Have you had such occasions where being in prison has led to salvation or had an impact on your jailers? Also, how do you overcome the pressure that comes along with evangelistic conversations?

Hi Stuart. This is the first time I’ve taken advantage of such an opportunity. What a privilege to be able to ask personal questions of those in the forefront of apologetics. Thank you for taking your time.
I have two questions: Acts 16 tells the story of Paul and Silas in prison and their impact on their jailers. Have you had such occasions where being in prison has led to salvation or had an impact on your jailers?
My second question applies to feelings I have after sharing with others or in building a relationship. Often I get fearful that I have said the wrong thing and unintentionally offended the other person, especially if they don’t reply for quite a while. (I’m referring to email conversations when face to face aren’t possible.) I grew up with a good bit of rejection because I was a Christian when I was much younger in school. I think those feelings have stayed with me and have impacted my inability to let go of conversations, fearing rejection again or having said the wrong thing. Do you have any suggestions for overcoming this? I know we are to submit all things to the Lord, but it’s hard not to pick it up again.
Again, thank you for taking your time.

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Hello Sharon,

Nice to hear from you and glad we have this vehicle for some interaction, trust it is of help. The stories of imprisoned Christians and the impact from them is often gathered in missionary stories, histories and bios. There are many examples from across the ages and from more recent times, we have the writings of men like Richard Wurmbrand (Tortured for Christ) of Romania and men like Hristo Kulichev in Bulgaria, who were kept in prisons, sometimes tortured or beaten badly, and who nevertheless shared their faith. Stories also come from China and in particular the Mao years. From men like Wong Ming Dao (A Stone Made Smooth) to more recent books like The Heavenly Man. In my case, I did not see actual conversions but I did have real opportunities to witness which brought lots of response. I believed God was in control, that I was there with a purpose, and sowing the seeds, I could leave the outcome in His hands and timing.

Fear is a controlling force in many of our lives and we have to find ways to let love and compassion overcome it. In Colossians 4:5-6, the scriptures give direction to the manner in which we live and how we can take actions that demonstrate the grace of God, that show His compassion and concern, and which then, may, invite questions and interaction. Loving people is the central aspect of witnessing. We want to share the revealed love of God for them, we need the Spirit’s help and power, which is where prayer and faith come in. All of us struggle with the same things to varying degrees. It means choosing against ourself many times (see Luke 9:23-26), taking some risks, and asking God for wisdom so that we can push out, even though hard.

When our son was little, there was some task my wife needed him to face and to get done. She had talked to him often, she had prayed with him, and here he was once again struggling to face it and get it done. He said to her, “I’m scared”, to which she replied “that’s alright, just do it scared”. He did and he pressed through. I think there are times when we allow our fears to dominate yet perhaps the answer might be to push out and to “do it scared?” So, may God grant you grace, wisdom and courage in all you do.

Regards, Stuart.

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