4/17/15 Brook about 30
Most people I meet in my outreach efforts are blissfully ignorant of the possibility that they are on “the wide road to destruction” as Jesus put it. They know they aren’t perfect, but because they have trivialized their own sin and trivialized God’s holiness, they believe that if there is a heaven they will go there because they are good people. Not so with Brook, about 30, whom I had a sidewalk conversation with today. After we talked a while and I found out a little about his spiritual background and beliefs, I asked “If you were to die tonight, where would you go?” “Oh, straight to hell” he said. This is fairly unusual, and I asked why he believed that. “Well, I’m not willing to give up my drinking and smoking and partying, and I can’t control my anger issues and bad thoughts” He believes in Jesus (at certain level) but he is unwilling to repent of his sins. Brook has experienced his parent’s church and the Gospel message enough to know that if he does make a commitment to follow Christ he won’t be able to keep it. I began to talk about how the Holy Spirit gives believers new hearts and new desires when we put our trust in Christ, but Brook said he had been there and done that and that now that he feels that he is tested even more as a result. Time to talk about the other “helper” God gives to people when they put their faith in Jesus – the local church. I came to see that Brook’s problem with God is that he is trying to go it alone. We might be turned off by all its flaws, but God gives us the fellowship of a local body of believers who are also struggling sinners like ourselves so that together we can build one another up in faith. Our outreach needs to work together with the help God gives to those who come to faith in Jesus – the counsel of the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of a local church.