‘Tough guy’ proves open to the Gospel, accepts Jesus as Lord
“There’s no way this guy wants to hear the Gospel.”
Matt Queen, Chair of Evangelism at Southwestern Seminary, thought this of his Lyft driver on his way to the airport. Queen had spent a week in Hawaii with his wife Hope earlier this summer, preaching revival services and doing evangelism training for local churches. On their last day, when the Lyft driver—a Marine and mechanic—came to bring them to the airport, Queen quickly discovered boxes of canned beer in the trunk of the car, and he guessed that the man would not be interested in having a spiritual conversation.
“Unfortunately, and I am very ashamed to say this, but it’s a real temptation for all of us, the fact that he seemed to be a ‘tough guy’ and also consumed alcohol made me think, ‘There’s no way this guy wants to hear the Gospel,’” Queen says. “So I determined right there, ‘Lord, I know I should share the Gospel with this guy, but we’ve had a great time in Hawaii, and we just want to leave with no incidents.’”
His mind made up, Queen himself made no attempt to turn his conversation with the driver toward spiritual matters. But then, without any provocation, the driver himself brought up the subject of church.
“And as soon as he brought up the word ‘church,’ it was as if the Holy Spirit told me, ‘This man is a lot more willing to talk about spiritual things than you’ve given him credit for,’” Queen says. “So I said, ‘OK.’ I jumped on it and began to share the Gospel with him.”
The man said he went to church, and after Queen went over the Gospel with him and spoke of man’s need to respond, the driver said, “Yes, I’ve done that.” Based on their conversation, however, Queen was unsure. So, with his wife praying for them from the back seat, Queen decided to dig deeper. He asked the driver a simple diagnostic question: “When you stand before God one day, and He asks why He should let you into heaven, what basis are you going to give Him for why you should go to heaven?”
“Well, I served my country as a Marine,” the driver answered. “I serve my community; I do a lot of community service. And I’ve never gotten in a fight with anybody before. I’ve gotten angry, but I’ve never gotten in a fight.”
Queen thanked the man for his military service and service to the community, and he commended him for never getting into a fight, but he pointed out that, if those three things were sufficient for salvation, then Jesus would not have had to die. He asked the man, “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?”
Immediately, the driver’s demeanor changed. In what Queen says was an apparent “Aha!” moment, the man looked at Queen and said, “Jesus died to save me and my wife from our sins.” Queen asked him, “Would you like to receive Christ today?”
By this point, they had arrived at the airport, and so Queen assumed the driver would bring them to the terminal, and then they would pray. But instead, the man immediately pulled over onto the side of the road. He looked at Queen and asked, “What do I do?”
Despite his surprise at the driver’s actions, Queen explained that, in order to be saved, one must repent of sin, believe in the Gospel, and confess Jesus as Lord. Then, on his own, the driver prayed “a beautiful sinner’s prayer,” asking God to forgive his sins and confessing Jesus as Lord of his life.
Queen took the man’s contact information and passed it along to a local pastor, who has since kept in touch with him. Recently, Queen learned through this pastor that both the driver and his wife have presented themselves for baptism at their church.
In retrospect, Queen is humbled by this experience. Though he had initially written off any potential for a Gospel conversation with this driver, the Holy Spirit revealed that such a conversation was not only possible, but would also lead to this “tough guy’s” salvation.