Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I hope you’ve had a great weekend walking with the Lord and if you are in Chicago are blessed today with a break in the cold weather. I had a slow day on campus on Friday, finding few conversations. But Christian prayed to receive Jesus with me. So God had that for me to do. He was sitting at the cafeteria counter as it bends around, looking to the west. He had a boyish face, with a square chin and brown hair with bangs swept to the left, black sweats and a grey workout jacket. He looked pretty worn out and it turned out he had studied all day the day before for about 12 hours, trying to get enough information down to understand his logic class. It turned out he went to Willow Creek Church up in Barrington. I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven if he died and he said, “That’s a tricky question.” Then thinking for a while he settled on, “It depends on what I did in life. What good I did in life.” He thought he had an 85% chance of going to Heaven. As I went through the Gospel with him, he knew Jesus had died to take away his sins and agreed with everything I said. So I asked if he’d want to be forgiven and he said, “Yeah.” So I asked, “When you ask for forgiveness for your sins, have you been trusting in what Jesus did for you or were you hoping to be good enough?” He seemed unsure saying “Yes and no” after thinking a bit, though he had just said he was hoping he’d do enough good things to get into Heaven. I run into this pretty commonly, but I just talk students through it. Some will decide to pray to receive Christ then, some feel sure they must have been trusting in Him though they seemed not to be by the answer they had given. “It’s an either/or question,” I replied. I hoped that reading through the question might help cut through some confusion. (What I later realized might have been a bit of the fog of war from his previous day of study.) So I read through the prayer and asked him if he felt like this is something he should say to God. He said “Yes and no,” again saying he thought he could pray that sometimes. “It’s kind of like being married,” I replied. ”If you were married and I asked you, Are you married? and you said, Yes and no, your wife would hit you in the head with her purse.” I explained the prayer is if you would want to be forgiven, having a relationship with God where you trusted in Him to forgive you and have a relationship like that. “Would you want that?” “Oh yeah,” he said. And he decided to pray to receive Jesus. After he finished I explained living with God inside, where he would trust in His strength and ask for His help by the Spirit’s power. I said that trusting in Jesus’ righteousness to be his righteousness, the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 100%. I gave him 20 Things God Can’t Do explaining how everything the book said he should do he could do simply by asking for God’s power. When the book said, “God cannot withhold His forgiveness if you forgive others” he could simply ask for a spirit of forgiveness from the Lord to forgive. “Everything in Christianity is Just Ask,” I said, writing that in the front of the book with “By the Spirit’s Power” and his name and the date and “forgiven.” I also gave him a Bible Study and told him I would keep him in my prayers. “Thanks for talking with me,” he said shaking my hand. I said, “Sure,” and that I would probably see him around. And I headed off.
So thanks for your prayers for the ministry and for evangelism on campus.