12/6/12 Bavin, about 22
When sharing the Gospel, isn’t it enough to tell people “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” as it says in Romans 3:23, and then quickly move on to the good news about forgiveness? Doesn't this verse get the message about our sin across, and why should we have to belabor the point? Today I was talking to a young American-born Hindu man named Bavin, who has had virtually no understanding of Christianity. After asking about his upbringing as a Hindu in the U.S. and about his beliefs and practices, it was easy to ask if he in turn would like to gain an understanding of Christianity. As I talked about how God has given all people the knowledge of good and evil – our moral conscience – I asked if, for example, he has ever told a lie even though he knows it is wrong. “Why yes, of course, everyone has” he answered. The fact that everyone has lied became his excuse for lying. Does not the fact that “all have sinned” become people’s excuse for sinning because they feel safety in numbers? “If all have sinned, then maybe I’m not so bad” they say. What happens is that people compare themselves to other sinners rather than to God’s holy standard – His law. Both their sin and God’s holiness become trivialized, and God is judged as a nit-picking party-pooper. Something like this happened in the Garden, when Satan asked Eve “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” It was his crafty way to get Eve to question God, even to judge him. And Eve fell into the trap. She corrected him by saying ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden” but then went on to misrepresent God with a lie of her own when she added “and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” A small detail to be sure, but it made it that much easier to believe Satan’s lie that “You will not certainly die”, implying that God had made an empty threat one could judge to be unreasonable. They surely did die, spiritually right there in the Garden when they were cut off from fellowship with God, and physically when their bodies eventually died as well. I told Bavin about the serious consequences of Adam’s disobedience in the garden, and then went on to talk about the serious consequences of his own rebellion against God’s rules in his life. Before people can have a personal relationship with Jesus, they need to take personal responsibility for their own sin. Bavin listened carefully and was glad to take the additional info I gave him, saying he would definitely be reading it later. Please pray for him; this was all new to him but he could see that Jesus and the cross answers a lot of questions that other world religions like Hinduism cannot.