The government in Russia is in the process of passing a law which would prohibit evangelism outside the walls of a church building. Christians would not be allowed to email their friends an invitation to church or to evangelize in their own homes. Most certainly, they could not evangelize on the street. These are considered the country’s most restrictive measures in post-Soviet history. They place broad limitations on missionary work, including preaching, teaching, and engaging in any activity designed to recruit people into a religious group.
What if there were similar restrictions in the USA about evangelism. Would you still do it? Most people don’t evangelism when there are no restrictions, so there would probably be even less if there was a law against proselyting.
Joachim Prinsloo was a farmer in South Africa the end of the 19th Century. Prinsloo was one of those sit-on-the-front-porch-with-a-shotgun kind of guys. Good fortune kept pestering him, but he refused to take advantage of it. He owned a farm that just happened to be on the main reef of gold running east to west just outside the city of Johannesburg. Prospectors kept agitating him until he sold his property. He unknowingly gave up mineral rights to one of the world’s richest gold mines. Prinsloo moved farther north and bought another farm. It wasn’t long before prospectors showed up on his new farm, but this time they were searching for diamonds. This time he wouldn’t budge. It was only after his death that the prospectors bought the farm from his daughter.
Here is the rest of the story. A diamond pipe was discovered on this property that became one of the richest mines in the world. It is the only mine where blue diamonds are found. It also produced the Culling diamond that is the largest diamond ever discovered. This stone was 3,106 carats as a rough gem. It was cut into many smaller stones, the largest of them ending up in the crown jewels in England. There is no way to place a value on this one stone, much less the thousands of other diamonds from this mine. Now, 100 years later, diamonds are still being surfaced from this mine.
Prinsloo missed his opportunity—twice! He could have had gold and diamonds but ended up with maize and cattle.
In the USA we still have a lot of freedom. We are sitting on a gold and diamond mine but like Pinsloo, we may be ignoring the opportunity.
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