He started out as a practicing Catholic. He made pilgrimages to Aparecida, Brazil’s religious center for the veneration of Mary. He hated “believers,” as fundamental evangelicals are called here. Once, he even threw a pail of water on two Protestants who were doing door-to-door evangelism.
Elijah, as we’ll call him, later converted to Protestantism. He became a Pentecostal pastor. As a dedicated man, he received in return that pail of water from someone who also hated believers.
But then he began to observe dishonest and unethical practices in his denomination. He saw they were part and parcel of the religion he was a part of. Money was what moved the leadership. Disillusioned, he gave up his position, and he and his wife abandoned organized religion altogether. He took a job as a security guard.
Not far from their home, Christians advertised a Bible course open to the public. Elijah’s wife and 12-year-old son attended the course, held at the Christian’s meeting place. His son kept returning home telling him what he was learning from the course. He showed Elijah the truth with an open Bible, but the former pastor was recalcitrant to accept the truth.
Finally, disturbed by what his wife and son were learning, Elijah went to see for himself. He attended meetings of the congregation. He talked with Christians about what the Bible taught. He consistently received Bible answers to his questions.
Today, Elijah and his family meet with the congregation of Christians near their home. Their son has been baptized into Christ. They know they have found true faith and the certainty of the gospel.
Not a few people in the world are like Elijah and his family. They believe in God, but feel disgusted with the division, dishonesty, and traditions of the denominations. They have no idea there is an alternative to the organized religions of man.
Then there are others, like one man I taught last year, who are, as he called himself, a blank slate. He received a moral upbringing from his grandmother, but never went to church and never read the Bible. When it came time to study Scripture, he had few issues except for personal struggles. Today, he is a man of God.
Opportunities abound, all around us. The fields are already white for harvest, John 4.35. The harvest is plentiful, Luke 10.2.
The problem is not in the harvest, but in the number of workers available to go and reap. “The workers are few” Luke 10.2.
We need to “look up and see” the harvest, John 4.35. We must pray for more workers and “ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest” Luke 10.2. Then we ourselves must hear the Lord as he tells us, “Go!” Luke 10.3.
Elijah and his kin are waiting to discover the true gospel.