It is God's
desire that every person on earth receive Jesus Christ as their Lord
and Savior. He also desires that each believer grow and develop
Jesus said in Mark 16:15-20,
ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth
not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe;
In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new
tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly
thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and
they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he
was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And
they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them,
and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
We must always keep in mind the lost and dying
world around us. Everyone around us needs to be ministered to, because
every human being has needs. Many people donít know that God loves
them, cares for them and wants to meet their every need. Our job, as
believers is to go tell them about the love of God and share it with
them by reaching out and giving a hand to those in need.
Ask God to give you the words to say, then in
faith, step out and invite an individual, a family, a coworker, a
neighbor, or even a total stranger to come to church. Show them that
you care, and that youíve got their best interest at heart. Let them
see your heartís desire is for them to be blessed and to receive all
that God has for them.
When you see people at church that you donít
know, introduce yourself and share your Christian love and friendship
with them, for the world needs to see that we love and care for them.
Then, God will bless all our endeavors.
I got saved one Sunday night, and the following
day, I encountered the first people that I really witnessed to. That
Monday, the guys that I worked with and I went to eat at a place where
construction guys ate lunch. I walked in, and there were two
businessmen sitting in a booth. One was Mr. Baldwin, who owned Baldwin
Sporting Goods in our town. The other was Mr. Edwards, who owned Clyde
Edwards Shoe Store; they made shoes for handicapped people. They knew
me because I had gone to school with their kids.
When I walked in there, and Mr. Clyde Edwards
raised his head and looked at me, and he said, "Jesse, how
come youíre so happy today?" He said it in a smart way. I
donít remember being happy; I was just glad that I made things right
with God and that Iíd gotten this sin burden lifted off of my
shoulders. The night before, I had accepted Christ as my Savior. Even
though I grew up in church and hardly ever missed a Sunday, I didnít
know one scripture--I didnít know John 3:16, or that the Lordís
Prayer was in the Bible. I didnít even know that the Bible said,
I already told the guys that I was walking in with
that Iíd gotten saved the night before. So I looked at Mr. Edwards
and Mr. Baldwin, and I said, "I got saved last night." Cynically,
he said, "Saved from what?" When he asked that,
everybody stopped eating and looked at me to listen to what I was
going to say. I didnít know what to say; I didnít know any verses.
I just knew that the night before, I found out that I was going to
hell. I was shocked to find out that I wasnít a Christian because I
went to church. But if that were the case, youíd just need to build
churches and Jesus didnít need to have come. God gave His only
begotten Son. If there had been some other way that He could have done
it, He would have.
If the new birth could have come through the law,
we would have just had the law. But the law was our school master...until
the Master got here. Once He came, we no longer needed the
law. For there was no new birth by keeping the ten commandments. You
could live your whole life keeping the ten commandments, but still not
be born-again. You can confess every sin you ever committed if you
could think of it, and ask God to forgive you---and He would---but
youíre still not born-again. Youíre still not a new creature.
only way to be born again is to confess Jesus Christ as your Savior.
They all stopped and looked at me. He said, "Saved
from what?" I said, "S-s-saved from...hell."
And both of those men---Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Clyde Edwards---ducked
their heads in reverence and conviction, and said, "Good for
you, Jesse." These two men are the first people I really
witnessed to after I talked to the guys I worked with.
I didnít know any scripture, so now I wanted to
find out what the Bible said. So, I bought a Bible and the Bible on
cassette tape and started listening to it. Iíd write verses of
scripture down. Iíd have salvation scriptures, prayer, healing and
miracle scriptures, and Iíd share them with other people. Iíd find
somebody that was saved, and the Lord would have me share, for
example, scriptures on being baptized in the Holy Ghost.
I put bumper stickers about Jesus on my van and on
my toolbox lids--both the inside and outside lids. One very wealthy
and snobbish lady came in when I was carpeting her house and walked
down the hallway to where my toolbox was. She saw the bumper sticker
inside the lid, saying, "Jesus is coming." It
made her angry, so she took her high-heel spectator shoe and kicked
the lid down. And the outside said, "Heís still
I was a traveling billboard for Jesus. I wore a
huge lapel pin that said, "The Rapture" on it.
I put "Jesus" on everything I could find,
letting people know. I signed my name on all my checks with the word, "Saved"
underneath my signature. A teller at the bank asked real loud one day,
"Saved---what does that mean?" She asked, so I told
her what it meant. She wished she hadnít asked, but I didnít want
any body not to know about Jesus. I went all of my life without
knowing that you had to be saved to get to heaven. I may not have been
real thrilled to go to heaven, but I sure didnít want to go to hell.
I wanted people to know, and I still do. I didnít want there to be
anyone who knew me, who did not know Jesus. So every night, if I would
get off work in time, I would go someplace and preach. Iíd stand on
the street corners, in front of bars and cinemas and follow people to
their cars...I was a spiritual stalker for souls, to bring them
into the kingdom of God.
There are plenty of places to minister. Sometimes
the Lord would lead me on my job to talk to someone about being
baptized in the Holy Ghost, or receiving healing in their life. Every
day, I was working in several houses. Sometimes Iíd work in only
one, but I could work in as many as eight houses a day. That would
cover a lot of territory. Then, I would walk down the hospital
hallways until I felt led to go into a room. Iíd walk into a room
and ask the question, "Does anybody in this room need a
miracle?" You get all kinds of answers and all kinds of
opposition. The devil will rise up.
I was in a hospital room one day to pray for
somebody and the nurse got very upset, because we were in there
praying. Even though I did it reverently and without confusion, the
spirit that was in her hated that prayer. If you have power, the devil
knows it, and he doesnít want that prayer to come forth. The devil
knows whoís got power and who doesnít, so people whoíve got a
devil are afraid to be around the power. If youíve got a demon in
you, heís going to be very uncomfortable around the Name of Jesus
and the Spirit of God. I learned a lot just by going into places like
that to minister.
Then, I would go to the jail every week. I wanted
to go every day, but theyíd only let me in once a week. If I were an
ordained minister, I would be allowed in every day. When I first went
to see about ministering in the jail, the sheriff told me,
"Weíve got this organization that comes in on Sundays and if
you could get in with them, you can come when they do." I
said, "What is this organization?" He named it and I
thought, "Two of my three brothers are members of this
organization." This organization puts Bibles in hotel rooms,
and each one has the potential of reaching 24,000 people in its
lifetime. They also give out Bibles to people in the military and in
the prisons. My brother got me in with this organization, and I would
go into the jail with them each Sunday.
Initially, the leaders of this organization told
me, "You can come in with us, but you canít say anything
about speaking in tongues or miracles." I didnít agree that
I wouldnít. I just stood there and smiled in all of the right
places, and they said, "Do you want to come next Sunday?"
I said, "No, I want to come this Sunday." Why
wait? The door of opportunity had opened up.
I would go, and one of these guys would give their
testimony, and all of the 150 to 200 guys in jail would all be
listening, and Iíd watch the crowd. Iíd wait until people would
raise their hands to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, and after
the sinnerís prayer, Iíd go over to the one that I felt led to go
to. Iíd squat next to him in front of the bars and reach my hand in
there and introduce myself: "Iím Jesse Rich. Whatís your
name?" Sometimes they still had a real attitude, swearing and
stuff. Iíd ask, "Do you know what you just did when you
prayed the sinnerís prayer?" If they didnít quite
understand, Iíd tell them what they did, and explain it to them.
Then, Iíd usually ask, "Do you need God to do a miracle for
you?" Theyíd always tell me what they needed. The top three
requests were: they didnít have any money; they hadnít heard from
their attorney since theyíd been in jail; or they hadnít seen
their wife. Then, Iíd just say, "Well, letís pray and
believe God, and agree, that by this time next week, youíll see your
wife, or youíll hear from your attorney, or youíll get that rent
money. Now, will you agree that if this happens, itíll be a
miracle?" Many times, theyíd swear and say, "God
Himself couldnít move on my old lady, to bring her in here."
Then, the next week, Iíd go in and thatís the
person Iíd be looking for. Iíd pull them over next to the bars,
and ask, "So, what happened?" Theyíd go on, "Oh,
man, my old lady came in here three times last week, since you
prayed!" Or theyíd tell about how they got the money for
the rent. Iíd remind them that they had said that God Himself
couldnít do this miracle, and Iíd say, "But I told you, He
would! He did that because He loves you." So Iíd show them
some scriptures in their Bible that they could pray themselves
and use after they are moved or released.
You see, when you get saved, you want to do the
work of an evangelist. I was no preacher---I was just a carpet
installer---but every day, Iíd share Jesus with somebody. God will
train and equip you to go forth and share the message. Iíd carry a
little bottle of oil with me. In James, it says, "Is any sick
among you? Let him call for the elders of the church..." I
didnít wait for the inmates to call; Iíd call upon them,
and read them scriptures and show them that they could be healed
through the anointing of oil and the prayer of faith in the Name of
the Lord. The prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord
shall raise him up. Iíd open up my Bible and show them what
James said, and Iíd carry a little bottle of oil with me. This was
the beginning of the Lord using me.
God trains us and weíre to disciple others and
bring them into the family of God. You can knock on doors...when you
do, the devil will tell your head, ĎĎThis is not your
ministry...í The people may accept it, or they may not. Those
men talked to me about Jesus and I didnít accept it, and they left. We
parted company, but something that stayed with me was conviction.
They just kept saying, "What about Jesus?" In other
words, "Jesse, all of these people have done you wrong, but
has Jesus ever done you wrong?" And they read scripture for
me from the Bible about being saved.
You want to have a heart that you want to work for
God: that you want to be about the Fatherís business, building His
kingdom; bringing people into His kingdom. How can people know without
a preacher? Itís our responsibility, each one of us as believers,
not to hide our Christian life underneath a bushel. Itís to be lived
where everyone can see it---Jesus is to be shouted from the housetops.
Jesus Christ is the most valuable gift in life, and the new birth
and salvation. When you get saved, you become a child of God.
In the Old Testament, on your best day, you were a servant of God.
But when you get saved, you become a child of God! Just as Jesus is a
child of God, you become a child of God. Youíre grafted in, and God
becomes your Father. God is God to the world, but Heís my Father.
And He promised He would take care of you. And you learn in
witnessing. You learn more about the Bible when you share with others.
You give out the scripture that you know. When Mr. Edwards asked me, "Saved
from what?" I just told what knowledge I had - I remembered
that last night, they preached a message about hell fire and
You have to realize that everybody who is not saved
is going to hell . No one will escape it. Thereís nothing more
important in this life than getting the gospel out. Thereís
no gray area---this may not be what your mind likes to hear, but
itís the truth. You have to tell people about Jesus. They need to
know that thereís a way out of this world, and thatís through
Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "Go into all the world and
preach the gospel." Do you think Jesus ever lied? Do you
suppose that He ever lied one time? He said go in to all the world and
preach the gospel and he that believes shall be saved,
he that believeth not shall be damned.
If a person does
not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, they canít go to heaven.
And thereís only one other place to go!
Letís say weíre in a room, and the room has one
door. If the building catches on fire, we need to go out that door.
You may not like the idea that they built the hotel and put one door
in, but thank God thereís one doorway out! And God made a provision
and He made a way out when He gave His Son. He gave us a mediator and
we can receive Christ. And when we do, we need to tell everybody about
it! At the appropriate time, God will anoint you to share with someone
about Jesus. If you keep it a secret, you get cold, but you need to
tell somebody about Jesus every day. Share a scripture everyday; find
someone to witness to. Youíll get all kinds of responses. I tried to
respond to those men as if I were okay. I tried to act as if I were
saved, but what they were saying was pricking my heart.
The gospel is offensive to religious people. The
first statement theyíll make is, "I donít believe that
way. We believe differently at our church." Thatís a
first-class sign that youíve got somebody whoís not saved. Or,
youíll get a response like, "There are many interpretations
of the Bible. Man wrote the Bible." Thatís another sign
that youíre dealing with somebody that is not saved. Look for the
signs. Or people will say, "Iím a church member." When
they respond, youíre going to have to believe God to know what to
say, and He will give you words to say. Some people will be very
defiant about it. Others will be arrogant, and with others, youíll
know right away that youíre getting to them. But if you listen to
the Lord and allow Him to give you the words in your heart, and allow
Him to use your mouth, youíll be able to share with those people.
Sometimes youíll get some demon spirits activated
that are in the person, and theyíll manifest. Thatís when youíll
need the Name of Jesus to take authority over them. By being filled
with the Holy Ghost, God gives you the anointing to be a witness.
Go to Jerusalem and tarry for this promise from on high. And
youíll receive power to be a witness. Iíve witnessed without the
power---it doesnít work, itís just head knowledge. But when you
witness inspired by the Spirit of God, those words go forth and prick
them. Then theyíre going to have to make the decision what to do
I have included here my Salvation Prayer Card. Read
it, copy it, and use it to be a tool in praying for your loved ones
who are not saved.
A PRAYER FOR THE SALVATION OF LOVED ONES
God, I come to You today in the Name of Jesus,
claiming the Salvation of _______________. I claim by faith that they
are saved, delivered, set free and baptized in the Holy Spirit. In the
Name of Jesus, I break Satanís power over their lives. He will not
keep them from coming into the family of God.
Lord, You said in Your Word, ...Whatsoever
ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye
shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew
18:18). Satan, I bind you from their lives. Youíll not keep them
from receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior!
Jesus gave me ...power
to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the
Youíll not keep the light of the glorious gospel of Christ from
shining unto them (Luke 10:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4).
Lord, I ask You to remove from their lives any
people or influences that are not supposed to be there, and that
distract my loved ones from salvation.
Father God, Your Word says, ...Believe
on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (Acts
It is written that You ...will
have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth
and that You are ...not
willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance (1 Timothy
2:4& 2 Peter 3:9).
Father, You opened Lydiaís heart in Acts 16:14. I
believe You will do the same for my loved ones. I
ask You to send Holy Spirit-led believers across their paths.1
I pray that their eyes will be opened to the Truth as they hear Your
I cease not to give thanks for _____________,
making mention of them in my prayers; that You, the God of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto them the Spirit of
wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You: the eyes of their
understanding being enlightened; that they may know what is the hope
of Your calling and what are the riches of the glory of Your
inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of Your
power to them who believe according to the working of Your mighty
Thank You, Father, for creating the right
circumstances for the Word to be planted in their hearts. Laborers are
being sent forth to minister unto them and Holy Ghost conviction is
drawing them to You.
I refuse to fear. I have claimed ______________for
the Kingdom of God in Jesusí Name. I am standing in faith and love
for them. I am not moved by what I see or feel; I am only moved by
what the Word of God says. Circumstances are subject to CHANGE!3
I have Godís Word and it cannot fail. The devil is a liar. He cannot
prevent the Word of God from reaching them.
Father, Your Word will not return to You void, but
it will accomplish that which pleases You.4 I believe You
have heard my prayer and have granted my request.5 I am
rejoicing with confidence, knowing that You are at work in their lives
to will and to do Your good pleasure.6 Thank You, Father,
are saved according to Acts 16:31. In Jesusí Name,
1 Luke 10:2 4 Isaiah 55:11
2 Ephesians 1:16-19 5 1 John 5:14,15
3 2 Corinthians 4:18 6 Philippians 2:13
Jesus to the Sinner