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You Wear His Coat Very Well

Credit: Leroy Skalstad

Credit: Leroy Skalstad

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…”

This was the last commandment that Jesus gave to his friends before he left this earth. In America, God has seemingly eliminated the first step for us. Instead of going to the world, the world comes practically to our doorstep. I look around me, especially in the larger cities, and everywhere I see people that have come in from every part of the globe.

And although the first part has been taken care of for us, we still neglect the responsibility. We still don’t preach the Gospel. And yes, maybe many don’t want to hear- but shouldn’t we be salt and light? Why are we missing the opportunity to share the love of God with them, will that not tell the good news?

Along with these thoughts, I wanted to quote one of my favorite stories that apologist Ravi Zacharias frequently shares:

There is a magnificent story in Marie Chapian’s book Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy. The book told of the sufferings of the true church in Yugoslavia where so much wrong has been perpetrated by the politicized ecclesiastical hierarchy. That which has gone on in the name of Christ for the enriching and empowering of corrupt church officials has been a terrible affront to decency.

One day an evangelist by the name of Jakov arrived in a certain village. He commiserated with an elderly man named Cimmerman on the tragedies he had experienced and talked to him of the love of Christ. Cimmerman abruptly interrupted Jakov and told him that he wished to have nothing to do with Christianity. He reminded Jakov of the dreadful history of the church in his town, a history replete with plundering, exploiting, and indeed with killing innocent people. “My own nephew was killed by them,” he said and angrily rebuffed any effort on Jakov’s part to talk about Christ. “They wear those elaborate coats and caps and crosses,” he said, “signifying a heavenly commission, but their evil designs and lives I cannot ignore.”

Jakov, looking for an occasion to get Cimmerman to change his line of thinking, said, “Cimmerman, can I ask you a question? Suppose I were to steal your coat, put it on, and break into a bank. Suppose further that the police sighted me running in the distance but could not catch up with me. One clue, however, put them onto your track; they recognized your coat. What would you say to them if they came to your house and accused you of breaking into the bank?”

“I would deny it,” said Cimmerman.

“‘Ah, but we saw your coat,’ they would say,” retorted Jakov. This analogy quite annoyed Cimmerman, who ordered Jakov to leave his home.

Jakov continued to return to the village periodically just to befriend Cimmerman, encourage him, and share the love of Christ, with him. Finally one day Cimmerman asked, “How does one become a Christian?” and Jakov taught him the simple steps of repentance for sin and of trust in the work of Jesus Christ and gently pointed him to the Shepherd of his soul. Cimmerman bent his knee on the soil with his head bowed and surrendered his life to Christ. As he rose to his feet, wiping his tears, he embraced Jakov and said, “Thank you for being in my life.” And then he pointed to the heavens and whispered, “You wear His coat very well.”

Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, (Word Publ., Dallas: 1994), pp. 101-102
Found at https://bible.org/node/15891

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