10/21/09 Mike, 50
I've seen Mike off and on over several years in the early mornings at the neighborhood weight room. Despite his frequent profanity, opinionated and exaggerated claims and self-centered attitude, we had a great conversation that I wrote about on June 5th. At the time he had seemed very open to God because of some recent miraculous blessings and a health scare. Since then, I've run into him a few more times and because of that conversation I fully expected him to bring up some questions or conversation about the Lord, but it hasn't happened so I finally asked "Mike, remember when I asked you those questions about your beliefs and what happens after we die? Have you thought much more about it?" He stated that he hasn't and tries not to think about it because then he wonders about people he has known who have already died and where they might be now. Despite what I thought was a very clear explanation that we don't deserve heaven and can't earn salvation, and must therefore put our hope in Jesus, Mike has reverted to hoping he and his relatives will all be "good enough" on judgment day. We talked more, and I reminded him of the biblical truths we had talked about before, but I'm just reminded that nothing, not the clearest Gospel presentation, not the most persuasive speaker nor the most trusting relationship, can replace the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in the work of new creation in a sinful heart - including my own.