Last night some friends and I had the priviledge of attending a special service where Kirk Cameron was speaking. Some of you may remember him from Growing Pains, a sitcom from the 80's that was quite popular. Now he is part of a ministry called Way of the Master which is an evangelical outreach to the lost. A friend of mine was able to save seats up front in the second row so we got a real good view of him. He looks just like he did on the show, by the way, although a bit more mature!
What struck me about him is his enthusiastic love for God and for the lost. He told the story of his wild past before he got saved and the decadent lifestyle he lived as a teen idol in the 80's. He was an atheist at the time and rejected God and even laughed at those who believed in Him. But he attended church a few times with his girlfriend, only with the intent to please her, and somehow the message crept into his heart and he began to wonder about eternity. One day in his car, he realized that if the Bible was in any way possibly true, then he was doomed to Hell when he died, and even though he was young at the time, he knew that could really happen any day. So, he asked God to reveal Himself, told Him that if He were real, then Kirk needed to come clean, repent and change His life. And God did show Himself. Not with bells, whistles, or angels, but deep within Kirk with a sensation of overwhelming Holiness and Power.
Since then, Kirk has been on a mission to tell others the gospel. That there is a God, He loves you, and doesn't want you to be without Him for all eternity. He and his partner, Ray Comfort have taken the ministry of Jesus as their example to share the good news with others, and he gave us all a demonstration. What I liked about his method was that it didn't involve an altar call, it didn't involve a canned "sinners prayer", but it pointed out to the person that they needed saving because no matter how "good" they think they are, they can never measure up to God's standard. Once a person realizes how sinful they are, they are nearly there. They must just "repent" which Kirk explained as doing a complete U-turn on the life you're leading, turn to Jesus and follow Him. Repentence isn't just saying I'm sorry to God and then going about your way. It's a lifestyle change and one in which now you put all your trust in God and make Jesus your Lord.
It was a great message and one in which many churches need to hear these days. Let's forget the donuts, coffee, entertaining bands and plays, and the water-downed messages all designed to attract people, and let's just do what Jesus did. It worked for Him. Why do we think we can improve on it?