Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I hope your week was blessed with rest and peace in the Spirit of the Lord. I had a good week on campus and Daniel and Evelyn each prayed to receive Jesus today and I ran into Abbey who was an atheist on Jan 26ths and she had received Jesus. Their stories are below. If you have a moment please pray for them I’m sure prayers for Abbey brought her in. The rest of this is a pretty long journal account of two days on campus but hey if ya got the time here it is.
I had long apologetic discussions on Wednesday. The first with Damian. He had the standard misinformation about the capacity to be good apart from God (you have to know and control the future to do the good and only God is all knowing and all powerful). He thought he was good and would be reincarnated into a better life. So then I demonstrated to him he had no way of knowing if what he considered his good actions ever resulted in good, on a long term basis. He also tried to say the Bible had been changed. But of course to say the Bible has been changed you would have to have the original to demonstrate the one you read now in English departs from it in more than just author’s voice of translation from Greek and Hebrew. Whenever a new fragment of the Bible is dug up it matches. If there is merely a word out of place we can compare it to the majority of other texts we have and see if it is in error. So we know the original. The other issue is the prophecy of Isaiah Jesus fulfills which once was said to be tampered with by Christians, because it was so convincing in so many passages to be predictive of Jesus life, death and resurrection. Then they found the Dead Sea Scrolls and the complete Book of Isaiah dating 100 years before Christ. It matches the one we have. I told him this and a lot of other stuff. I gave him “100 Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus” and another rose publication “Why trust the Bible” which I also later gave to “John” (his name is difficult so he has people call him John) an Islamic guy.
“John” attends the IV Bible study at their leader’s house. He was misinformed about everything so I just corrected him. He tried to maintain Jesus required a posture for prayer with your forehead on the ground, Jesus nor any New Testament writer ever requires a certain physical posture for prayer. I told him Paul says we are to pray without ceasing, always be in an attitude of prayer and so we can be praying in any way all through the day. At one point he said the Quran had never been changed. I said his tradition, not mine claimed it had been changed that the Caliph Uthman burned the alternate copies of the Quran he did not like, redacting them into one he did like:
He wanted to use Google on his phone so I said put in Uthman burned and Quran. He did and the story he seemed unaware of came up. I said my tradition did not endorse burning the Quran Islamic tradition did. He had said he would convert to my religion if the Quran had been changed. I pointed out the Quran had obviously been changed as Uthman burned different Qurans making the one he wanted. He tried to back up the truck and that point saying we needed to respect each other. There had been no tension or loud voices or anything, I agreed. And I said, “This is America you can believe what you want here, it is a country created by Christians but if I went to your country and said the Quran was a false religion [as you are saying about Christianity] they would kill me.” He weakly tried to maintain that was not true but it is demonstrably true of course. We parted shaking hands and I said I’d talk with him again any time. I gave him the Rose publication then, “Why trust the Bible”.
Abbey was again sitting in the same lounge as before also, when she had said “I don’t think I believe in Him,” (when I talked with her for nearly an hour on the 26th.) Yesterday she told me, “I got saved a week ago” and that talking with me had softened her heart. She’d said she wanted something supernatural to happen to convince her. I felt like that had happened when I mentioned the “Great cloud of witnesses” viewing us from Heaven talking about her mother who had died and she said, “I just got chills when you said that.” I had asked her if she had ever asked God to show himself to her. She said that seemed like a pretty strange thing to do dismissing the idea but I explained that if there was a God it was a legitimate idea. A week ago she said she had asked God to show Himself to her in some way and then went to the mall and a Christian girl came up to her and began sharing a Bible verse and asked her to church. At the Church she went to the pastor told her all the things she had done and she accepted Christ and was baptized. I think this is sometimes called a word of knowledge. (I’ve not witnessed it.) She later confessed to the pastor some other bad things she had done. He then said he had known those things as well but because they were particularly bad he had not wanted to embarrass her publically. So she got her miraculous event. She said she realized for the last several years she had been under the influence of Satan. Her mother had fallen into a practice or abuse of some kind that had killed her. Abbey was no longer blaming God for letting her mom die as she had (this seemed to begin to be happening a bit on the 26th as we parted when I gave her, The Case for Christianity Answer Book). She now saw that she had damaged others and herself, that sin destroyed her soul, and in a similar way her mom had been responsible for her own death. We talked some more and I gave her a Bible Promises for You book. I wrote her name and “forgiven!” in the front. I had told her the Gospel as we talked but I went through it again in the little booklet to make sure she understood the doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Christ and to give her some more Bible verses. I also wanted her to think of the Christian life as one lived by the Spirit’s power and that the Spirit had sealed her based upon Eph. 1:13. I told her I had been praying for her and would now each day.
Daniel was a big dude over 6 foot and 5×5. He had a shortish blonde mop of hair atop squared off features and the birthmark freckle thing on his cheek some kids seem to have. He was at a table in a ground floor BIC building lounge on the North side. He wore black sweats and a blue-grey t-shirt. I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven and he said, “I did everything I was supposed to do.” He thought the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 90%. I went through the Gospel with him asking him what Jesus had done to take away his sins, then added, “The sins of the world?” giving him time to think. He thought a second and said, “He was a sacrifice.” I agreed and went through the blood and the righteousness of Christ that could be to his credit. He tracked with it all and I asked if he would want to be forgiven for his sins with God living inside him giving him strength. “Yeah,” he replied. So I said if he would want to be forgiven there was a prayer he could pray and asked if it was the desire of his heart after explaining it to him. He nodded. I said he could pray it silently right now, I wouldn’t hear him but God would hear and he’d know he was forgiven. “Would you want to do that?” I asked. He nodded again and took the booklet and I said just pretend I’m not even here. He finished and I explained living by the Spirit the symbolic view of the Mass. I said the likelihood he would now go to Heaven was 100% trusting in the Righteousness of Jesus. I gave him, Bible Promises for You and a Bible Study and The Case for Christianity Answer Booklet. I got up to go and said, “Thanks for your time.” “No problem,” he replied. “Have a good weekend,” I said. “You too.”
Evelyn was sitting on a set of couches they recently replaced down the halls of the Science buildings (in a typical failing of the bureaucracy they blocked most of the electrical outlets that were easily accessible with the old couches). She had a roundish cute face, almond eyes her hair was just past her chin and tucked behind her ears. Had the coloring of a Latina. Stopped working on her laptop to talk to me. I asked her what she would say to God if asked why should He let her into Heaven and she said, “I go to Church every Sunday with my Grandma.” It turned out she had also gone back to Mexico also and seen the way Catholicism was practiced there and it had left her with a few questions. She asked these as I went thought the Gospel in part asking how a straight Biblical narrative differed; I told her I had listened to priests who basically endorsed the Bible as I had explained it. I explained purgatory, and some different ideas that had come through Augustine, some involving infant baptism to take away the inherited sin guilt of Adam. If someone believe Adam’s guilt is inherited they take this idea from Augustine’s teaching the second half of his life. He believed all of mankind was present in Adam’s semen actually. We know this isn’t biologically true in our time but also that Augustine misread a Latin text of the Bible to arrive at that conclusion. The Roman Catholic Church teaches a child has the guilt of Adam and if it is not baptized way and the child dies, one would have to assume the child was lost. But the Bible teaches the sin guilt of your father is not passed to you in Ezek. 18:20 “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” This is also stated in Deut. 24:16 “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.” I said the Orthodox Church, according to an Orthodox student I had recently talked to, teaches you inherit the consequences of Adams sin but not the guilt of it. “So you are in a sinful world and you will sin, it is inescapable.” But the inherited guilt of Adam is not held by all early Christian traditions. We talked about the priests function in confession in an analogy of an insurance salesman for your car insurance, when you wreck your car the salesman does not pay the company pays. Like the analogy the Catholic Church teaches only God can forgive your sin. So the priest is not forgiving your sin, he is telling you God forgives your sin and he can do that based on your confession (1John 1:9) and belief in Christ. We talked about the way Church History had some different opinions but that the basic message that Jesus was God and had died for her sins and rose from the dead remained unchanged. I continued through the Gospel with her explaining: God was paid by the blood of Christ and so it was Just for Him to forgive her. “Makes sense,” she replied. I asked her if she wanted to be forgiven for her sins trusting in Jesus. She said she would and I explained the prayer and she prayed to receive Christ. At one point she said, “Thanks this was very helpful. I gave her Bible Promises for You writing her name and the date and “forgiven” in the front. I gave her a Bible Study and The Case for Christianity Answer Booklet. I explained living “Inside Out” by the power of the Holy Spirit; I told her I would be praying for her. “Now trusting in Righteousness of Jesus to be your righteousness the likelihood you would go to Heaven was 100%.” “Thank you,” she told me as I got up to go. “Thanks for talking with me, God bless you,” I replied. “God bless you too,” she said and I headed off.
So thanks for your prayers for the ministry this week if you had a chance, God truly blessed and 97 students have prayed to receive Chris this school, year after I told them the Gospel.