Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I hope your day was blessed with all good things from above. I had a headache all day but the Lord brought Michael and Otto to Himself after I told them the Gospel. So that was great. Please pray they grow in their faith. Both were truly grateful to hear the Good News. Their stories are below if ya have some time.
Michael was sitting in the hallway on the Third floor of the BIC building on the south side and was the first person I asked to talk with. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt that had tiny orange icons on it with some kind of tweedy black and white sweats for pants. His hood was up and he had block features. There was a bit of dark blonde or brown hair I could see front the front at the top of his forehead, about an inch long. He said he’d do a survey. I asked him what he would say to God if he died and was asked, “Why should I let you into Heaven?” “Hmm what would I say let’s see…” he said thinking. “I believe in God. I believe everyone makes mistakes.” Then as if he was thinking he added, “I’ve been going to Church since I was a kid, and should be let into Heaven. I love my parents I love God so I believe I should be let in.” He thought the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 100%. I began to explain the Gospel saying God loved him and wanted to live inside him but to do so He would have to take away his sin. “What’s the big thing that Jesus does to take away the sins of the world, to pay for your sins and the sins of the world?” I asked. He thought for a moment and said, “He was nailed to a cross.” “Right,” I said, “this is how it works.” So, I began to explain the blood of Christ cleansing him, then as a payment for his sins and that the righteousness of Christ was too his credit. So, you don’t go to Heaven because you are good but because Jesus is good and you’re connected to Him. “Like if you marry a millionaire, you got a million bucks.” I explained because he had said he went to a Catholic Church that this was the symbolism in the mass that the wafer was symbolic of His body and the wine Symbolic of His blood so when he took it, he should say thank you because it as commemorating Jesus had died and so he was forgiven. Then saying God adopted him I said that if he received Christ, he’d be given the “right to become” a child of God. I said this was by faith and that his good stuff did not fix his bad stuff. So, I asked if he would want to be forgiven for his sins trusting in what Jesus had done or thought something else. “Be forgiven for my sins,” he replied. I said there was a prayer he could pray and asked if it expressed the desire of his heart. “Hmm,” he said agreeing it did. I said he could pray it silently and I wouldn’t hear but God would hear and asked if he wanted to do it and nodding, he took the booklet. Looking at the prayer for a second he said, “Out loud?” “No silently is good,” I replied. He prayed and he thanked me and I told him about living by the Spirit’s power and asking God’s help in everything. I gave him Bible promises for You and wrote his name and the date and forgiven in the front. He thanked me again and I gave him a Bible study and The Case for Christ Answer Booklet. I told him I’d pray a Bible verse for him into the Spring and a year after. “I’ve seen you around,” he said. We talked a bit and he said “Thank you so much.” I said sure. I told him if he had any questions, he could email me and if I saw him around I’ve just wave. He thanked me again and I took off.
Otto was sitting in the southeast corner lounge of the science buildings by himself in front of a laptop at a table. He had a mop of curry hair and looked Latino, clean shaven. He wore jeans and a gray old-school looking sweatshirt, had wire rimmed glasses the shape of aviators. He said he had some time and would do a survey. I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven and he repeated the question thinking and said and said, “I don’t think that’s my decision to make at all.” I asked him what he thought the likelihood he would get into Heaven. He said, “I’m not sure.” He then said something about Passover and baptism he had not done yet. As I went through the Gospel I explained that Jesus had died on Passover to fulfill the law. I told him in the old covenant there were sacrifices each year but Jesus was the perfect sacrifice lamb that fulfilled all of the law and His blood paid for all our sins. I said His righteousness was too our credit, later explaining after he prayed that the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 100% trusting in the righteousness of Christ and not any righteous religious deed he had done and at that point explained baptism. I also explained then Paul said in the book of Romans that he did not trust in his own righteousness but the righteousness of God that was his by faith. I went on with the Gospel, all Jesus had done was for those who had received Him, believed on “His name” (or His reputation) that He was God had died for their sins and rose from the dead. Otto’s good stuff could not fix his bad stuff but God could turn his bad stuff into good because He controlled the future [Rom. 8:28]. I asked if he would want to be forgiven for his sins trusting in what Jesus had done or thought something else. “Forgiven by Christ,” he replied. So I said there was a prayer he could pray and talked him through it and asked if it expressed the desire of his heart. “Yeah,” he said. I said he could pray it silently and I wouldn’t hear but God would hear and he’d know he was forgiven would he want to. “Yeah sure,” he said and took the booklet and prayed to receive Jesus. When he finished I explained living by the Spirit’s power. I explained that the church he was attending on line, if it was giving him religious works to do should be saying he could only do things to please God by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by his own effort. They had told him he needed to be baptized after he thought it through well enough. Then once he was baptized he would be let into Heaven. He had been baptized as an infant in a Catholic Church and they said that was not it. I said if he felt he should be baptized again that was fine and the Bible does encourage us to make a public statement of our faith through Baptism but it is the appeal to God for a clear conscience that Peter says in the Bible make the Baptism effectual. The only way for us to have a clear conscience is to know our sins are forgiven by what God does when Jesus dies for us on the cross. So we say we trust in that when we are baptized and go under the water symbolically dying with Him and raise up but it is not the baptism itself that has power. I also explained Paul says, [1Cor. 1:14] “I thank God that I baptized none of you.” He would not have said that if Baptism was necessary to be saved, he would have baptized them right away himself to be sure. I said being baptized had no relationship to the Passover and it did not matter when we did it. Jesus dies on the Passover so people will know He is the Passover sacrifice to pay for sins. He said they talked about the Sabbath day and I explained that in Christ we become the temple of the Holy Spirit, so every day is the Sabbath Day, we don’t ever take a day off and rob a bank or something where we are not resting in Christ who is our sabbath rest as it says in Hebrews 4. So they are right in saying the Church is not told in the Bible to change the Sabbath day to Sunday from Saturday, but Christian’s do not change the day or discard the day but amplify it because every day we rest in Christ who is the Sabbath. We are the temple of God. He lives in us, so every day is like we go to Church and honor Him. I pointed out they were not keeping the Sabbath anyway since if you start your car you kindle a fire. I quickly explained an internal combustion engine saying that breaks the Sabbath just driving to Church. I said it sounded like they were trying to trick him by adding things but salvation was all God’s work not his even by being baptized. I gave him Bible promises for You and wrote his name and the date and forgiven in the front. I gave him a Bible study and explained it. I also gave him The Case for Christ Answer Booklet. I told him I’d pray for him each day until next spring and if he had any questions to email me. “Thank you so much.” He said and I headed out and he went off to class.
Thanks for your prayers for the Ministry and for Evangelism today if you had a chance God truly blessed.