1/25/13 Chris, 21
“Sure I’ve told lies, who hasn’t?” a young man named Chris told me. I began a Gospel conversation with him while grocery shopping today, and even though he is minoring in theology at a nearby Catholic university, he disdains organized religion as being hypocritical. “People who go to church are no different from the rest of us – they just think they are better because they act religious for an hour or so each week” he said. He criticized the idea that people could be rewarded with heaven for going to church or reciting certain creeds – as if this is all the Christian faith consists of. He hadn’t seemed to consider God’s basic moral laws such as the Ten Commandments, so when I suggested that we will be held accountable to them he dismissed them as trivial because everyone breaks them, and without them he felt free to judge religion as being irrelevant. Like many people, Chris feels there is safety in numbers, reasoning that God can’t judge him by a law that everyone breaks. He is but one example of the fact that citing “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) doesn’t convict people of sin the way we might want it to. Jesus, or even Paul who wrote that passage, never simply told people that “everyone sins” and expected them to see their personal need for forgiveness and salvation. Instead, they used the law to make sin personal. The call to salvation must be preceded by the call to repentance, and the call to repentance must be preceded by teaching and applying the law, just as John the Baptist used the law to “make straight the way of the Lord” before Jesus. People need to know they need to be saved before they will come to the Savior. We need workers to do the work of John the Baptist in every generation. It’s a crucial part of doing the work of an evangelist.