There are times when we have to seize the moment. In football, the quarterback sees his wide receiver breaking free from the defenders and knows that the time has come to throw the ball. In romance, a young man reaches for a phone to ask a pretty girl out for dinner, knowing that the opportunity will never come again. The same is true in evangelism. God presents us with opportunities to point others to Jesus, and it is important that we know what to say when those opportunities arise.
I had this experience recently while sharing the gospel in a small town outside Kampala, Uganda. Several Ugandan Christians and I were walking through an impoverished neighborhood when we came across a group of women boiling stew on their porch. When we approached, they invited us inside their home. In some ways, it was a difficult situation. The women, along with a couple of men inside, were Muslims. Only one of them spoke English, so I had to speak with them through an interpreter. But when we brought up Jesus Christ, they were eager to talk and asked many questions. How important it was that I was able to share briefly and clearly who Jesus is and what He did for our salvation. God blessed that conversation, and it resulted in six Muslims professing faith in Jesus Christ.
Even more dramatic was the opportunity presented to John the Baptist when Jesus returned to the area where John was preaching. John had spoken of One greater than himself who would come, and now here He was. Seizing the moment, John cried out, “There He is!” As part of this important witness, John made clear and essential statements about Jesus’ person and work, statements that make up Christianity’s essential message of hope to the world. We need to be able to make such statements if we are to present the gospel’s message of hope.