So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

9/4/12    Ramone,     55
"I would say I'm more good than bad, like about 60% good, so I think I will go to heaven" said Ramone, whom I spoke with on a sidewalk after work today.  I thought he was just typical of so many people who simply think they can earn their way to heaven by making sure their good works outweigh their bad.  But Ramone went on to ask some rapid-fire questions that showed he had done some deeper thinking about God:  "Why did God allow Satan to rebel in the first place?  Why did He set Adam up by tempting him, and then blaming him when he failed?  Why is it that someone like Hitler could be forgiven if he simply believed in Jesus? Why does God allow me to suffer when I have tried to follow Him?  Maybe God just got bored and puts us here to kick us around and see how we'll react.  I think about God a lot, but lately questions like these are just driving me crazy"  It turned out that Ramone had been very bold and active as a young man in witnessing on the streets and to many of his peers who had joined gangs.  But over the years his devotion to the Lord had faded.  He began to operate simply on his own strength and his efforts at ministry were only feeding his own ego.  His solid faith eroded and was replaced by doubts and questions that caused him to sit in judgment of God.  In fact, just three days ago he had a dream that someone was calling him to witness like he did in his early days, but he refused because of all these questions. "I've had questions like these myself" I told him. "But I can think of two foundational beliefs that help the Bible make sense and keep it from driving me crazy.  First, throughout scripture there is this constant theme that the central purpose of everything is to bring glory to God, not simply to bring happiness to man as so many people believe. Second, you have to remember that even though God declared that man was 'very good' at creation, we are now under His curse. We are, in fact, enemies of God due to our rebellion against him, and we can't get back into a right relationship with Him ourselves, because the glory and honor for that belongs to Jesus."  Ramone had deep questions that really couldn't be answered adequately in a sidewalk conversation, but these two simple points changed his whole persective.  He went from confusion about the Gospel and complaining and doubting and feeling like God had let him down, to Gospel clarity and dreaming about how he could begin to serve God again like he did in his younger years.   "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness."  Hebrews 3:13

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