Today’s reading is drawn from Romans 10:14.
For years I’d been giving my usual duck call seminar around the country. Then something changed. I took the stage at an event in New Orleans and suddenly had what you might say was a watershed moment for me. I looked out over a crowd of about a thousand people and thought, There’s a lot of people here; I owe them at least the Good News! I have to believe that was a nudge from the Holy Spirit, because it certainly wasn’t part of my original plan.
Well, I just let ’er rip. I got out my Bible and preached the gospel to them for a good forty-five minutes. Everyone had been drinking beer and partying and having a big ol’ time. But when I started talking about sin, death, and every person’s need for Jesus, the room got as serious as a funeral. I mean, they sobered up right quick! I told them, “I owe you this news because I love you.”
My parting words were pretty strong but true: “Now that you’ve heard what you just heard, you have no excuse. You’re not going to be able to say on Judgment Day, ‘Lord, if I had only known. If someone had told me about You, Your Son, and what He’s done, I could have moved on it.’ I’ve taken that excuse away from you. Now you do know. So your blood is not on my head. It’s on yours.” I was just echoing what Jesus said in John 15:22: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
When I stepped off the podium, a guy with a troubled look on his face walked up to me and said, “I’ll tell you what, Phil. I would have been better off if I had never showed up here today.”
“How do you figure that?” I asked.
“I wouldn’t have known,” he replied. “If I had not been here, I could have pled ignorance, that I just didn’t know about Jesus. Now you, sir, have put me in a bind.”
I said, “Well, why don’t you just go ahead and respond to what you heard by faith, repent and be saved and have your sins removed so you can be raised from the dead and live eternally?”
“I just wish I hadn’t heard,” he said.
“Well, but you did hear,” I said. “Hey, everybody can be happy here today. You shouldn’t be singing the blues because of the greatest story you ever heard.”
I don’t know whether or not that dude left that arena a changed man. I do know that I left with a changed heart. It was after that event that I decided: whenever a crowd gathers and I’m speaking, they’ll hear the Good News from me.