Last night, I was watching an old episode of “Hell on Wheels.” The show was set during the time the railroad was being built. A town sprang up where the workers lived that were building the railroad.
The main character was a man named “Cullen Bohannon.” Bohannon had fought in the Civil War with the Confederate army. His wife and family had been murdered by the Union army and he was on a mission to find them.
On one occasion, Bohannon goes to the tent where the Preacher lived. This Preacher was crazy. He had a problem with alcohol.
Bohannon sat down and said, “Well, Preacher; this is your opportunity to preach to me.” In other words, he was open to hearing the words of the Lord.
Now think about that…Bohannon was a tough dude. He had killed several men. Yet, for one brief moment, he is open to what the Lord wants to say. And what does the Preacher tell him? He says, “Choose hate.”
Hearing this, Bohannon looks at him in disbelief. “Choose hate, brother.”
With that, Bohannon gets up and walks out.
The Preacher had one shot; one chance, to share the gospel with Bohannon and he fails. Instead of telling him about the love of Jesus he says, “Choose hate.”
As I watched that, I thought how we as Christians have, at times, one shot to preach to someone and what do we say? Do we take advantage if it and share the love of Jesus? Or, do we mess the message up? Do we talk about politics? Do we talk about how bad the world is? (And it has slipped morally). Do we criticize other denominations? Or do we tell them about the love of Jesus?
The other day, two ladies who are part of another religious group came to my door. They were going door-to-door passing out tracts. I was courteous and listened to them. But what they were saying was wrong. But, lots of people don’t know that.
As they left, I thought, “How many people will believe what they say because they don’t know any better?” Unfortunately some will.
“Preacher here is your chance to preach to me,” said Cullen Bohannon. And the crazy Preacher said, “Choose hate.”
Lord Jesus, what are we telling people? Let’s Choose love. Jesus is about love. That’s our message when we have one chance to preach to the world – Jesus loves you and so do I.