4/23/10 Mike, Joe, Nick all 21
After a long run I slowed down to walk the last few blocks to my house and met two guys (Joe and Nick) at an intersection. "Hey can I run a few questions past you?" "Sure, what's up?" Joe answered. "I often ask people about their spiritual beliefs, and wanted to ask you too. Do you have any? Do you believe in a higher power of any sort?" Joe said he believes in God; Nick said he stopped believing in God in his mid teens. They both grew up Catholic and attended Catholic schools. I talked about how brief life is compared to eternity, and, after getting Nick to understand that if he has an open mind then he must admit that at least there's a possibility that God exists, and if he does we need to prepare to meet Him now, in this life, before it is too late. Since they both said they would go to heaven because of their goodness, I took them through the good person test, which might sound like a "canned" approach when I write about it, but is anything but canned or scripted in practice. For example, when asking if they had ever lied Nick said he thought "white lies" are okay if told to avoid hurting someone's feelings. I used this to explain that if I told a lie to my wife that a particular dress looks good on her, then she wouldn't believe me when I really did tell the truth. Their friend Mike, an atheist, joined them about halfway through our conversation and listened in, faking disinterest. After explaining our law and grace Gospel (for the good news of grace makes no sense without the bad news of the condemnation we deserve) I challenged them to "count the cost" but at the same time not to delay in seeking a right relationship with God.