5/4/12 Eric, Tim, both 18
On my way home from work I stopped at a park to share the gospel, and met two older teens, Eric and Tim. Both turned out to be believers since their early teens, and had been inspired in evangelism by many speakers at numerous Christian summer camps and at their church, including one just a week or two ago. He had inspired them to go out in this same park, asking youth at the park to come to an evangelistic youth event at their church, but they hadn't really just simply shared the gospel verbally. They were eager to learn, so I reversed the conversation, saying "Suppose I had been an unbeliever and had noticed that cross on your wallet, and had come up to you asking how I could be sure I will go to heaven. What would you tell me?" Eric wasn't sure, using a lot of religious sounding words in a series of rather disconnected statements. His general idea seemed to be to make Christianity look attractive, like one would be missing out on something in this life and on heaven in the next if one weren't a Christian. They were taking the same approach I had taken for much of my life - trying to make Christianity look so attractive and to make myself as a Christian look so happy (too often by the world's standards) that unbelievers wouldn't be able to help but wonder what our secret is. Eric and Tim could relate when I told them I often felt like a used-car salesman in the process, trying to convince people to buy something they really didn't think they needed. I told them how people like Ray Comfort and Mark Cahill have helped me to see how important (and biblical) the moral law - such as one's God-given conscience and the Ten Commandments - is to help people see their need for the forgiveness that can only be found through faith in Jesus. I prayed with them and went on to talk to some other people, and after this I saw them still watching me from a distance. My only regret is that I didn't take them with me!