4/26/10 Lorenzo, about 22
If sharing the Gospel in the marketplace is good enough for Paul (Acts 17:17) it is good enough for me so I picked up my friend Nolan at his home and we headed to the grocery store to initiate some witnessing conversations while I did my grocery shopping. Our longest conversation was with Lorenzo, who told us he believes in God but thinks he will just cease to exist after he dies. Later in the conversation I found out why. Lorenzo had gone through a period when he was much younger when he was full of guilt for his sins and became afraid that he would die and go to hell. After much struggling with this he concluded that the thought of hell is so unreasonable that the whole idea of eternal life itself can't be true. I helped him to see that wishful thinking doesn't make it just go away, and that the idea of a God who cares enough to punish sin - all sin - IS reasonable, especially when that same God made a tremendous sacrifice - His only Son - in order to spare us the just penalty for our sins that we deserve. It was a long conversation right there in the grocery isle, but Lorenzo went from a standoffish attitude to being very interested and engaged listener and took some of the info I offered to read later. Given what he had been through in the past I made God's love a special point of emphasis. I looked Lorenzo in the eye and said "Don't you EVER think that God doesn't love you. He also loves justice but He was willing to pay the ultimate price to forgive your sins." I think Lorenzo needed to hear that.