Home / Interviews / Interview-Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministries, Part 1

Interview-Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministries, Part 1

When one thinks about the great evangelists of today, names like Billy Graham, Reinhard Bonnke and Oral Roberts come to mind. Ray Comfort has earned a spot on that list with his 30+ years of evangelism experience. Originally from New Zealand, Comfort moved to Southern California in the late 1980s to participate in ministry and pastoring. This led him to establish Living Waters Ministries which created tracts for his street preaching and evangelism. After mentoring the famous actor Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains), Comfort and Cameron started the TV show The Way of the Master in the early 2000s. Comfort has debated several well-known atheists and written various books related to Christian apologetics. My inner “theology nerd” was elated when asked to interview Ray Comfort via phone for The Bottom Line Ministries on May 31st, 2024. The following article includes selected questions and Mr. Comfort’s responses. Since Mr. Comfort is a fountain of wisdom, we have divided the article into two parts. This is the first installment.

Chandee Martin: I have watched numerous Living Waters videos and read some of your books. I am curious how you started with evangelism.

Ray Comfort: The moment I became a Christian, I had an incredibly overwhelming concern that my family were not saved. I then became overwhelmed that my neighbors weren’t saved, and then I thought “No one is saved.” So, I had a burden for the lost the moment I became a Christian. Basically, I realized that God is giving eternal life to humanity and all humanity is dying. They are without hope and they are dead. That horrified me, so from the moment I became a Christian, I’ve been evangelistic, which every Christian should be. I love the words of Charles Spurgeon when he said, “Have you no wish for others to be saved when you’re not saved yourself?” Be sure of that and for yourself and for most of us, because much of the church, contemporary body of Christ is busy doing everything except reaching out to the lost. Yet, that is what they need. That’s what we see in Scripture with the life of Jesus and the book of Acts. There’s nothing but corner after corner reaching out to the unsaved with the Gospel.

Chandee Martin: Yes, yes. How old were you when you realized that Christianity was the way to go?

Ray Comfort: Well, for about 10 years, I prayed every night, and I couldn’t get to sleep unless I’d rattled off The Lord’s Prayer. Yeah, I had a belief in God. I believed Jesus was the Son of God. If someone had said to me, “Are you a Christian?” I was saying, “Yeah. I believe in God.” I had no idea of what the Gospel entailed, but at the age of about twenty, I had an epiphany. I realized, as part of the ultimate statistic, 10 out of 10 died. And one night I just looked to the ceiling and cried out, “Why am I alive? Why is my wife going to die?” We were newly married. She could be taken from me at any moment, and all my material possessions would mean nothing. I wept that night, but I didn’t realize that God heard that cry. I just cried out, and six months later, I heard the Gospel for the first time, was convicted of my sin when I read the words of Jesus in a friend’s Bible while on a surfing trip. “Whoever looks upon a woman to lust for her has committed adultery already with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). There was like an arrow hitting my chest. I thought, “You’re kidding! Is that God’s standard? Does He see my thought life?” I understood the cross for the first time in my life, which was totally irrelevant until that very moment. And so, I was made a brand-new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and began sharing the Gospel with everybody I could possibly share it with.

Chandee Martin: Amazing! I know you have been a pastor in the past. Did you feel that was a new “gifting”? Or was it something that came along with evangelism?

Ray Comfort: I was a pastor for three and a half years, and I hated every minute of it! (We both laugh.) I don’t like pastoring. Those three and a half years were a time of tribulation. But it was very necessary for me because it laid a wonderful foundation for when I began itinerating. So, I start preaching to over 1,000 churches, and when I get into a pulpit, I realized what a privilege I have and how the pastor is entrusting me. It’s like he’s sitting in the back of a car with his family, giving me the keys and saying, “Please, stay on the right side of the road.” And so, when I meet a pastor, I’ve got tremendous empathy for him because I know how difficult is to preach to the same people week after week after week. When I began itinerating, it was like a breath of fresh air. But as I said, it was a necessary foundation.

Chandee Martin: Absolutely! What would you say is the most important thing that a Christian, a believer, could say to a non-believer or one who is not saved?

Ray Comfort: It’s to find out where they are spiritually. If someone’s unsaved and they die tonight or today, they’re going to be justly damned by God. And so, whenever I meet a stranger, the first thing I’m concerned with is, is this person Christian? Are they trusting in Jesus? That’s a very, very difficult thing to swing from the subject of whatever you’re talking about with a complete stranger to the things of God. But, about 20 or 30 years ago, I discovered a way to do it that was very inoffensive and got rid of the fear of man for me. And there was this one question: “Do you think there’s an afterlife? Or do you think there’s life after death?” It’s a wonderful doorway to get into the heart of a sinner. The way to find out where they’re at spiritually is to say, “Do you think you’re a good person? Are you going to make it to heaven?” They say, “Yeah, I’m a really good person.” That’s your litmus test. They’re not trusting in Jesus. They don’t understand the cross. And that gives a good starting point. That’s what Jesus did with the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22). He would prove his understanding of the word “good.” The rich young ruler said, “Good master,” and Jesus immediately proved to him that the use of that word “good” means moral perfection in God’s book. So, when someone says they’re good, they don’t understand what good is. And then Jesus gave the rich young ruler five of the Ten Commandments to show God’s standard.

Chandee Martin: Yes! How can Christians get started in evangelism? Do you suggest they start with people that they know who are not Christians?

Ray Comfort: Starting with people you know is really scary. Starting with family is a nightmare! I’d rather witness to 1,000 machete-wielding atheists than witness to my sister. (We both laugh.) Not that she’s a monster, but if I offend a stranger, I’ve lost nothing. But if I offend my sister, I’ve lost everything. So, strangers are the ones to go to. It’s like saying to someone, “How do you get people interested in fishing?” We’ll go to a fishing spot somewhere. So, if you have a lunch hour, instead of sitting there eating for the whole hour, go out with your lunch, sandwich in hand, eat your sandwich and just go sit next to a stranger. Say, “Nice day.” He says, “Yeah, really, we’ve had a lot of rain lately.” Then ask, “What’s your name?” He answers, “Fred.” “Fred, do you think there’s an afterlife?” and away you go! We’ve got to know where the “fish” are. So, I call it going to a “fishing hole.” Twice a day, I go to a local college and take my dog on my bike. She’s got a platform, and she wears sunglasses. And why?

Chandee Martin: I saw that video! Very cute!

Ray Comfort: So is the dog! (I laugh.) Immediately, we start a conversation when I ride up to a complete stranger and my dog’s wearing sunglasses. One guy said to me the other day, “I wouldn’t have stopped and talked to you if you hadn’t had a dog with sunglasses. I thought, this guy can’t be too bad to have a dog like this.” (I laugh again.) It’s a great door opener. Dogs are wonderful! If you have a dog, go for a walk with your dog around the block. Do it regularly and you’ll meet strangers that will say, “Hey, what’s your dog’s name?” and “What sort is that?” And you’ve got a friend, if you’ve got a dog.

Chandee Martin: Yes, absolutely. I agree! I have heard you talk about modern evangelism and how it really leaves out the importance of God’s law. Can you explain what kind of view we as Christians should have of God’s law?

Ray Comfort: It’s very important to understand the biblical truth of Romans 8:7. It says, “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.” In other words, the natural mind of man is in a state of hostility towards God. You can see this in the fact that almost everybody in the world uses God’s name as a cuss word. It is unthinkable! He is the God who gave us life and He is holy. You can’t use it as a cuss word! So that enmity is evident. If you want to share the Gospel with a complete stranger, move away from the carnal mind as quickly as you can. I believe apologetical arguments that is defense for the Gospel, the existence of God, the infallibility of the Bible, the deity of Jesus, etcetera. They’re all very, very good points to argue about or contend about. However, you’re going to get contention because you’re speaking to the carnal mind. What you’ve got to do is move to the conscience. The conscience isn’t in a place of enmity. Romans 2:14-15 tells us that the conscience bears witness with the commandments, the work of the law written on their hearts. The moment you do what Jesus did and say, “How are you doing with those Ten Commandments?” Do what Jesus did with the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22). Go through the commandments. By doing that, you’re resurrecting the conscience. That’s what Jesus did and that’s what we should do. That conscience is an ally. If you watch our YouTube channel (Living Waters), you’ll see that happen again and again.

I go deeper into evangelism and practical ways to reach the lost with Ray Comfort in Part 2.

About Chandee M

Chandee was born and raised in Oklahoma, but has lived in VA/DC, FL, NC and Japan. In 2015, Chandee earned her master's degree in Theology with a concentration in Christian Teaching Ministries from Oral Roberts University. She was hired as the Program Director of General Education for the ORU Undergraduate Theology Department after graduation, teaching as an adjunct professor for majors and assisting in administration of the Gen Ed OT and NT Bible courses for non-majors. During this time, she also worked as an independent editor and consultant for ministries, nonprofits, small businesses and college students. For the last five years, Chandee worked as a Doctor's Assistant and Vision Therapist in Virginia. Moving to NC recently, she finds a renewed desire to teach and write again.

6 comments

  1. Hi Chandee,
    Wonderful interview-looking forward to the next installment.
    I love this pastor. Have watched him for years.
    God Bless

  2. Hi Chandee! I also have been watching some of Ray comforts street evangelism and he’s quite good! You can tell the anointing of God is on him. I have learned a good pointers from him, because he really knows how to talk to people and what exactly to say. He definitely gives those that he talks to something to think about and oftentimes they want to give their life to the Lord right there. It’s a true blessing to watch him in action! Through his teachings he enlightens my writing as well (inspired topics). Thank you for sharing and I look forward to part two!

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