Monday, January 19, 2009

On Sunday Jeff scheduled some current students to come out. I got paired with Natalie, who was new but willing to be used of God. Natalie was great at being friendly and had no problem handing Million Dollar Bills to people and telling them to read the back.

Walking down through the parking lot we met Brian and Ramone. Brian was actually much more interested in Natalie than he was finding out the state of his soul. Both guys were very honest and listened until I finished. We gave them a Good Person booklet and they went their way. Natalie was able to see the conviction come across their faces and we immediately stopped to pray for these guys. We gave out more tracts and then Natalie met a guy named Mark who had just come up from the beach to his car. He was soaking wet but seemed very polite and said he would talk after he found his towel. He was unsuccessful so he just came around to the front of his car and drip dried. It was actually cool out so I offered him my sweatshirt. He declined politely.

Natalie started a great conversation with Mark and found out that he had attended a church just that morning. Natalie took him through a couple of the 10 Commandments and Mark admitted that he had failed to keep them. Natalie got a little stuck so she asked me to step in. I noticed that Mark had used the word ‘repent’ so I asked him if he knew what it meant. He told me that he thought it meant saying we are sorry to God. I took him to a courtroom where he was ‘guilty of manslaughter’ after backing out of the parking lot and running over a two-year-old unknowingly. He had a look of abject horror on his face. I told him to imagine that the Judge had found him guilty and wanted to know if he had any words before sentencing. I reminded him that the girl’s parents would be in the courtroom. He stated that he would apologize. I asked him if, once he apologized, he could go home.

He said, “Of course not.”

I told him the Judge was going to sentence him to life in prison without possibility of parole OR a $1M fine. I asked if he could come up with the money.

Mark said, “No...I am homeless.”

I told him that someone quickly came in the back door of the courtroom, waving a check. This man had sold everything to pay this penalty. The Judge verified the payment was good and asked Mark if he wanted the court to accept it.

Mark refused and said he would not want someone else to pay for his wrong.
I had a copy of the Gospel of John and asked Mark to read John 14:6 out loud. He did and seemed very quiet. I asked Mark if there was anything he loved more than his soul. He quickly said, “I love my wife-I would die for her.”

I said, “Mark, what if you wanted to give your wife something you know she needed but she refused. You knew that she really did need this but she kept refusing to take it…would you feel frustrated?”

Mark seemed very deep in thought and said that he would be very frustrated.

“OK, now can you leave the courtroom?” I asked him.
“Yes, not because you apologized but because justice was satisfied. It is a legal transaction, right?”
I took Mark to another courtroom, but this time the person who wanted to pay was Jesus, Himself. I told Mark that it was written in Isaiah-long before Jesus Christ ever came-that all of our iniquity was laid on Him. I told him that Jesus looked far into the future and knew all of the things that Mark would do wrong and He took them anyway. I told Mark that Jesus had kept every tear he had ever cried.
At this he looked up into my eyes. “Mark there is a very, very real possibility that you will wake up one of these times and take your next breath in Hell. You see, all debts will be paid. You will pay for your sin with your own soul, or you will accept this payment Jesus Christ made for you…what will you do?”
He was thinking hard at this point, and then said, “I will take that payment from Jesus Christ.” He was unsure of what to say to God so we asked him to take the literature we gave him and read it through. I told Mark that if I could do it for him I would, but it doesn’t work that way. He would have to talk to God and get things straightened out.
Mark thanked us for talking to him and said he would certainly read everything. He finally accepted the sweatshirt, too. Natalie and I walked away and prayed for Mark and his wife.

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