John, about 50
Date:4/3/09 at McDonald’s
Conversation: John had listened quietly a month earlier when I witnessed to his friend, Hunter, who claims to be a Christian but shows no outward evidence of his faith. John is Catholic, and trusts in his religious activity for salvation. I pointed out that we are judged according to the 10 Commandments, and helped him to see he is personally responsible for breaking God’s laws. John appreciated our conversation, but showed little conviction or concern for his spiritual state. I didn’t go on to talk of salvation that comes only through repentance and faith in Jesus, because he was unconvinced of his need for a savior and needed to leave. I gave him the booklet “Why Christianity”.
Mike and Andrew, 18
4/4, sitting and smoking on front porch on 29th street. They are seniors at DeLaSalle, and seemed shocked that a stranger would walk up to them and begin a conversation about God. They asked if I was an angel, and were willing to talk about their beliefs. They thought they had it all figured out from their religion classes at school, and believed that all religions lead to God. Their trust was in their Catholic church activities and the “scapula” they wore as a necklace, but didn’t really know what it symbolized. They admitted their guilt when confronted with various commandments. Mike had to leave at that point to help his mother, but Andrew stayed and heard the Gospel explained clearly. He was thoughtful and had some good questions. I left him a Gospel summary and my own contact info in case he had any further questions.
Maybelline, about 25
When she refused to take a MDB tract while shopping at Target, I asked her why in a friendly way and that began a conversation. She explained that her family had been active in a Pentecostal church until she was about 8, when her father abandoned the family for another woman. Since then, she hasn’t attended church. She seemed genuinely convicted by her guilt in breaking God’s law and concerned about judgment day, and was glad to hear the Good News of Jesus explained clearly. I encouraged her to repent and put her faith in Christ, and gave her more info and contact info.
Dan, about 35
Gave him a MDB tract and began a conversation while shopping at Unique Thrift Store. Confronted with his guilt due to breaking God’s commandments. Agreed that he would be found guilty on judgment day but didn’t seem too concerned. Challenged him to think about his eternal future, but he seemed too preoccupied.
Luis and friends, late teens, early 20’s
Approached them while they were playing soccer at the park. Challenged them to think seriously about eternity and judgment day. After a few minutes most began to play soccer again, but Luis stayed to listen. I explained about our accountability to God on judgment day and our guilt in disobeying God’s commands, how we deserve eternal punishment for our rebellion against our eternal God. Luis agreed, heard the law and some of the good news of Jesus, but overall he didn’t seem too concerned. He may have just listened out of respect and courtesy. May God bless him for being courteous!
Liliana, about 30
Talked to Lilliana while we wited at the deli counter. She grew up Catholic, and trusts in her religious activity for salvation. I pointed out that we are judged according to the 10 Commandments, and helped her to see she is personally responsible for breaking God’s laws. She appreciated our conversation, but needed to finish her shopping. Gave her additional info.
Ohalia, about 40, with daughter, about 20
They have attended New Life Midway a few times, but are discouraged to continue by her husband who is devoted to his Catholic church. I talked too much about church, and in hindsight I wish I had shared the Gospel clearly. I was distracted by their excitement about church and I don’t think I should just assume that they understand the way of salvation clearly.
Ricardo, about 17
I began a conversation with him while shopping for groceries. He seemed in a hurry, and surprised me when he stopped his shopping and gave me his full attention to talk about spiritual things. I explained about our accountability to God on judgment day and our guilt in disobeying God’s commands, how we deserve eternal punishment for our rebellion against our eternal God. Ricardo agreed, heard the law and some of the good news of Jesus, but overall he seemed to be in a hurry. He may have just listened out of respect and courtesy. Like Luis a few days earlier, may God bless him for being courteous!
Patrick, Shaunese, Jasmine. 4/16/09 Teenagers at a maternity high school. All claimed to have a church background. They thought that if a person is truly sorry enough about their sins than they can go to heaven. Two somewhat laughingly said they would go to hell because they haven’t repented of their sins. I explained about our personal guilt in breaking God’s laws and how God’s justice demands punishment. When shown that hell is indeed what they deserve, they took it much more seriously than at first. I explained the way of salvation as clearly as I could and they seemed to understand and were grateful for the conversation.
Leo, about 30 4/16/09
After passing out MDB tracts at Burger King, I spoke to Leo who told me he could understand English and seemed genuinely interested. After a few minutes I could tell he really didn’t understand, so I gave him a Spanish MDB and moved on. God bless him for trying!
John and John, 70 and about 45
Sat down to talk to John, 70, at Burger King. John, 45, a postman, was sitting nearby and listened in on the conversation. He heard about our accountability on judgment day and our guilt In breaking the Ten Commandments before he had to get back to work. Gave him more info to read later. The older John was an inactive Catholic who seemed to have a lot of Bible knowledge though his conclusion was that one must be a good person to earn salvation. After much discussion and good questions, and agreement on our sin and need of God’s grace, he still couldn’t let go of his own good works as his basis for salvation.
Pete, Jason, Joey, Kevin, Smokey, all in mid 20’s 4/17/09
I’ve known them for years, and popped in to their apartment for a home visit while they partied. I had shared about God’s law and judgment day with Kevin and Pete about 5 months ago and they remembered the conversation well. They all really listened and had some good questions while I explained about their sin and accountability on judgment day, the just punishment for sin and the way of salvation. I challenged them to repentence and faith in Jesus. They all know where I live if they have questions!
Irma, about 65 4/18/09
Gave her a MDB tract while shopping, and began a conversation. She seemed to have lost hope for living and for heaven. She readily admitted her sin. I tried to encourage her that God isn’t through with her, that there can be hope for her future. She seems to be living through her daughters success, whom she only sees every 3 years because she lives in Australia. It was hard to keep the conversation on track because of her fixation on her daughter.
Sydnor, about 50 4/18/09
Gave her a MDB tract while shopping, and began a conversation. She is a Jehovah’s Witness and her JW memory verses kicked in, though they didn’t really relate to the conversation and she didn’t really have a clear understanding of her own beliefs. She believes her faith is “Christian” though she differs on many key theological issues. Hard to keep her on topic as she constantly went off on a tangent. I challenged her to understand that Christ alone, with no help from us, is our basis for salvation.
Yobda (from Somalia), Tyree, about 30
4/18/09 They were listening to Nick as he preached at Millenium Park. They told me they are active church members and just curious about what Nick was preaching. They told me they believe that one must simply be very sorry about their sins in order to be saved. They didn’t really understand what Jesus has to do with it. I challenged them to a clearer understanding of their faith and to share it with others. In hindsight, I believe they have faith not in Jesus but in their own sincerity of repentance. They have a faulty image of God as forgiving but not concerned about justice and punishment for sin. I pray their understanding of God would be corrected.
Megan, 20, and Dave & Yvette, about 30. They were sitting on a park bench and heard the end of my preaching, so I asked them what they thought of it, which began a good conversation. They all heard an explanation of our guilt in breaking God’s law and agreed. They understood that Hell is the only appropriate punishment for breaking God’s holy commandments. At that point Megan had to catch up to her friends. As I explained about Jesus’ dying and taking our punishment for us, Dave & Yvette seemed increasingly uncomfortable and just wanted to think about it themselves, so I gave them a gospel summary they could read later. They were from a Catholic background.
Jermaine, 18 4/20/09
Good conversation whiled I subbed at Collins High school. Jermaine told me he is a
Christian and attends a non-denominational church. He and a friend are working on a Christian rap CD in which they intend to secretly expose their listeners to the Gospel without offending them. He was very impressed that an adult could talk so freely about their faith in a public setting. I gave him the “good person test” because though he claimed to be a Christian, it turned out the basis for his faith was his church attendance and other good works. He didn’t see himself as a sinner who had broken God’s law and deserved God’s wrath and punishment. He was very encouraged by the conversation and glad to receive a booklet to help him grow in his understanding of Christianity.
Thurmond, about 50
4/23/09 a sub teacher at Dunbar High School, I thought he was reading the Bible. It turned out to be a law book which helped me start an interesting conversation about God’s justice and the consequences of breaking God’s law. Though a regular Baptist church attendee, he claimed he doesn’t believe in God and just enjoys the inspiring sermons about social justice. I asked him if there is a possibility that God DOES exist, which he agreed to, and so I asked him what would happen to him on judgment day if it were all true. He saw himself as a good person and didn’t want to agree that God would punish us for our sins. I think he was challenged with the possibility of judgment day, and I gave him more info to read
Mike, about 25
4/24/09 at Lowes Home Store
With his tattoos and by the way he dressed, Mike clearly looked like a typical gangbanger. But he was very positive when I began a conversation with him, and clearly convicted by the good person test”. I began to tell him about the hope he could have in Christ, and he was very thankful for the conversation and wanted to go home to tell his wife about it. I let him God and trust God to continue the good work He is doing in Mike.
Al, about 30, also at Lowes
Like Mike, Al also had a “tough guy” exterior with his huge size and dreadlocks, but I’m finding out just how deceiving outward appearances can be. He turned out to be a college theology major and very interested in various religions. We talked for some length, agreeing to disagree, and I just tried to impress on him that Christianity is the only religious faith that solves our problem with sin and our inability to “earn” a right relationship with God. I left him with more info and invited him to come to church.
Yvette, about 20 4/25/09
At Bosley Park, after Nick’s Evangelism Crash Course, Markus, Hillary and I went to put our training into action. We met Yvette, who was with an older friend and seemed interested in what we were talking about but embarrassed because her older friend was there. She is from a Catholic upbringing and seemed to have given up trying to keep the faith, but she heard about God’s law and justice, and the hope of forgiveness in Christ. Though she was laughing and joking because of her friend, I pray she will seriously consider what she heard.
Sandy, about 20 4/25/09
At Bosley Park, after Nick’s Evangelism Crash Course, Markus, Hillary and I went to put our training into action. We met Sandy, who was from a Catholic upbringing and seemed to have given up trying to keep the faith, but she heard about God’s law and justice, and the hope of forgiveness in Christ. Though it started raining and I had to hurry toward the end of the conversation, I pray she will seriously consider what she heard.
Jerry, about 60, disabled.
4/25/09 At Fleetwood Roller Rink. He talked about raising his daughter, 14, and multiple marriages. Believed himself to be a good person and hopes he is good enough to go to heaven. Grew up Catholic. The music was too loud for further conversation, but I thank God for allowing me to meet Jerry and pray for his salvation.
Bill, about 40
While waiting for a rain shower to end after class, I spoke to a philosophy professor at CSU. He is teaching a class called Philosophy and Law, and just happened to be teaching that day about law as discussed in the book of Romans. He has been through seminary and studied all the major world religions, and very proud to be able to explain away God and the Bible. His interpretation of Romans couldn’t be more opposite of Paul’s intentions in writing it. He said he grew up in a Christian family, but no longer believes in God or the Bible, other than to use it for inspiration for social justice activities. He is clearly used to arguing his points, and if I was to do it over again I think I could have avoided the intellectual arguments by dealing more with his guilty conscience. Pray for Bill and, more importantly, pray for the many students he is leading astray.
Mikail, about 35
4/28/09 After passing out MDB tracts at the Borders bookstore café in Hyde Park, I spoke to Mickail, a gentleman who seemed deep in thought after reading the tract. He is going through a divorce and said he is re-thinking the meaning of life. He has had some mental instability due to time serving in Iraq. I shared both the law/judgment and the good news of salvation in Christ. He was very encouraged by the whole conversation, yet overwhelmed by it all at the same time. He seemed determined to take God a lot more seriously and think through the things we talked about. I left him additional info and my contact info. In hindsight, I wish I would have prayed for him right there in the bookstore before I left, because though he won’t remember everything we talked about, that would have been the best way to leave him with the hope of Christ. Lord, may I do better next time!
Larry, about 35, and Marvin, about 45
4/29/09 On my way home from work I stopped at Food For Less and handed out Million Dollar Bill tracts which led to talking with two guys in separate but very similar conversations. Both agreed to the fact of our sin and that we deserve punishment, both were trusting that their good deeds would earn them God’s favor on judgment day, and both agreed when I explained that Jesus can be our only basis for salvation. They didn’t seem convicted by their sin, so pray that they would repent of their pride and that the conversations were helpful as a reminder to them not to trust in their good deeds but to put their trust in Jesus.
Steve, about 50
4/30/09 While at work I met Steve who is divorced and seems rather cynical about a lot of things in life. I gave him a ride home, and on the way I asked him what he thought happens after we die. He said he believes in reincarnation and wants to come back and explore different times in history. I asked him what he thought would happen if what the Bible says is true about our sin and accountability to God on judgment day. He seemed very impressed by my boldness and asked all about where I attend church and said he would like to attend. He only lives a few blocks away. In hindsight, I think he was trying to change the subject to a safer topic, and I hope in the future I can work harder to keep on the subject even when it gets uncomfortable. Please pray that God will work on Steve’s conscience even though our conversation didn’t get very far.