Be careful what you say to God. Experience has taught me that He often answers a prayer, even if it's mumbled. One day I muttered, "Lord, I know I have been preaching the gospel every day to groups of unsaved people, but I really need to do some one-to-one."

Later that day, I was in our call center when I noticed two temporary signs for our ministry. We had had them made while were waiting on a permit to create a special "Living Waters Publications" sign, incorporated into a waterfall.

I grabbed the signs off a table and decided I would tie one of them to the back gates of the ministry, so that at least delivery drivers would know that they were in the right location. I didn't realize that our ministry manager had asked one of the employees to hang the signs.

As I picked them up, Danny (the employee) asked a friendly, "What are you doing with those signs?" I was his boss, so I just smiled, put them behind my back as I walked away and said, "These are the signs that follow those who believe."

As I tied the sign to the fence, a man across the alley called out, "What's that? Living Waters?"

"It's a publishing company."

"Oh."

"We also produce a TV show called 'The Way of the Master.'"

The man, in his early fifties, began to walk toward me. "Oh yeah?"

"It's a Christian program. Do you have a Christian background?"

"Catholic."

"Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?"

"Yeah. I think so."

"Where do you think you will go when you die?"

"Heaven, I hope."

"What's your name?"

"Fred."

"I'm Ray, Fred. There's a little test you can do to see where you are going. Want to try it?

"Sure."

"Are you a good person?"

"Yes."

"Have you ever told a lie?"

As we went through the Commandments, Fred admitted to lying, stealing, and blasphemy.

I then explained that lust was adultery in God's sight and asked if he had ever lusted after a woman.

"No."

"Huh? Are you a homosexual?"

"No! Oh, I see what you're saying. Yes, I have."

He was very concerned that if he died then and there he would end up in Hell, so I explained the gospel to him, took him into our lobby, and gave him a copy of my book What Hollywood Believes.

When I stepped back into the lobby, Duane Barnhart, our TV program director and producer, was standing with a man I had never met.

"Ray, I want you to meet Jon. He's a television editor."

"Jon, nice to meet you. I like your T-shirt." His shirt read "Trust me. I know what I'm doing."

He said, "I collect T-shirts. I have one that says 'I've forgotten your name already.'"

That made me laugh. Even though I make an effort to remember, like most people, I have a hard time with names.

"So, what have you worked on?"

He then named a few TV programs. We were looking for a Production Assistant, and I presumed that's why Duane was introducing him to me, so I asked, "Are you a Christian?"

"Yes. Kind of."

Duane made himself busy with other things so that I would feel at ease talking with Jon, something I appreciated. I gave Jon a book and asked, "What do you think happens after someone dies?"

"I've been thinking about this stuff lately. I don't know."

"Do you consider yourself to be a good person?"

"Yes."

Over the next few moments, he too proved to be a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, and an adulterer at heart. He was concerned about the fact that he would go to Hell, so we went through the cross, repentance, and faith.

He was awakened to his plight but not alarmed about it, so I said, "See if you can guess how many people die every 24 hours."

"Worldwide? A few thousand?"

"150,000."

"Wow."

"And 42,000 people are killed in the U.S. every year in cars. The next time you get into a car, you may just be getting into a coffin. Think about these issues, Jon. It's not easy for me to talk to you like this, but I have to. It's so important."

He then left, and I went back to hanging the sign.

As I was about to tie it to the gate, two obvious gang-bangers walked down the ally. I said, "Hey, guys, did you get one of these?" I quickly grabbed two tracts from my pocket and handed them one each. As they read the tracts, I said, "There are Christian tracts. Have you had a Christian background?"

One of them answered, "No."

I asked for their names and tried to log them into my memory.

"What do you think happens after someone dies?"

"I haven't thought about it much."

"Where are you going?"

"Heaven, I hope."

I then went through almost exactly the same wording as with Fred, and walked them back to the lobby to give them "What Hollywood Believes" CDs, as they didn't read books.

"What are your names again?" (I should have been wearing Jon's T-shirt.)

They then told me their names (again), and I said, "Those are unusual names."

"Yeah. They're gang-banger names."

"Can you remember my name?"

"Keith?"

"No, it's 'Ray.'"

I spotted EZ, our manager, as we entered the lobby, so I called him over and introduced him, explaining that he used to be a gang-banger. After EZ shared his testimony with them, I gave them some material and said, "If someone puts a gun to your head and pulls the trigger, it means Hell forever. Can we pray for you guys?" The talkative one said, "Sure. Pray for this homeboy."

I did pray for them, thanking God that they were open, asking that He would remind them of their sins against Him, and give them understanding about what we had spoken about.

I then went outside and finished hanging the sign, and walked back into the lobby. While I had been witnessing to the gang-bangers, I noticed two people talking to my wife in the packing room. One was an attractive blond, the other was a gentleman in his early twenties. As I entered the building, he was seated in the lobby.

"Hi, I'm Ray. What's your name?"

"Ryan. I'm from Pitney Bowes. I was just checking your postage machine."

"Did you get a free book?"

"No."

"Oh. I'll get you one. It's called What Hollywood Believes. Have you had a Christian background?"

"No."

"What do you think happens after someone dies? Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?"

"No. You just die."

"Are you an atheist?"

"Yes, I am, actually."

"See this building? How do you know there was a builder? Isn't the building proof that there was a builder, even though you have never seen him?"

"Yeah..."

"Same with a painting and a painter. The painting is proof that there was a painter. When you look at creation, that proves there was a Creator."

Amazingly, Ryan nodded in agreement and quietly mumbled something about the complexity of life forms.

"Do you consider yourself to be a good person?"

He did, but as I was about to take him through the Law, the door opened and the blond returned from the restroom. That made the situation a little awkward, so I gave her a book, signed it, and asked, "Do you have a Christian background?"

"I was raised a Mormon, and have just started going back to church."

I didn't want to get into a debate about Mormonism, so I explained to her (I've forgotten her name) that I was talking to Ryan about a test to see if he was good enough to get into Heaven. "Listen in. It's interesting. Ryan, there are four simple questions. Are you ready?"

He nodded.

"Have you ever told a lie?"

After we went through the Law, Ryan admitted that if God judged him by the Ten Commandments, he would end up in Hell.

"Does that concern you?"

"Not up until I talked with you."

I then took him through the cross, repentance, and faith, talked about the importance of getting right with God that day, and they were on their way.

Wow! I thought about how, in thirty minutes, I had witnessed to six people face to face, and how faithful God is to bring prepared people to us if we are prepared to speak to them.

Then I remembered what I had in my pocket. It was a new tract that read: "Here's my phone number. Give me a call the day you are going to die, and we will talk further about eternity." It brought home the truth that we don't know when we are going to die, so we had better make peace with God today. I should have given each of these six people one of those tracts! I consoled myself by mumbling, "Never mind. There will be other times."


Ray Comfort's ministry has been commended by Franklin Graham, Josh McDowell, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Bill Gothard, David Wilkerson, Joni Eareckson Tada, and many other Christian leaders. He has written for Billy Graham's Decision magazine and Bill Bright's Worldwide Challenge. His literature is used by the Moody Bible Institute, Leighton Ford Ministries, Campus Crusade For Christ, Institute in Basic Life Principles, and the Institute for Scientific & Biblical Research. He has also written more than 35 books and is a regular platform speaker at Southern Baptist State Conferences. His videos were seen by more than 30,000 pastors in 1992, and he has spoken in more than 700 churches, from almost every denomination.

Visit The Way of the Master website.

Visit the Living Waters website.