Evangelistic strikeouts lead to spiritual home run
Engaging in door-to-door evangelism, Austin Binz’s team, in the words of their instructor, Brandon Kiesling, kept “striking out.” But instead of quitting, they decided to go to a gas station, and there, they found a young man who needed Christ. The man, A.J., was a self-proclaimed Sikh, and according to Binz, he needed a divine intervention.
This evangelism opportunity arose from Southwestern Seminary’s partnership with the First Baptist Church of Lakeside, Texas. In an effort to assist the church in community evangelism, Instructor of Evangelism Brandon Kiesling consistently brings Southwestern students to the west Fort Worth community in order to evangelize alongside members of the church. On Saturday, Jan. 21, Kiesling brought his winter evangelism class, among whom was Master of Divinity student Austin Binz.
Binz partnered with a fellow Southwesterner and a member of FBC Lakeside. After their attempts at door-to-door evangelism proved unsuccessful, the team entered a gas station, and Binz noticed A.J. standing in the back of the store. He observed that A.J. seemed “lost, confused and dazed.”
Puzzled by A.J.’s condition, Binz boldly asked him if knew Jesus Christ. He did not, but he expressed interest in hearing what Binz had to say, so Binz began telling him about Jesus’ love for the world.
“As I started quoting Scripture, the Lord was penetrating his heart in such a way that his attentiveness began to grow,” Binz says. This prompted discussion about A.J.’s beliefs, and eventually, the topic of sacrifices arose. Confused by A.J.’s views on the subject, Binz carefully urged him to try to comprehend God’s perfect sacrifice.
Binz presented the Gospel, noting Jesus’ love for A.J.; the biblical view of sin and man’s “good” works; the personal nature of a relationship with Christ; why Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross was necessary; and the void present in every person’s heart that can only be filled by Jesus Himself. When Binz next extended an invitation, A.J. accepted.
“There in the gas station, A.J. repeated the sinner’s prayer,” Binz recalls. “He fully admitted to falling short of the standard of obtaining eternal life and professed his need to solely rely on and find security in Jesus.”
“This comforted everyone on my team, as God totally blew our every expectation,” Binz continues. “The funniest part for my team was that after A.J. accepted Christ, he extended a ‘free gift’ of coffee and drinks to us.”
Though the team politely declined, they rejoiced that A.J. was already displaying the transformed nature he now had through Christ. “We thank God for showing up in a radical way!” Binz says. Though the team had struck out earlier in the day, God’s divine intervention there in the gas station had resulted in a spiritual home run.