felt compelled to share the whole of my testimony, but I didn’t want to. It wasn’t something I told many people.”
But the Lord moved on Matthew’s heart, and he began to share with the men how Jesus set him free from pornography. “You can’t be set free by someone who doesn’t exist,” he said. At that, the men opened their hearts to the full Gospel and allowed Matthew to pray with them. “They said they weren’t yet ready to make Jesus their Lord, but they allowed me to pray for them. I simply asked God to reveal His love to them in a tangible way. We then kept talking for another ten minutes. When I finally see Jesus face-to-face, I fully expect to see them too.”
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”Isaiah 1:18 (New King James Version