9/26/12 Mac about 40
A man approach me on the sidewalk, earbuds on, enjoying a cigarette, lost in his music. I waved to get his attention, indicating I had a question. He stopped and removed an earbud. "I have a crazy question...What do you think happens next, after this life?" He looked at me, thinking, then removed the other earbud. "That's not a crazy question at all, in fact, its a very important question!" We talked a while, and though he -Mac - sounded fairly spiritual he basically believed that God will balance our deeds on a scale and if our good deeds outweigh our bad, we will go to heaven. I reminded him that the only way we can do good is to use the gifts God gives us - our time, health, energy, money - and that we are expected to use them for good. James 4:17 says that if we know the good we "ought" to do and do not do it, it is a sin. God has every right to expect us to do good. We can't use our good deeds as a bargaining chip to offset our sins. Like any righteous judge, God is offended when we think He will accept a bribe of any sort to forsake His justice. Isaiah 64:6 says "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags". Our "good" deeds are as good as garbage if we think they can pay for our sins. I went on to explain how we sin primarily against God, and that He requires justice - the punishment must fit the crime. Only Christ crucified would qualify as a worthy substitute for the punishment we deserve. We talked through all this for quite some time, with Mac indicating that he not only understood but agreed with all we talked about. Suddenly, he had a funny look on his face and needed to leave. Had he just realized he was late for a human appointment, or did he realize he has an important appointment with God? Please pray for Mac, he seems so close to trusting Jesus.