The Gospel Simplified

     Back in the early 1970’s Alexander Watkins was a little old dried up cowboy from New Mexico who sat like a ram rod in the saddle and was tougher than the steers he rounded up for the market every fall.  Quiet by nature and not much to look at really, he owned a small ranch near Silver City at a place called Mule Creek, and was a true cowboy in every sense of the word. But as an evangelist, no one would have ever dreamed. But Alexander loved the Lord and people with all the fervency he used when it came to his cattle. Every Sunday he and his wife and daughter drove for over an hour one way to attend the same church Emory and I attended. But the Watkins family didn’t return home for a Sunday dinner like the rest of the congregation. They had a home packed lunch at the church. Then they hit the town to minister, first at the city jail, then the local rest home. Often they stayed until after the evening services and were by far the most dedicated members of our congregation.
     Emory was privileged to be a part of Alexander’s ministry team and learned much from his witnessing style. He says what impressed him most was the way that little old cowboy went into the jail and reached out to every inmate, one by one, with the simple gospel that he preached. First he would approach each cell and ask them a few questions about themselves. His God given insight helped him understand much about what was going on in their spirits. Then he would begin. “God is good, and the devil is bad.” Next he would tell them how much Jesus loved them and died to pay for their wrong doings. Finally he would quote Mark 16:16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. A simple message? Yes! But the team rarely left the jail without two or three praying the sinner’s prayer.
     Dear Christian, the world does not need a flowery message. All they need is a simple message spoken from a loving heart filled with the Holy Spirit. Here are a few more thoughts and scriptures to keep the gospel message simple. God is good. (James 1:19)The devil is bad. (John 10:10) Why do we fear the light and love darkness? Men love darkness because their deeds are evil. (John 3:19) We run away from the very thing that will make us happy and whole. Why? Just as Adam and Eve, we choose to believe Satan’s lies. In spite of it all God’s hand still reaches out.
     Join me, Friends, in reaching out to the lost with this simple gospel, be you a cowboy or a king, for he who wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30)

–Rebecca Somoskey