12/02/09 Dave and Cherrie, late 20's
While out jogging I passed a Dunkin' Donuts and went in, sweats and all, to talk to a couple at a table. Dave seemed like a regular fellow but his friend Cherrie was heavily made up punk rock style. They were open to my questions. Cherrie told me she believes in a "life force" or karma. She is involved in the performing arts (???) and feels spiritual at times. She has explored many religions and has picked the ideas she likes the most. David said he hasn't believed in God since about age 7 when a fire-and-brimstone preacher told his parents they would go to hell. Cherrie responded to Dave's story with outrage that anyone would believe in the idea of hell let alone warn someone else that they are going there. I could tell Cherrie takes great pride in being tolerant so I appealed to this pride by telling them that I'm a Christian and asking if they'd like to hear a biblical perspective. They gave me five minutes so I pulled up a chair and began by telling them that I felt much the same way about hell until I learned that Jesus spent more time warning people about hell than He talked about heaven. Cherrie had heard that people go to hell for not believing in Jesus (not true) so I used the analogy of the law of gravity and a parachute to explain that just as jumping out of an airplane and violating the law of gravity will kill us, breaking God's law is what condemns us. Jesus is like the parachute that can save us (He didn't come to condemn us; we were condemned already - John 3). I also tried to explain God's justice but I tried to cover too much ground in my five minutes. When I began to talk of their personal accountability for their sins, they were ready to leave. How I wish I'd had more time to talk because its tempting to think my words could save them. However, my hope for them must be based on the Lord, not on my own awkward efforts.