6/15/12 Darius, about 22
A young man was sitting at a coffee shop working on his computer, and he agreed to answer some questions about his spiritual beliefs. "Oh I believe in heaven and hell and all that, I just don't go to church much anymore" His name is Darius, and he told me that he grew up with Baptist parents that "forced me to go to church". He wasn't quite sure if he thought this was a good or bad thing. He says he still has the same beliefs but doesn't read the Bible anymore and feels like church is too full of rules and regulations that don't make sense. He believes people go to heaven if they prove to be good enough, and at this point in his life he doesn't feel like he would qualify. I wanted to communicate the truth that it is by grace we are saved, through faith in Christ, but also emphasize that God's grace wasn't cheap. The idea that God loves him was so familiar to Darius that it seemed to have lost its meaning, but the idea that God also loves justice and will punish sin wherever it is found seemed foreign to him. Darius thought that sincere repentence, to the point that one no longers commits the particular sin, is what it takes to earn God's forgiveness. But sin is way more serious than that. Forgiveness is priceless, worth infinitely more than we could imagine. It cost God the Father His only Son. Darius had gone to church two or three times a week for most of his life and had missed this point. About halfway into our conversation, I could see Darius tuning out. I think he felt he had nothing new to learn. I believe he was very, very wrong.