12/8/14 Andre about 35
Why is it often difficult to talk to people about eternal life? Many people are simply trying to avoid an argument, but I believe the problem goes much deeper. At a McDonalds, Andre – an immigrant from Moldavia – stared at me sternly when I asked about his views on eternity. Finally, he said in a thick Eastern European accent – “I don’t talk about such things”. He went on to say what is more important is to talk about how we should live in the here and now, in this present life. I wondered why, and asked about his religious background. Andre grew up in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, but now considers himself to be simply a Christian, so I reasoned with him about his refusal to talk about eternity. “If we have a soul that will live forever, we will spend a lot more time in eternity than we spend here in this short life. And if you love God, it only makes sense that you would want to be sure you will spend that eternity with Him, in His presence, right?” I could tell Andre was one of the large percentage of people who think it is selfish, in a way, to be concerned about going to heaven, and that this selfish motivation taints any good deeds they have done, so they just conclude it is best not to talk about heaven at all. But this wrongly assumes two things: 1.) That it is wrong or selfish to focus on heaven; and 2.) That our “good deeds” will get us there, even if done for completely unselfish reasons. Explaining these wrong assumptions to Andre helped him to lighten up and talk more freely about the hope he has in Jesus for spending an eternity with our loving heavenly Father.