11/4/13 Randy 20’s
It was a cold day, not normally a good time for a long gospel conversation, but a young man named Randy responded to my “million dollar” gospel tract with interest. “It has what I call the million dollar question on the back, ‘Will you go to heaven?’ What do you think, do you believe there is a such thing as heaven?” “Absolutely not” he said confidently. “When we die, that’s it. End of story” I asked more about his background. Randy grew up in a Mormon family, but has given up his Mormon beliefs in favor of faith in science. He is now a graduate student in nuclear physics. As our conversation progressed I could tell that from the variety of arguments against any kind of religious faith that this has been a question he has struggled with, that he has been attracted to any kind of argument against God. Why? I believe it’s simple. No God, no judge, no law, no accountability. While many people try to imagine a God who trivializes holiness, righteousness, and sin, Randy simply tries to explain away God altogether. I gave reasonable answers to his arguments against God, but he would only move on to another one. What to do? He was opened-minded enough at least to consider the possibility that God exists, so I asked what would happen were he to die tonight and find himself standing before God’s judgment throne. How would God judge him? “I believe he would say I’m a very good person.” he answered, taking pride that he doesn’t need the reward of heaven or the threat of hell to be a good person. In fact, he believes that if God does exist this natural non-coerced “goodness” would make him a good person despite his professed unbelief in God. Since biblical evangelism - according to the examples and teachings of Jesus, Paul and others - calls for the principal of “law to the proud, grace to the humble”, I gave this proud young man the law, asking how he would be judged according to individual commandments. Has he lied, has he stolen, has he used angry words and had lustful thoughts? These questions had the effect promised in Romans 3:19 “that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God”. Randy was no longer thinking about his arguments against God. His God-given conscience was responding to the law, just as God designed it to do.