Professor acts as ‘fisher of men,’ sees 3 professions of faith
“And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” (Matthew 4:19)
Just as repeatedly casting one’s lure into the waters ultimately leads to catching a fish, so frequently sharing the Gospel invariably leads to people professing faith in Christ. With the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon his efforts, Charles Stewart, adjunct professor of applied ministry at Southwestern Seminary, proved this concept true, demonstrating that followers of Christ indeed become “fishers of men.”
On Monday, April 11, while Stewart’s wife was preparing dinner, Stewart took a walk through his neighborhood. While doing so, Stewart discovered a 21-year-old man leaning against his car, repeatedly checking his phone.
Stewart initially passed him by, but then he sensed the Lord encouraging him to return and share the Gospel with that man. Stewart did so.
The man’s name was Jonathan. He explained to Stewart that he is a life insurance agent and had just visited a client. Unfortunately, he locked his keys in the car by mistake and was therefore waiting for a friend to bring him a spare set of keys so he could go to his next two appointments that evening.
Stewart recalls, “I told him that I, too, was in the life insurance business: eternal life insurance!” He proceeded to share with Jonathan that he is a retired pastor and that God had led him to speak with Jonathan. After Stewart asked him a diagnostic question regarding where he would spend eternity, Jonathan admitted that he did not know what would happen to him if he were to die that night.
“I asked him if I could take three minutes of his time to share with him how he can know for sure that he would be heaven-bound,” Stewart says. Because he could not go anywhere until his friend arrived, Jonathan agreed to listen. Using a Romans 6:23 tract to open the door, Stewart proceeded to share the Gospel.
“When I asked him if he would like to receive Jesus as his Savior and surrender his heart to Jesus as Lord, he answered in the affirmative,” Stewart says. “I led him in prayer as we stood in the street and did some immediate follow-up work. Jonathan acknowledged that God may have had a hand in his locking his keys in his car that day, and he was grateful for his mistake.”
While visiting his doctor’s office on Wednesday, April 13, Stewart noticed a young parking attendant sitting on a bench by himself. As the man was not busy at that moment, Stewart sensed God’s leading him to engage the man in conversation.
Stewart learned that the man’s name is Connor, and he is a college student at TCU. As Stewart turned their conversation to the first diagnostic question, Connor said he believed he would go to heaven. When Stewart asked why, Connor replied with a “works answer.”
“After explaining that none of us by our own good deeds can earn our way into heaven, I shared with him the Romans 6:23 card,” Stewart says. “He admitted that he had never really heard the Gospel before.
“I asked him if he could think of any good reason why he would not want to receive God’s forgiveness and eternal life this very moment. He thoughtfully answered that he could not.”
Stewart revisited what it means to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, and Connor affirmed his decision to receive Jesus. He then allowed Stewart to lead him in the sinner’s prayer.
“Amazingly, God did not allow anyone to drive up during my entire Gospel presentation and prayer,” Stewart says. “Almost immediately afterward, as I began my follow-up, patients began driving up needing his assistance.”
On Thursday, April 14, while evangelizing with two students through Southwestern’s “Going the Second Mile” initiative, Stewart happened upon a home that was being remodeled. At that time, two men were busy at work.
While the two students spoke with one man, Carlos, Stewart spoke to the other, Tony. Stewart began by asking him the basic diagnostic questions, which then led to a presentation of Romans 6:23 and the Gospel.
When Stewart asked Tony if he wanted to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior, without hesitation, Tony said “yes.” Stewart led him in the sinner’s prayer and immediately began follow-up. He gave him one of the Bibles the group had brought with them in order to help Tony begin his Christian walk strongly. Stewart encouraged him to read the Gospel of John and committed to help Tony find a good church near his home.
Following this experience, Stewart reflected in a written report of the encounter, “I continue to be totally amazed that the Lord has allowed me to have the privilege of introducing yet another young man to Christ!” Matt Queen, L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism (“Chair of Fire”), shared in Stewart’s enthusiasm, writing, “God is on a roll!”