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Do you know someone who has gotten SO off track, so deep in sin and far from their spiritual roots, that it seems nothing you do can reach them?
Have you ever wondered how someone in that situation returns to God?
The short answer: GOD pursues them! But a longer (and quite fascinating) answer is that you can help. Your gift to support evangelism answers God’s call to take the Gospel into all the world.
If you’ve ever doubted that evangelism can reach those who’ve gone astray, I have quite the story to share with you today.
Several years ago, the Voice of Prophecy hired a crew to help film meetings at our Revelation Speaks Peace series in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Little did we know that God was transforming a life right behind the camera lens!
AN IDYLLIC LIFE GONE SOUR
Taylor Cantrell was raised running cameras as his dad traveled filming Adventist events around the country. He lived in an Adventist bubble, attending church schools, living near Adventist campuses, and filming at every General Conference event. He was born and raised an Adventist Christian, and he enjoyed that life as a child.
But as Taylor approached his teen years, things changed. His parents divorced, and he reacted to the devastating pain and confusion in ways that are, sadly, all too common. He began smoking various substances and fell into friendships with other troubled teens.
I’ve met many people whose lives went off track after painful events. Satan is fighting hard to hide God’s loving nature. As Christians, we must fight back and show them God’s true character!
To make things worse, Taylor spent more than a year dating a young woman, only to end up part of the town scandal when she started a relationship with and eventually married their high school teacher.
The salacious details of this juicy gossip spread fast. Taylor felt overlooked and alone. After all, this had happened to him. Completely blindsided, he felt that no one cared about him at all.
“After I graduate, I’m not ever going to speak to any of these people again!” he vowed bitterly.
INTO THE WORLD OF DRUGS
Taylor soon experimented with many kinds of drugs. When a friend mentioned that he was moving to Santa Barbara, California, to start a marijuana dispensary, Taylor was excited to work with him. It seemed like a dream.
The money turned out to be more than he had ever dreamed. The business scaled quickly, to hundreds of deliveries per day. Taylor had more money than he had ever seen before. But there was a cost . . .
“I had started dealing to a lot of college kids,” remembers Taylor. “At first I sold to them in very nice college dorm rooms. Later I delivered only to their friends’ dorm rooms. Finally, I made the deliveries only in public spaces. I literally watched people smoke away their college career through me. I thought, ‘I can’t be this person.’ I felt like temptation on legs, and I didn’t want to be that.”
Taylor also negotiated with drug suppliers carrying huge sums of cash. During one such meeting he realized the danger he was putting himself in.
“I wasn’t impressed with the person I was becoming,” says Taylor. He wanted out.
LEAVING, BUT NOW WHAT?
Taylor abruptly left his life in Santa Barbara and moved to Fresno. The only place for him to stay was in a relative’s unconverted garage. Taylor baked miserably in the steaming heat as the summer sun radiated off the metal garage doors.
After making more money than he had ever dreamed of, Taylor was now working part-time and living in misery and discomfort, without the funds to even rent a small apartment. He could have returned to his life in Santa Barbara, but for what? It hadn’t made him happy.
When Taylor’s father proposed a month-long job filming an evangelistic series in Minnesota, Taylor jumped at the chance! He needed the money to build a new, respectable life for himself. He didn’t know that he would receive far more than a paycheck.
A HEART CHANGE
As I preached each night, Taylor’s camera was set up directly in front of the stage. He tells me that each time I looked out at the audience, or into the camera, it felt like I was speaking directly to him.
God orchestrated everything perfectly for Taylor—and for so many others during those meetings, as He always does. He is faithful! When you and I do our best to share Him, He blesses, and He uses our efforts to help reach lost people.
Even though Taylor was only 23 years old, and he had already heard the Adventist message many times . . . God spoke to his heart. In fact, many afternoons Taylor was restless, hardly able to wait for the meetings to start.
He was learning more about prophecy, Revelation, and God than he ever had in all his years of church and school—and he was blown away.
“[In the past] I had been either not listening, or it wasn’t presented in a way I could absorb meaningfully,” says Taylor. “In Shawn’s meetings, he intentionally took that time and laid it all out like a buffet menu. Thank you for allowing me into the depth of faith that you have! How could I get to where you are in faith, if I didn’t understand what you understand?”
Taylor comes to tears when he remembers accepting the truth that Jesus loves you right now, whatever state you’re in.
When the altar call came, Taylor answered.
YOU CAN REACH MORE PEOPLE
Do you believe that God is working powerfully to reach hearts today? I hope you do. God’s truth changes lives! Evangelism was a turning point for Taylor, and he has never looked back.
Who else needs Jesus? Will you be part of the effort to reach people for Christ this year?
When you give toward evangelism, God blesses that gift—and the giver. There's no greater reward than to see more souls brought home to His heavenly kingdom. You are an important part of His plan. Without your gifts, the Voice of Prophecy wouldn’t be around to share God’s truth.
If reaching people for the Lord is important to you, please donate today. Make His work a priority, and you will receive eternal, heavenly blessings.
Your brother in Christ,
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