6/20/13 Ashley about 18
Ours is a reasonable faith, but for a variety of reasons people often overlook some very simple logic when it comes to their beliefs. For example, a young lady named Ashley told me she attends church and totally believes in “the Book” as she calls the Bible, but then said she never reads it. “When you say you believe in the Bible” I asked, “Do you mean you believe it is true and can be trusted?” She enthusiastically agreed. “And the Bible is filled with references to itself as being the Word of God. So we have two options – this is either true or false, right?” She agreed and continued to affirm her belief in the Bible as God’s word. “So you have the opportunity to read for yourself words that have come directly from God, but you never read the Bible?” She had agreed, feeling a little foolish. I wasn’t trying to make her feel bad, but just to help her see the disconnect between believing in the Bible and never reading it. “Sometimes we get so used to things in our life that we take them for granted and never realize how awesome they really are” I concluded. We went on from there to a good gospel conversation. I believe what engaged her interest was not just my simple logic, but the fact that I used that logic directly in response to her statements about herself, helping her see that what she had been doing was not, in fact, logical. Sharing the Gospel involves the use of logic and reason. When Paul “reasoned” with the Athenians in Acts 17, he did so because Christianity is a reasonable faith, but, all too often, people are not.
6/20/13 Jonathan early 20’s
I flagged down an oncoming bicyclist, apologizing for stopping him but at the same time letting him know the question I wanted to ask was important. His name is Jonathan and he remembered me from a Gospel conversation back in 2010. His memories from the conversation were somewhat vague, centered around the “good person” questions I had asked in order to show him his need for forgiveness, so I went over the Gospel again. When we had first talked three years ago, he had been very excited to hear it, feeling like God was trying to get his attention because another person had just talked to him about the Lord the day before. Other than that, he had no religious background. Now, three years later, he had forgotten what we talked about and has had no other spiritual conversations since. He was positive and enthusiastic about seeing me again, but when it came time to respond to what he was hearing he said “ I believe this and all, and I will probably follow God some day, but I’m young and I don’t want to miss out on anything, you know?” We talked more about his ideas of what it means to be a Christian and I ended with this thought – “Three years ago, you heard the same thing you heard today and decided to put it all off until later, and what happened? You haven’t heard from anyone else about the Gospel and have forgotten what it was even all about. Don’t you realize the same thing will happen again? God doesn’t owe any of us a second chance – He didn’t have to give you another chance to hear the Gospel. Now is the time to decide, its either yes or no; to decide to wait until tomorrow is to say no today. I’m not trying to pressure you but just to be realistic; you saw what happened the first time.” Jonathan saw my point and agreed with it, but as far as I know, continues to say “no” to Jesus. I understand people need time to think things through, but that doesn’t make the Gospel any less urgent. I had flagged Jonathan down on his bike ride because of a sense of urgency, and now the Gospel was just as urgent at the end of our conversation as it was at the beginning.