Sunday, December 28, 2008

Laura's Second Chance

Rochelle and I met up and started to walk through the parking lot to see if we could meet new people. We passed a girl and Rochelle handed her a MDB. She took it and since I was about 10 feet behind Rochelle I stopped the girl to talk. I noticed that she was having trouble speaking. I couldn’t figure out if she couldn’t speak or was having trouble thinking. She did not say her name but showed me on her purple cell phone that it was ‘Laura’. I asked her some questions and I gathered that she had never gone to church. I could see that Rochelle had stopped to pray for me and I prayed that God would help me to understand this girl. She said she was not familiar with the 10 Commandments but admitted to lying. Then she stated that Jesus was dead! I told her that wasn’t true and that He lived even now! She insisted it wasn’t true. Then she didn’t want to listen anymore so I thanked her and told her we needed to go. We started to walk away. She followed and asked if she could come with us.

“You don’t agree with what we are saying so why do you want to come with us?” I asked her.

We talked for a minute before she rescinded on her admission of lying. I told Laura that she was actually an enemy of God’s right now. She told me I didn’t know God. I said that she was actually spiritually dead. She insisted that I didn’t know God and asked me his last name. I could not tell if she was being difficult or just didn’t understand. Again I thanked her and left.

This time she followed me all the way back onto the boardwalk but stayed about 15 feet away. Rochelle was talking to someone so I was alone. I walked within sight of Dennis and Jeff in case anything weird happened-you never know. She seemed like she was very troubled. I walked over to her and asked her if she had questions. She repeated that Jesus was dead. I was ready to walk away again.

Suddenly she said, “Jesus is in Heaven with God.”

“Yes, He is!”

“But He died so why you say He is alive?” she almost yelled it.

“He died and on the third day He rose from the dead, defeating Death and Hell for you and me, Laura!” I told her. “He is alive. He loves you so much that He has even kept every tear you have ever cried in a bottle! That’s how much He loves you! I am telling you the truth!”

She was troubled and put her head down in her hands on the railing. She stood up and said, “I know!! He is dead and in Heaven. “ She made a gun with her hand and pointed it at her chest. “I tried to kill myself!”

“Why Laura?” I asked her.

“Because I wanted to go to Heaven with Jesus!” She was really frustrated.

“He loves you so much that He didn’t let you die!” I replied.

“But I wanted to die!” she cried.

“If you had died you would have gone straight to Hell-you would be there now! He brought you back so that you could have another chance to follow Him!” I told her.

At this she put her head in her hands and cried. She continued to cry for a few minutes and I could see she was really in pain. Then she turned and hurried away.

Act 13:47 For so the Lord has commanded us, "I have set You to be a light of the nations, for salvation to the end of the earth."

This world is so dark. Sometimes when the Light shines into our eyes, it hurts.

Fishing at the beach.

People were crawling all over the beach today…guess it’s because of vacation. Tons of college students. Jeff, Rochelle, Dennis and I met there and right away Jeff walked into the middle of a group of Spanish-speakers. Even though he speaks no Spanish he was prepared-he had Spanish MDB’s and Good Person booklets in Spanish.

Dennis found a man who hated God. He said that God was evil for killing the entire world in the Flood. Dennis reminded him of how the people were living but it didn’t seem to faze him.

In the meantime Jeff talked to a woman who told him that her husband was a pastor. She had three kids with her and we gave them all tracts to pass out. When he was finished she walked over and interrupted Dennis, who was mid-conversation with someone!! Even though we motioned her away from them, she just kept talking. Dennis kept his cool and carried on.

I met a girl named Brittany who was unusual. She had odd pieces of jewelry on and fish bones in her matted hair. She told me that she and her sister make jewelry. Since she was friendly we talked about Heaven and Hell. She said she was on her way to Heaven when she died. I asked how she would get there and she said she was a good person. We started talking about that and after admitting to lying, thieving and blaspheming she told me that God would overlook her sin. In the middle of this the pastor’s wife showed up and started talking! I started to tell her to go away but I felt that I should not say anything. Suddenly she was gone as quickly as she had appeared. I told Brittany that God would not overlook her sin. She stopped listening and started asking if animals were in Heaven…

We met groups of kids and when possible they all got the test. Three girls I spoke with took it seriously. Others made it clear they were on vacation. Rochelle put it well when she said, “They think they are on vacation from God, too.” Hmmm.

Jeff met a guy who told Jeff that he was headed to Hell. He listened for a moment but then told Jeff he would enjoy it there.

Rochelle talked to Scott who said that he was trusting in his baptism to get him to Heaven.

Sean was visiting from Massachusetts. Walking up, Dennis noticed a fresh scar down his back. He was recovering from multiple injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident while driving too fast. He said that before the accident he thought he was invincible, but that had changed. They had a good conversation, leaving Sean with knowledge of his heavy burden and the Only Way to relieve it.

Jeff spoke to a guy who said he was a Christian but had a problem with sin. After speaking with him Jeff knew from the conversation that he was not saved.

We meet so many who have a false sense of security. Some trust in a verse taken out of context, or a conversation with a ‘spiritual leader’ who declares them to be ‘righteous’. Some trust in a feeling they have, others in an experience or a magic prayer. Some people even trust in what 'their parent told them'! All who trust in anything other than Jesus are LOST and on their way to HELL!

Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no other One; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Andrew's Confession

The idea of knocking on a stranger's door is not all that appealing to me.

But...if I think that stranger may be heading to Hell unknowingly, it overrides my fear.

When I talked to Diana on Monday I realized that she was not teaching this week! Now this is great news because we love to fish together. She told me she and another friend Mary, had knocked on doors last Saturday in her neighborhood! That sounded exciting to me so we agreed to go today. After I got off the phone I called Rochelle and asked her if she wanted to come along.

We met and drove along on a side street while we decided where to go. We saw a man taking his garbage out to the curb. Rochelle rolled her window down and handed him a Good Person booklet. He took it and she asked him if he thought he was a good person. The amazing thing is not that Rochelle asked him that question without developing a relationship with him, but that he answered each question she asked. Keith stopped short of honesty on the second question and proceeded to become more proud. Rochelle thanked him for his time and asked him to read the information. Then she asked, "Keith, do you know when you are going to die?"

"No, it could be tonite..."

"You are right, please take some time and get right with God. Thanks for talking to us." And he thought he was just taking the trash out!

After we settled on a row of houses we started knocking on the doors. Diana went to the first door and Rochelle and I took the next. Most people just weren't home. Of those who answered, 100% were polite. We greeted them with, "Merry Christmas! Do you know the Reason for the season?"

When Andrew opened his door he smiled and answered, "Yes, Jesus."

I asked him if he would go to Heaven when he died.

"Yes, because I asked forgiveness and believe in confession" he replied. He seemed confident in his answer.

"If you were in court and found guilty of manslaughter after backing over a child in your car, could you apologize to the Judge and expect to be able to go home?"

"No.." he answered.

"What if after finding you guilty the Judge says that he is implementing a fine of $1,000,000 or life in prison. Can you come up with the money?" I asked him.


"The Judge is about to bring the gavel down and someone runs in the back of the courtroom waving a check for the full amount! Someone you know has sold his business and home and has come up with the money for you! Now can the Judge let you go?" I asked.

"Yes.." Andrew said.

"Do you leave the courtroom because of the apology or because justice was satisfied?" Andrew's eyes began to turn red and tear. You could literally see the Light coming on behind them. "That's the reason Jesus came Andrew. He came to pay our fine in His life's blood. He is the reason that God can dismiss our case. What will you with your own soul or accept this payment that Jesus made for you?"

"I will accept the payment He made", he said somberly. I asked Andrew to read John 14:6 out loud from a Gospel of John we had handed him. He did so thoughtfully.

"This is exactly why Jesus came Andrew, for you and me. Two things are required to accept this payment: Repentence and Faith. Repent means that you turn your back on sin and ask God to forgive you and wash you clean. Full faith and trust in Jesus is like putting on a parachute, you wear it and make sure it's on tight! When do you think you will be doing this Andrew?"

He looked up smiling and said, "Christmas seems like the right season!"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Christmas Party

I was able to share the gospel with about 10 unsaved friends and family yesterday afternoon.

I had a committment at church and time was running out for me to say anything. I really wanted to address everyone at once and I did not see how that was going to happen.

Everyone was having their own conversation and it was loud. It was about 2:30 pm and I had to leave at 3:30. The conversation came up about church from the couple I wanted to speak with the most. I met this couple several years ago when our daughters went to school together. We became friends because we liked to drink together. They were sharing their past experiences from church with me, when my wife announced it was time for us to gather in the living room for our kids to open a couple of gifts. We all wound up in the living room with everyone sitting down except my friend, his wife and I. About the time the gift opening was completed, my friend resumed the conversation about church with me by saying that he had been invited to attend a church nearby. That was when he was in the hospital last year for heart bypass surgery- he shared a room with a Pastor. I said it sounded like God was trying to get his attention. At this point everyone was listening to me.

He replied with no prompting from me, that he believed that as long as someone lives a good life and doesn't go around killing people they go to heaven. I asked if he ever was angry enough with someone to hate them. He said, "Yes." I told him that Jesus says that He sees and will judge our hearts, our thoughts, and that He says "You have heard it said you shall not commit murder. Whoever commits murder will be subject to Judgment but I tell you that whoever even hates someone else will be subject to Judgment." I told him that Jesus says, "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer” and you know that no murderer has eternal life in Him. I then went on to ask if he had ever told a lie. I was able by the grace of God and power of the Holy Spirit to point out to everyone in my house that we were all sinners and why the only way to eternity in Heaven and not eternity in Hell was through Jesus Christ. As I was speaking, one by one each person got up and walked into the kitchen and I was there alone with my friend with his mouth open.

I thanked him for listening to me. I told him I was late for serving at church. We wished each other a Merry Christmas, shook hands and then I hugged and said goodbye to everyone who was hiding in the kitchen. They had heard every word that I had just spoken.

I asked my wife about it when I got home from church and she said no one made mention about what I said and no one was offended. The party went on as if nothing was said.

I know it will not be for nothing. It is up to us to speak the Truth- to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. God is the only one to bring a person to God Himself.