12/31/15 George about 50
“I just have one question. What do you mean when you say ‘Put your faith in Jesus’?” This question came from a man named George in a grocery store outreach conversation. It came toward the end of explaining the Gospel. I thought George was tracking with me but it reminded me that words and ideas that might seem simple to me often need to be clearly defined and explained. After we talked about it a while, I realized that for George, “putting your faith in Jesus” meant seeing Jesus as the source for good luck and blessings in life such as health and prosperity and blessing one’s loved ones. I’ve seen the same belief in other people only the names have changed, whether it is faith in Buddha, Mary, Mohammad, or the more impersonal force known as karma. But Jesus is not a good luck charm. That was never His purpose. He came “to seek and to save the lost.” So why do people think Jesus is merely a source of blessing in this life? Because they don’t realize they are lost! Without that basic understanding, our understanding of Jesus and His significance becomes warped and perverted. Although George had said he had put his faith in Jesus, when it came to salvation he had also said “I’m working on it”. He didn’t see the need to trust in Jesus for salvation, and the faith he spoke of was a carnal faith, a self-centered temporal trust in Jesus for blessings in the here and now, not in Jesus as savior of his soul from eternal condemnation. As we talked there in the grocery store, my ice cream was melting and the other frozen foods in my cart were thawing, but so was George’s hard heart toward true faith in Jesus, and he was very grateful I had reached out to him and taken the time to help him see the difference.