Your "Last Person on Earth"

 

      Speaking of that 'last person on earth'- oh, we weren't? Well...let's!—we've spoken of it often enough before. I'm talking about the one special person in your life whom you've always considered to be "the last person on earth" to come to Christ. Everybody has one, you know; or maybe two or three! 

  I know who mine is: an unforgettable man: a Chinese gangster of all things—and definitely the most unlikely person to come to Christ that I've ever known; and I think I've known quite a few I met Mr. Wu ming-de on Easter week break in a little town called Beipu, about mid-way down the island of Taiwan.

I was preaching and doing evangelism there with a team of college students. Mr. Wu was a small-time racketeer who ran a number of illegal businesses in town and our first encounter with him was pretty unsavory.

The students had all gone out to neighboring villages, witnessing door-to-door and inviting the people to come to a Gospel meeting, and two of the girls had encountered him first. He immediately began to ridicule their Christian faith, and then made some indecent remarks to the girls, trying apparently to flirt with them. It made them so uncomfortable that they quickly moved on and left him behind.

But the trouble was that, later that afternoon, after the kids had come back, Mr. Wu showed up at the church and started bothering the two girls again. 

A team of protective students came and complained to me about it, and so I was given the assignment of handling him.  "He's just a worthless lyou-mang, Mr. Schorr," said one of the students. 

Yes, the Chinese have their own expression for 'slimeball' or 'scumbucket'. "He's bothering the girls. Go see if you can just get him to go away." 

Well, I must confess I felt a little uncomfortable telling a mob figure to 'get lost'. So I decided to go the diplomatic route and just chat with him for a while, hoping that he would grow tired of us all and just go away by himself. 

Make no mistake about it: this guy was rough! He was a mean-looking bloke with a grudge against the world. With every breath, he let it be known that he hated the Gospel and every other religion as well. He just sneered and cursed when I mentioned it to him and he kept looking at me as if I were the stupidest person on earth; which, right at that moment, may not have been too far off, since I so gullibly kept trying to engage him. 

Finally, just to keep the conversation rolling, I asked him what he did for a living. "Two things" be announced very proudly. He drove a Caterpillar for a road-construction crew during the day, and at night ran a few gambling joints on the outskirts of town. Totally illegal, of course, but why should that ever get in the way? Besides, the cops were afraid of him and left him alone. 

Finally, as if that weren't shocking enough. He told me that he had killed a man once without the slightest repercussions: "Except" he added dolefully, "that I now have people wanting to kill me." 

I sat there just stunned as I listened to him tell it! This was like out of the movies! We talked about the woes and the challenges of gangsterhood for a while and I tried my best to commiserate. And then, all of a sudden, right in the midst of this interesting talk, Mr. Wu became strangely silent and serious for a moment. Then he looked right straight at me and said something I never dreamed I would hear: "You know? My wife used to believe the stuff you preach."

"What did you say?" I asked in unbelief. We were speaking Chinese, so I had to double-check. 

"Yeah, Jesus, right! She used to go to church and everything."  He pulled out his wallet and showed me a picture of this beautiful Chinese woman with a little baby boy in her arms.

  "That's my boy! And that is my wife! She died about five years ago. And I really miss her! I miss her every day. But she used to believe all that stuff you preach."

   Listen, dear ones—I'm with you on this-! They sometimes do look like "the last person on earth". But you never really know how much need there is inside a person; no matter how bad things look on the outside. And no one is beyond the reach of our awesome, loving Heavenly Father. "Is my arm too short to Ransom you?" He asks, "Do I lack the strength to rescue you?" Is. 50:2

   Keep praying and sharing this wonderful hope, dear faithful OT; because, these days, you certainly are sharing it to a hopeless generation! And you'll often be surprised at how it's received.    

 

See you Sunday!                               RAS

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