5/27/12 Rico, 36
Today I think I met a modern day "Apollos". The original Apollos was a charismatic teacher in the church at Ephesus, but in Acts 18 it is written that "he knew only the baptism of John" and that Priscilla and Aquila "explained to him the way of God more adequately". This "baptism of John" emphasized repentance, a necessary part of the road to salvation, but it was incomplete without faith in Jesus. Now the "Apollos" I met today was a man named Rico whom I found on a basketball court at the park. He works as a personal trainer and has a buff physique and charismatic personality to match, and he brightened up when I asked about his spiritual beliefs. He launched into an enthusiastic pep talk about following God and the power of positive thinking and self discipline. He emphasizes his "four F's - Father (God), family, fitness, and focus" and told of how he has changed his life around for God and encourages others to do the same. But something was missing. Rico understands he is sinful and claims to have received God's forgiveness, but when asked how he knows he is forgiven he showed me his 2012 Harley Davidson in the parking lot. He told of how God has given him prosperity and healing for his father who was in a bad accident. But he never mentioned Jesus or the cross. Now the original Apollos, who was Jewish, was said to be "a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures". In comparison, however, Rico has little knowledge of the Bible. He has tried to read it several times but like many beginners he didn't get very far into Genesis before giving up in frustration. But I believe Rico is still somewhat like Apollos in that he has a soft heart toward the things of God and is eager to receive instruction. Please pray for him, because with the solid biblical foundation he needs he can come to true faith in Christ and, even beyond that, he can be a great teacher of the Word just like the original Apollos whom he reminds me of.