3/02/10 Lawrence, about 35, and jesus, about 24
I was very early to pick up my daughter after soccer practice, so I went to hang out at a Border's bookstore. A lot of people were sitting around near the coffee shop, reading or working on their laptops, so I asked one gentleman, reading a magazine, if we could talk. Lawrence said he is a Christian, yet he doesn't go to church or read the Bible. He talked too loud for the quiet atmosphere so I kept the conversation short, helping him see that just as he wouldn't want to golong without physical food, he shouldn't go long without the spiritual food of God's word. I could see that a young man sitting nearby was interested in the conversation so I moved on to talk to him. jesus (I'll use a small "j" to avoid confusion) has just graduated from college, looking to start a career, and searching for spiritual meaning in life. He has turned from Catholicism to eastern religions, favoring Buddhism and practicing yoga and meditation, but still searching and very open to hearing, for the first time, the "whole counsel" of God (Acts 20:27) By this I mean to say I didn't hold back on the bad news of sin, God's justice and the judgment to come, so that when I was able to share the good news of God's mercy in Christ, His grace was truly amazing. Without an understanding of sin and judgment, the message of the cross is simply foolishness (I Cor. 1:23), especially in our society where we are so trained to believe that God is such a "loving father" that he would never punish sin. Was jesus offended by this hard truth? No, he was extremely grateful for our conversation and for a clear understanding of the gospel. He received it on an intellectual level; I pray God will soften his heart with conviction and repentence that leads to saving faith.