2/22/14 Ed 50
“I believe in a God of some kind and some sort of life after this one, I just choose not to get all worried about it” a man named Ed told me. It was hard to tell him I agree with him. After all I had started an evangelistic conversation with him somewhat out of the blue at a Burger King restaurant, something I view as what “normal” Christians are supposed to do but something the world would label as over-zealous, radical, or even extremist. But the truth is, I did agree with Ed, for two reasons, both of which helped me share biblical truths as I explained them to Ed. First I told Ed something that really put him at ease in talking with me: “I believe that as a Christian I am to share the Gospel, but I really don’t believe I can convince anyone to become Christian. That’s a change that only God can make in a person. I just share what I can of the Gospel message and believe that God will do the rest, so I don’t feel the need to pressure anyone.” Second, I explained the difference between doing good works to obtain salvation, as most major religions teach in some form or another, and being saved for good works, as biblical Christianity teaches. I explained how a passage like Ephesians 2:8-10 teaches us that we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, not through our good works, and that our response when we have received that gift is one of wanting to show gratitude to God. Ed has been heavily influenced by self-help gurus and motivational speakers like Tony Robbins who teach how one can be at peace with oneself, so I told him “You really can’t be at peace with yourself until you are at peace with God, and the Bible teaches that outside of faith in Jesus, our sins have cut us off from that peace. We want to hide from God and avoid Him but we need to get back into a right relationship with Him. A lot of people frantically try to prove their goodness through good works, which is why many religious people seem way too uptight about their beliefs, but only one simple thing is needed – a trusting relationship with Jesus.” This made a lot of sense to Ed, and opened him up to want to talk further about the peace that passes all understanding that only Jesus can bring.