How Many Times Have You...?

By C.A. Burcham

There is an article that made the rounds of bulletins years ago. I do not remember all the details, only the gist, so I will make up some details.

“A Christian had asked his friend many times to attend the church services with him, but with negative results. One day the friend said, `Okay; I will.’ The Christian was joyous but flabbergasted. So he said, ‘I am happy you will go, but after all these times, why now? The friend said, `Do you know how many times you have asked me?’ The Christian said, `I have no idea.’ He said, `you have asked me thirty times.’ I said to my wife last week, `If he asks me one more time, we will go with him.”‘ “Have you asked?”

I feel sure that asking someone for a personal Bible Study with the “same persistence” would be more likely to produce a positive result, than an “I know they won’t do it, before I even ask” attitude. Sales organizations (insurance, cosmetics, pots and pans, etc.) teach their employees to look for the statistics. In other words, you must ask so many people, before you get an appointment; you must have so many appointments, before you get a sale. The sales people who “persist” are the successful ones with what they sell.

I do not mean to equate the tactics used to sell “things to the work of teaching the “Word of God” to people who are lost without it. Of course, the latter is of greater necessity, and of a far greater and lasting worth. However, the Bible does teach us of the need for our “persistence”. Read these: Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) “And let us not prow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we ‘do not lose heart.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV) “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.” Hebrews 12:3 (NKJV) “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Many other passages teach the same, but these should suffice to show the Lord wants us to “keep on keeping on”. “How many times have you asked...?”

If you do not feel competent to teach, please do not let that hinder your invitation to study. Brother Cicero ha: asked that we please schedule teaching appointments for him. If he gets more appointments than he has time; the same plea is for the elders. Let them teach your contacts.

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