You Don’t Have to be a First Responder to Save Lives

Here is one description of a first responder: “a first responder is a person with specialized training who is among the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency, such as an accident, natural disaster, or terrorist attack.” For me, the key thought is that they have “specialized training”. First-responders are trained professionals.

But you don’t have to be a first responder to save lives. We regularly hear of people rushing to help victims of car crashes. Or think of all the volunteers who brought their boats to Houston to rescue people from the rising waters of Hurricane Harvey.

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How many Christians, however, act as if you have to be a spiritual first responder in order to save souls?  So many think a person has to have specialized training to witness – especially when witnessing to Mormons.

Now I’m not against training. A huge part of our ministry deals with equipping people to witness to Mormons. But I don’t ever want to give the impression that you can’t share your faith unless you are trained. The stakes are way too high to limit it to “professionals”!

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These are not just life and death situations – these are eternal life and death issues. On top of this, there is a matter of urgency. We don’t know how long anybody will live. Neither do we know how many chances we will have to witness. When we have the opportunity, we need to make the most of it and witness!

In fact, I want to take it one step further. Unlike the people mentioned above who reacted to a crisis, I would like us to be more like those who proactively address a problem. People who volunteer to help out at a soup kitchen or who sponsor a poor child overseas. Not only do we need to be alert to opportunities when they present themselves, let’s also work on creating opportunities to witness.  Instead of waiting for our LDS co-worker to ask us a question, we can take the initiative and talk with them. The stakes are too high not to do this.

And what’s so wonderful in all this is that “success” doesn’t depend on us. The Holy Spirit is the one who is responsible for creating faith in a person’s heart. And he works through his powerful word, not through any eloquence on our part.

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Friends, you don’t have to be a spiritual first responder to save souls! All you need do is tell people about Jesus who kept all of God’s commandments perfectly for us and then marked our debt of sin “paid in full” with the red ink of his blood. Not only will this have eternal consequences for those you witness to, this will also give you joy – joy that will last for all eternity.

Mark CaresComment