By Claudia Koenig
While I was waiting for a fight at the airport gate, a young man was sitting and having a conversation on his cell phone in a very loud voice. I studied him for a moment. He seemed not to care that his loud voice was in everyone’s ears. He was speaking in a language I was not familiar with.
Boarding our flight, we took our seats. After awhile, the very same young man who was having that conversation asked if the seat beside me was taken. My thought was, “Oh Lord, this one will not be easy.” Jokingly, to get his attention for a conversation, I said, “No, it is not, but you cannot sit here because you speak with an accent.” To him, I have one too. We both laughed.
He took the seat. After he settled, I asked where he was from. He asked me to guess. I was not good at the guess because I was not familiar with his language. He joked with me a little, but finally told me he was from Serbia. I asked what he was doing in the U.S. He said it was his work. He was in the pharmaceutical business. I asked how he liked it here. He said it was okay, but it was a lonely place, and he preferred being with his family and his culture. He told me a little of his life challenges and concluded with, “Everyone has to choose their destination.” There was my open door to share the Gospel. He continued talking with me in that loud and proud voice, “One has to make choices about having a girlfriend, career, family, country, life. It is to be this way.” He spoke as if he knew what life was all about.
I said, “You are right. Every man has a destiny. Every man must choose where his destiny will be, in heaven or on earth.” This is a choice for an eternal destiny. He looked into my eyes. His eyes were like a child’s, listening to words he had never heard. I could see he had never heard the Gospel. I continued, “More important than the choice for a wife, family, education, or career is the choice of where you will spend eternity. There is a hell and a heaven. You must choose where you want to go.
This destiny will be your decision alone. You must understand that God has a Son who gave his life for you because He loves you. His name is Jesus. He laid His life on the cross, so you may be forgiven of your sins, and He rose again to give you life in Him, and in believing in Him as the only way to heaven, your destiny will be with God. Otherwise, you will be in hell. There is no other way to heaven, but through His Son.” He listened intently. He thought for a moment. Then, he responded with pride and ridicule saying, “I will live my life my own way. I have my own way to God.” I responded, “Did you hear what you just said, ‘I, I, I.’ In this you are prideful and are resisting the living God and His Son who loves you and who is now telling you about your eternal destiny. You did not choose this seat to just have a flight to an earthly destiny. God placed you here to hear about Him, so your final destiny will be in Heaven. The choice is yours.” His eyes looked like a child’s again. Then again, he said, “I will live my life my own way.” I told him, “Ok, but if something happens to you when you get off this flight or at some time and your life is taken, you cannot face God and tell Him that you did not know about Him, but that you rejected Him.” His eyes were like a child’s again. I asked, “Would you like to know Him now?” Again, he resisted and mocking the truth, he said, “I have my own way.”
One minute he was like a child, the next minute he was like a mocking, rebellious man. There didn’t seem to have been labor for this man’s soul. It seemed to be the first time he had heard the Gospel in such a personal way. Locked in his seat, unable to escape my words, he juggled his body in his seat for a while, looking uncomfortable.
For some reason, I reached out for my bag and took out a very small note pad. I started to look through it. I found a business card I had not looked at in some time. It was from a man who is a believer in Christ who was in the pharmaceutical business. That surprised me. I gave the card to this young man. He took it. He looked at my eyes. I gave him our website address saying, “You can always find us” (meaning my husband and me). He took one last look at me with those childlike eyes again, but this time he looked empty and sad, and he said that he would look for me.
“Abba, Father, You surprised me with this young man. He was like a child, yet had a hardened heart toward You. Unless You draw man to You, no man can draw him. So, I ask, Father, in the name of Your Son, draw this young man to Your Messiah. I cry out with tears; draw him to Your Christ in Your mercy and loving-kindness.”
“Jesus, how sad You must have been when you heard this young man reject You. My heart was bounding out of my chest, as I spoke with him. I was desperate for his soul due to rebellious condition. Cause the words that were spoken to him to work in his heart. I know that you love him. Messiah, keep Your eyes on him.”
“Spirit of God, there has now been labor for the soul of this man.
Cause this young man to contact the believer in Christ that is named on that card. Prepare this believer to continue the work of salvation in his life. Cause him to be the reaper of his soul by Your power. For this, I thank You, Holy Spirit.”
As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” - Hebrews 3:15 (ESV)
The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me. - Luke 10:16 (KJV)
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. - Matthew 10:33 (KJV)
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: - 2 Timothy 2:12 (KJV)
So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. - Proverbs 9:8 (NLT)
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. - 1 Timothy 1:15-17 (KJV)
And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. - John 4:37-39 (KJV)