12/31/10 Woods about 50
I was on a short witnessing outing with Luke, our lead elder at church, when we ran into an older man in a wheelchair on the sidewalk. I gave him a trillion dollar bill tract, telling him it was from our church and has the "trillion dollar question" on the back. He turned it over to look but I said "before you read it I want to ask you what would be the most important question in the world. You know we're from a church so you know it has to do with religion" He thought for a moment - "Am I saved?" he asked. I agreed with him and asked "So how about you, do you think you'll go to heaven?" '"Well, I'm working on it, but it ain't easy!" This wasn't the answer I hoped to hear, because it sounded like a works-based religion to me, but as we talked further it seemed to me that his faith is indeed in Christ. We talked a bit about what it means to "work out your salvation" as is written in Phil. 2:12-13 We had a good-natured mini-theology session right there on the sidewalk - do we believe our good works lead to salvation, or are they the result of salvation? Among other things, Ephesians 2:8-9 ("by grace are you saved through faith") helped clarify things for "Woods" as he called himself, and we encouraged and prayed for him to keep "working out his salvation" - battling against the temptations of the flesh - and to share his faith with others.