10/2/16 David about 35
Contrary to popular opinion, our reception or rejection of the Gospel is not an individual decision. It affects every one of our loved ones for eternity. That was on the mind of a young father-to-be named David, as I talked with him outside an LA Fitness gym. I had asked about his beliefs about life after death, which he said kind of caught him off guard but he felt was important to talk about. “Especially because I’m about to be a father with a baby girl on the way, so I’ve really been thinking about going back to church” he said.
David had neglected the faith he was raised in, but now that he and his wife are about to be parents, he is feeling the need to raise their new daughter with the same morals and values that help make him the good person he believes himself to be. Part of his urgency comes from his belief that it is these morals and values that determine ones eternal fate – heaven or hell – and he wants to make sure his child will also have them. However, a big reason he said he has neglected church for so many years is the hypocrisy he sees in church people, how they don’t really live the faith they believe in.
I explained that part of the problem is that many people have grown up in church without really having a faith relationship with Christ themselves. They are really just going through the motions of religion. Our conversation allowed me to share the Gospel, and when I called David to repentance and faith in Christ (rather than faith in himself and his own good works) I challenged him to realize that his faith or lack of faith in Jesus would not only affect him for eternity, but would have an effect on countless others, including his new daughter. Without a genuine faith in Jesus, his daughter will sense his hypocrisy as he brings her to church but only goes through the motions himself, and he will be a big part of the very problem with church people that he is critical of.