6/14/10 Eric, Alex both 16
On the campus of IIT I asked a student, dressed in an "alternative" style, if he would answer a few questions about his beliefs. "Well I don't talk about God to just any stranger on the street" he said. I asked, "Well, do you talk about God with your friends?" He hesitated as he saw a young female friend walking up to us. "Well, no I don't. What's this for anyway?" I told him "I'm from a church nearby, and I do this for two reasons. First, it gives me a much better understanding of where people are at spiritually, and second, if you had any questions for me I'd be happy to answer them, though I'd be happy just to be able to ask about your beliefs" He replied "Well I'm not in the mood right now." "That's cool" I said as I went on to talk to a few high school students (Eric and Alex) just behind them. I felt kind of glad that I had someone to talk to right away, because in a small way reminiscent of Paul taking the gospel to the Gentiles after it was rejected by the Jews, I felt this young man needs to see he is missing out because there are many other people who would be glad to have a conversation about their beliefs, regardless of what he thinks about it. Eric and Alex are students in a nearby Catholic high school and believe in God, Heaven and Hell. They both believe they will go to heaven because of the many good things they've done. I asked what those good deeds were. Alex began, "I've helped people move, and I help around the house..." "And I volunteer at a homeless shelter" said Eric. I said "I don't want to burst your bubble, but aren't those things that God rightfully expects of us?" I went on to explain about the judgment that we deserve from God and the mercy he offers us through faith in Jesus. "You have your whole life before you, hopefully, and I want to invite you to put your faith in Jesus like I did at your age. It was the best decision I ever made, and it can be for you too."