12/24/09 Carlos, about 18, Noreen, about 65
On our way home from a shopping errand, Anne and I stopped at a laundromat to pass out some million dollar tracts and hopefully initiate a gospel conversation. We found a friendly young man, Carlos, helping a family friend, Noreen, with her laundry. They both began with the idea that, though not perfect, they certainly were good enough for heaven. Once I talked about God's standard of perfection based on the Ten Commandments, they went to "Plan B" - the idea that God will simply forgive their sins as long as they confess them regularly. I asked them if an earthly judge would forgive a murderer just because he confesses, or because he has done some good deeds to make up for his crime. They could see that a good judge would not ignore justice just because someone admits their guilt or tries to bribe him with good behavior, and neither will God. "God loves people, but He also loves justice, so no sin will go unpunished." Sin has a high price and I told them of what they had heard in church - that God gave His Son to take the punishment for those who will trust Him. "Jesus died for us because we are sinners, not because we are good people, and our faith needs to be in Jesus alone." They agreed with all of this yet some of their subsequent statements led us to believe they still didn't "get it" - they constantly drift back toward a works-based salvation. Nonetheless, Anne and I later prayed for them, that God can break through with faith in Christ alone for salvation.