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!

The Prodigal's Brother

9/28/13                   Farashi          mid-20's
At a table outside a coffeeshop I asked a young man in his mid 20’s named Farashi(?) about his beliefs and religious background. He had grown up attending a Pentecostal church and a Christian high school in California.  Much later in our conversation he admitted he rejected faith in Jesus Christ initially because he enjoyed various sins too much, but now his reasons have become more sophisticated. In fact he shared an arsenal of reasons why he rejects Christianity, and many were based on the negative and hypocritical behavior of people who call themselves Christians, both in his life and throughout history.  But I found one excuse interesting and, I think, typical for people who have grown up in Christian families but now reject the faith.  “Why should someone who lives a life of sin, committing, say, rape and murder, be forgiven right at the end of their life just because they accept Jesus as their Savior?  What about the good person in other countries who have never heard of Jesus?  Why should they go to hell for that?  I can’t believe in a God who would be that unfair” was his general argument.  He reminded me of the older brother in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, who rejected the father’s right to be generous and merciful when he so chose.   Farashi forgets that God doesn’t owe us His mercy or any other blessing but, rather, condemnation as explained in Genesis 3.  Our modern, man-centered “gospel” would try to shower someone like Farashi with love and kindness in an effort to convince him of God’s love, but he has been around church enough to know the Bible is also full of examples of His justice.  Yes, God loves the world and the Bible is full of examples of His lovingkindness.  But let's be honest.  Because God is perfect goodness, He also loves justice.  We aren’t initially condemned for our rejection of Jesus but for we are justly condemned for our sin, our active rebellion against God’s laws and God’s rule over us.   All people - even people who have never heard of Jesus - have a conscience, the knowledge of good and evil, and yet we act against our God-given conscience.  Without the undeserved mercy found in Jesus, we will experience the fact of the law of sin and death (Romans 8) in the same way a skydiver will experience the fact of gravity without a parachute.  We can’t blame the parachute.  And in the same way, let’s not blame God for the consequences of our own sin, especially considering the incredible price He paid at Calvary, that by grace through faith in Jesus we might avoid the fate we deserve.   Please pray for Farahi.  Excerpts of our half-hour conversation are at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjO3K1VNP0E

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