Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I hope your day was blessed walking in joy and ya had a good one. I had good day in as much as Erin prayed with me to receive Jesus. She was a sweetheart and great to talk to.
Here’s a bit of what happened with Erin. She was sitting in the ground floor lounge of the BIC on the south side in a connecting hall with skylights near some vending machines. I sat in an armchair beside hers when she said she’d do a survey. She seemed to be killing time before a class. Her afro was pulled up in a puff on the top of her head. She wore square-rimmed glasses with some red in them, a puffy coat, jeans and sneakers; her long narrow face sloped a bit to a squarish chin. Cute kid. She wanted to start a Veterinary sanctuary for animals and we talked about the dogs in the John Wick movie. I asked her what she would say to God if she died and He asked, “Why should I let you into Heaven?” “Oh that’s a really interesting question,” she replied and thought for a bit, softly saying, “I don’t know.” I asked if she had been to church and she said it had “been a while.” But I asked what she thought they might say would get someone into Heaven? She said. “To fulfill my duty to serve.” She thought she had about an 80% chance of going to Heaven. She listened to the Gospel attentively, leaning in. I asked her what the big thing was Jesus had done to take away her sins. She thought a while and could not think of anything so I started to go on and she made a start so I stopped, asking, “Got a guess?” And she said, “He was crucified.” I said, “Right.” And I went on to explain how that worked and the righteousness of God and the cleansing blood of Christ. When I asked her if she wanted to be forgiven with God inside or thought something else she said, “Have God inside me.” So I said there was a prayer she could pray to receive forgiveness. Walking her through it, I said she could pray it silently if she’d want and she said, “Yeah.” And prayed to receive Jesus. I gave her 20 Things God Can’t Do and wrote her name and the date and “forgiven” in the front and “Just Ask By the Spirit’s Power.” Having explained living “Inside Out” by the Spirit. And she thanked me for the book. I gave her a Bible study and she thanked me again. I told her if she wanted she could email me and ask me for the link with a sermon explaining how Animals go to Heaven. As we got up to go she said, “Thanks for stopping.” “Thanks for your time.” And I told her I would keep her in my prayers until spring and one year after and she thanked me and headed out. It was a real joy to talk with her.
Later I had an interesting discussion on campus with a 35 year old African American liberal “Christian” who was not a joy to talk to at all. He condemned the 5 churches around the downtown area of the town he lived in for failing to be in the community and help the poor. Of course they were very large churches and he’d have no way of knowing what the people in them were doing in terms of private giving (or the staff). Nor could he know the benevolence budget of those churches. But the real problem was how badly he disregarded the teaching of Scripture and Jesus, saying He was a socialist and did not keep the law. The latter of course would have been brought up at His trial, which I pointed out. I tried to suggest Jesus did not break the law and said He did not come to do so but that they had misunderstood the Law. He said Jesus said we needed to do things for “The least of these.” I said, “You need to complete the verse, it says the least of these My brethren (Matt 25:40).” “That’s everyone,” he replied. I said it wasn’t everyone and that Jesus was the first born of many brethren, (Romans 8:29), which means Christians. In the passage, Jesus is condemning fake Christians for not serving real ones. He said the early church broke bread together. I said that was true, but at the Lord’s supper the rich brought more food than the poor and (Paul actually tells them to eat at home 1Cor. 11:34) so breaking bread was not a time they fed everyone and they did not do it every day anyway. I pointed out that in John 6:26, Jesus condemns those who follow Him to get a stomach full of bread after feeding the 5,000. He asked why people would come to church if the church was not doing things for them, “For eternal life,” I replied. But neither this nor anything else I quoted to him got through to him. He just ignored what I said and said something else. It was important to him to insist that the Jews had killed Jesus and not the Romans, saying Pilate had washed his hands of it. I said the Romans still killed him and this was a political show for Pilate that did not assuage his guilt. I asked if the Jews were in control of the crucifixion, why would Joseph and Nicodemus have gone to Pilate for permission to take down His body? He suggested all sins were the same to God. I pointed out Jesus told Pilate that those who turned Him over to him had the greater sin (this also points clearly to the shared responsibility of Pilate for Jesus’ death). I said that the Levitical law code has greater penalties for some sins than others; you don’t get stoned for everything. I said it would not have been possible for the early Church to care for the poor outside the Church, as they were poor people themselves for the most part (1Cor. 1:26). I said ministries like Samaritan’s Purse do so all over the world to share the Gospel afterwards, but it is not a Biblical requirement for local churches. Oh well, I could go on; it would take too long to share all the verses I spoke to him. The perspective he took required he disregard exegesis.
So thanks for your prayers for the Bible study and for evangelism today if you had a chance. God truly blessed.