7/23/12 Jacob, 14
By God's grace and with the help of some faithful Christians I began a faith relationship with Jesus as a teenager, so I found it easy to share that experience with a young man named Jacob at the park today. In answer to my questions about heaven, Jacob told me "Well my church taught me that I will go to heaven as long as I have confessed all my sins". We talked further and he told me that he believes Jesus died for his sins, but also that one must have no unconfessed sins before they die or they wiill go to hell. I tried to explain how these two beliefs contradict each other: "Lets say you did die suddenly before you had a chance to confess some sin. Do you really think Jesus would die to save you only to have you end up going to hell on a technicality?" Jacob confused the daily confession that allows people to maintain fellowship with God with the intial repentance and faith that allows them to have salvation in the first place. What amazed me as a teenager and what I shared with Jacob today is that God wants us to have a relationship with Himself, not just a religion. I told him how I first learned that God wanted me to share all my thoughts and concerns with Him in prayer, and how He speaks through His Word. Best of all I shared the cross, God's greatest expression of love for His children. Biblcal evangelism calls for "law to the proud, grace to the humble." So often I must focus on the law to help people see their need for forgiveness, but Jacob was different. He already knew he needed forgiveness, but was misinformed on how to get it. I pray that he will come to saving faith in Jesus, and that he will also go on to know the joy of the continual fellowship that is available for every child of the Father.