From time to time we all find small windows of opportunity for the gospel. Faced with a chance encounter, a brief meeting, or a divine appointment, could you make a difference?
In medicine the golden hour refers to the brief window of opportunity for saving a life that follows a critical injury. A degree in medicine is not required. Anyone with a little training can save a life during the golden hour. So here’s the challenge:
If you had just one “golden hour” with an unreached people group, what would you do? In 60 minutes you don’t have time to do very much. But could you do enough to save at least one life? What would you say? What would you emphasize?
Recently I posed this challenge to a group of preachers and their responses are below. I did this to see whether there would be any consensus that something of lasting significance could be achieved in a short space of time.
The suggestions made by the preachers speak for themselves. It was not a competition, but one of the responses stands out for actually having been tried and succeeding brilliantly. If you have ideas of your own, click on “leave a comment” at the bottom of this post.
What would you do in one hour with an unreached people group?
“Well obviously I would try and pick up in the Spirit which is the way to go. I would probably go after healing and words of knowledge to demonstrate the reality of the power and love of God. Then I would try and explain what’s happening from the scriptures and how Jesus is the name above all names, and His uniqueness apart from all other gods and that He meets mans’ need. I would try and explain the futility of self righteousness and how God is not looking for it, but a surrendering in faith to the righteousness that comes from God in Christ, and that they exist to know God and have a relationship with Him, and outside of Him things are empty and meaningless. I would explain the cross – propitiation, justification and being made righteous – and eternal life.”
“Since they are ‘unreached’ nothing I say in 60 minutes is going to change anything. Perhaps this is cheating but hypothetically I would trust the Lord for a supernatural healing / manifestation (which would be the only way anyone in an unreached group would make a truly transformative life decision in such a short time) and then give them Peter’s admonishment in Acts 2.”
“I would preach Christ crucified for about 20 minutes then pray for healing and deliverance. I’d ask for a response to the gospel then pray for the baptism of the Spirit. The last thing I’d do is ask God to reveal a leader, set him in, and commit the church into the mighty hands of our King! If the church survives it’ll be a miracle, a testimony of the Holy Spirit’s power.”
“I have in fact been in this exact situation in Sri-Lanka when we had 30 minutes to preach to some Hindu workers in a factory. This is what we did.
“I told them to look around at nature and people and they would for sure know that there is a God. I then told them that many of their god’s were made of stone, wood or gold, but I wanted to tell them and introduce them to a God who made stone, wood and gold. That their god’s required hours of hard work to get them to prove their devotion to it, that these so called gods did not know how to love because they had no life. I asked them if they had ever experienced their gods. I then told them that I wanted to show them a God who doesn’t require us to prove anything to Him but in fact He proved His love for us through dying on a cross to set us free and to bring us into a real relationship with Himself. That all He wanted was for us to understand that love. That His name is Jesus.
“I then said that He would prove His existence and love by healing them from pain, sickness and the tormenting spirits. We saw people violently manifest and get delivered, some were healed and all 60 of them gave their lives, including our Muslim taxi driver.
“I think that the most import thing to relay if we had limited time is not the fear of hell or judgment, but rather the love and grace of God. The kindness of God leads people to repentance.”
“If I only had one hour, I would preach the kingdom (God’s superiority), heal their sick, cast out their demons and set the oppressed free. That is what Christ was anointed to do and that is what He is still anointed to do through me. If I had more time, I would still do exactly the same thing, I would just have more time to do it. Time should not dictate our methods. Jesus dictated what we should do. Preach, heal, cast out, set free. Stick to the basics no matter what the time constraints. I will take displays of kingdom power over man’s knowledge of the Bible and Christian psychology every time. People aren’t interested in the Bible, they are interested in freedom. Show them the Way and they will follow Him.”