One cold, windy night two Christian youths headed toward the tavern district in their hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, with the "preposterous" idea of holding an open-air Gospel meeting. The two young men began singing hymns to gather a crowd. Their singing was tolerated, but whenever they stopped singing to share the saving message of Jesus Christ, they were mocked by the crowd with vulgar hoots and jeering howls.
Frederick S. Arnot and his friend were quite sincere about sharing their faith and the Gospel message with the drunks along tavern row. Yet the crowd was determined not to let them talk. Finally, Arnot, with tears running down his face, acknowledged defeat. He and his friend turned to leave.
Suddenly someone grabbed Arnot's shoulder. Startled, Arnot turned to find a tall, elderly man towering over him. The stranger smiled warmly and said quietly, "Keep at it, laddie; God loves to hear men speak well of His Son."
With that encouragement, the two Scottish lads squared their shoulders and returned. It wasn't long before the rowdy crowd began to pay attention to the message the young men wanted to share.
In 1881, several years after this incident, Arnot, influenced by the example set by David Livingstone, left his Scottish mission field and headed for Central Africa, where God used him in a great way to proclaim the gospel.
God loves to hear men and women speak well of His Son. Yet how easy it is for us to become silent, ineffective ambassadors for Christ because of discouragement, lack of results, or some other excuse. Do you speak well of God's Son? If not, what is your excuse?
In an honest and challenging article entitled "Excuses," seminary professor Norman L. Geisler admits that even though he was in full-time Christian ministry for eighteen years, he never witnessed for Christ. His excuses sound familiar, don't they?
"I didn't have the gift of evangelism. It was obvious to me that someone like Billy Graham did, and it was equally obvious that I didn't."
"I had the gift of teaching [Christians], and it's pretty hard to make converts from that group."
"I didn't like...impersonal evangelism, so I would do 'friendship evangelism.' I wasn't going to cram the Gospel down anybody's throat."
"I came to the conclusion that if God is sovereign...then He can do it with or without me."
One day, however, a visiting speaker literally demolished Geisler's excuses by saying, "I've been a missionary for years and I was never called...I was just commanded like the rest of you." That statement startled Geisler, and he became a fisher of men.
"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15) wasn't a suggestion, but a command of the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps you were once eager like Arnot to witness for Christ, but somehow that zeal has faded. Remember, God loves to hear you speak well of His Son.
God has commanded you to be one of His ambassadors. How have you responded?
When have you tried to speak well of God's Son? What happened? How did you feel afterward? Has anyone ever encouraged you to "Keep at it, laddie"? firstname.lastname@example.org
*I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of thing has passed away. --Revelation 21