Results of the Work – 5.11.23

Hey Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I hope your weekend has been going well and you were demonstrably blessed. My eye laser treatment for secondary cataracts went well this morning. Marko received assurance of salvation Thursday and Adrian prayed to receive Jesus.  So that was great. I had a blessed year and 151 students prayed with me to receive Christ or prayed later and let me know about it when I saw them again. Several others I hope trusted in Christ or prayed later who were foggy on some detains of the Gospel. We are always being blessed in the hands of God but it’s nice when you can immediately see it. The flat tire you got might have kept you from being hit by the train, but if the tracks were a mile away you may never have realized God saved you from death that day. Walking around campus is that way where I end up talking to someone who just sat down and feel like God led me in a roundabout way for timing’s sake. Then when it seems I came with only minutes left until they had to go and had to rush or barely got the Gospel in in conversation. I could wonder why I was not there sooner. But they might not have been willing to hear anything at all if they did not know for certain the conversation would be short and they’d have an escape excuse. Adrian and Marko’s stories are below if you have time. Please pray they are blessed.

Marko is Serbian Orthodox. He had brown hair, straight, short, with hardly any bangs. He was slight for a football player. Turned out he was a punter. He had the skin of a guy going through the teen years but the everyman kind of good looks.  He had a t-shirt on and was sitting at the set of tables all running together in the PE lounge. He goes to a church with his parents where he can’t follow much, most of the service is in Serbian. He said he read the NKJV in the Bible. When I asked him what he would say to God if asked why should I let him into Heaven he said, “That’s hard. I believe our Lord and Savior forgives, we all sin.” Thinking more he thought he’d say, “It’s your will.” I asked the likelihood he would go to Heaven he said, “I don’t know.” He knew Jesus had died for his sins. As I   explained the righteousness of Christ to his credit he acknowledged Paul had said it was not by his own righteousness he was forgiven but by the righteousness, which is by faith. It seemed he had believed the Gospel without assurance of the benefit. He listened to YouTube podcasts by a punter from University of Oklahoma. He said that was where he had learned to say, “It’s your will.” That guy had been a free agent drafted by Miami. I felt like I was giving him clarity, of how his sins were paid for and he was cleansed by His blood. He believed he was trusting in Christ, called Him his “Savior” and knew His work but was in a church tradition that did not encourage a moment of decision. “Say you take a class here and everybody sucks, the teacher’s horrible. She gives you stuff but it’s not on the quizzes and everybody’s getting a zero and dropping the class. You’re gonna drop the class too and get you money back but then you hear one guy, Billy, he’s got a 100% in the class. So you go to this guy and say, ‘How’d you get 100% in this class?’ So he tells you, ‘I took this class last year at U of I. It’s the same textbook it might be some of the same quizzes—I knew a few of the answers. But they changed the course description on me and won’t let me transfer the credit. I need it here, so I gotta take it again. But I’ve been turning in my old projects. I got a1,000 points of extra credit in this class. Teacher thinks I’m totally geeking on the class but the truth is I had it last semester.’ So your like, ‘That’s pretty funny but it won’t help me.’ He says, ‘No it won’t help you man sorry.’ So he goes for a ride on the weekend and gets wiped out by a truck. He’s dead. Teacher comes to class on Monday and she says, ‘I have terrible news Billy has died.” “Billy is the guy with the 1,000 points?” Marko asked. “Yeah,” I replied. “’And he had a 1,000 points of extra credit.’ The teacher says. ‘And I don’t want all that to go to waste. So I’m gonna give it to you guys.’ You look around and there’s only 10 people left in the class and you’re like, ‘I’m sorry about Billy but I just got 100% in this class.’ That’s like what Jesus did. He earned the righteousness of God by perfectly fulfilling the Old Testament law in a way we never could. So since he earned God’s righteousness He can give it to whomever He wants. It says in the book of Isaiah in 61:10 that one day you’ll be wrapped in a robe of God’s righteousness and clothed with His salvation and in the New Testament in Galatians 3:27, ‘you’re clothed with Jesus.’ So Jesus is your clothing of salvation, He’s your robe of righteousness. You don’t go to Heaven because you’re good, but because Jesus is good and your connected to Him.” Marko nodded affirmingly. “Like if you marry a millionaire you got a million bucks or if you get adopted into a billionaire’s family you get to live in the mansion and drive the cars. So God adopts you and He gives you the blessings of His family. He gives you the sacrifice for your sins, the blood that cleanses you and the righteousness that surrounds you. So it’s like you got someplace to go, Heaven, and something to wear when you get there, the righteousness of God.”  I said all God had done for him need be accepted by faith. I showed him the circles where God is on the inside of your life and said, “It seems like you are already trusting in this?” He agreed saying God had to be on the throne. I explained living the Christian life by the power of the Spirit to him too. I gave him Bible Promises for You and The Case for Christ Answer Booklet, to strengthen his faith. He was really grateful and shook my hand to thank me a few times. I said to him, “If you’re trusting in the righteousness of Christ to be your righteousness the likelihood you will go to Heaven is 100%.” He agreed he was (possibly for the first time understanding as I’d explained the concept) and he was happy then. I headed out knowing I’d helped him understand the Gospel and the person of Christ in whom he’d believed. One way or the other now having saving faith.

Adrian was sitting alone in the NW corner lounge on the ground floor of the BIC. He was a Latino guy with stick straight hair, it was in a mop sort of. You could see from the shadow he’d only grow a mustache if unshaven. He had a diamond shaped face, fuller lips and was slight. He wore a black t-shirt and black sweats. I asked him what he would say if he died and God asked, “Why should I let into Heaven?” He cleared his throat and saying, “I would say hmmm… I um, I believe that I belong here I guess.” I asked him what the likelihood was he would get into Heaven and he said he thought he had a 50/50 chance. I began to go through the Gospel with him. I said God had to take away his sins, “…make you his type, to purify you so He could live inside you. So what is the big thing that Jesus does to take away your sins?” “He purifies you?” he guessed. I said “Yeah, this is how He does that,” and Adrian leaned forward as I had placed the booklet on an ottoman in front of us and was writing in it. He was very interested as I explained how Christ’s blood cleansed him and was how “God got paid,” and so He was just to forgive, because there was a payment.” I also explained the righteousness of Christ to his credit. He had not been to Church since he was a kid he’d said. When I finished saying all God had done for him could be gained by faith. I asked if he would want to be forgiven for his sins trusting in what Jesus had done for him or thought something else. “I would want to be forgiven,” he replied. So I said there was a prayer he could pray and asked after explaining it if it expressed the “desire of his heart”. “I would say it did,” He replied. So I said he could pray it silently and only God would hear, “Would you like to do that?” I asked. “Of course!” he replied enthusiastically. When he finished I began to explain the Christian life to him. It turned out he did not have a Bible and I asked him if he would want one to carry around or a larger one to study out of and he said he’d like a larger one. I showed him the 99 doctrines page and how the cross references worked and the maps and other helps in back and the devotionals inserted through the chapters. I wrote his name and the date and “forgiven!” in the front. I gave him Bible Promises for You and  The Case for Christ Answer Booklet. I turned to the page with Eternal Life as the title and wrote Ephesians 1:13 saying as soon as you tell the Lord you have faith the Spirit enters you and seals you. “What does seals mean?” he asks so I gave him a metaphor of sealant saying the Holy Spirit enters you and never leaves. I also gave him a Bible study. “I’ll definitely look into all this,” he said gratefully. I said I would pray a Bible verse for him each day for the next year. The likelihood he would now go to Heaven trusting in the righteousness of Christ to be his righteousness was 100%, I explained. “How righteous is Jesus? 100% righteous. And what is His righteousness worth? An infinite amount,” I said.  “So there was enough righteousness to cover an old man like me and a young guy like him who hadn’t done hardly anything yet, God would forgive us both.” ” That’s all that matters,” he replied. “Thanks Bob, I really appreciate it,” Adrian said as I got up to go. “Thanks for your time,” I replied. “Of course, you too!” he said. And I headed out.

So thanks for your prayers for the ministry this year and for evangelism Thursday if you had a chance. God truly blessed.