9/3/10 Anthony, about 30
Luke (church elder) and I took some time out of our busy schedules to share the gospel with whoever we might find and met Anthony, an African-American man who confidently told us he has been a Christian ever since he was four years old. I said "I want to be sure I'll see you in heaven, so how can you know you will go there after you die?" "I am very, very, very confident that my good deeds will outweigh my bad" was his answer. I asked what sort of good deeds it takes to erase our sins and he shared about some of his volunteer activities. "That seems impressive but the Bible says we ought to do good, (James 4:17) that is what we are here for." Anthony agreed and I asked "We are only doing what is expected but what about the bad we do?" Anthony didn't seem to think it was any big deal so I asked if I could give him a good person test (based on the Ten Commandments). He was so confident that, like most people, he readily agreed, and like most people, failed miserably - but he still thought his sin is no big deal. "God forgives me, as long as I'm really sorry" He took us inside a store to meet his foster mother, whom he had been waiting for, and told her about our conversation. When he left to pull the car up to the door I told her, knowing of her strong church background, that I was concerned about Anthony's trust in his good works rather than in Christ for salvation. When she told me that "our good deeds can cover a multitude of sins" I realized where his beliefs had come from.