Day two of our summer evangelism was a great day! There were four of us this time and we all had a number of good talks and handed out lots of great literature! Praise be to God who alone can open people’s hearts to be attentive! Here is one little story.
Joseph and I had talked to a young Catholic man for quite a while. We explained the gospel of God’s grace over and over, reinforcing that the only way of getting our guilt removed is by the work of Christ and confidence in Him alone. He had mentioned that our good works help gain us God’s acceptance. So, I had my little Bible out, reading him passage after passage. We were in Romans, Ephesians, John and James. By God’s grace, he seemed to understand the Biblical teaching on how to receive the forgiveness of sins. Here is a summary of where the conversation went: (P stands for me; and J stands for the other man).
P: So, what about you? If you died today, do you think God would accept you?
J: Well … (thinking), yes; I think I’d be okay.”
P: Why do you think that?
J: I believe in God, and I’ve confessed my sins and try to live well.
P: You believe that even after everything I just shared from the Bible?
J: I can’t change my religion.
P: Even if it doesn’t agree with the Bible?
J: I can’t change; I grew up with this way. I’m Catholic and my parents are. I just can’t.
P: Do you believe the Bible is God’s Word?
J: Yes, but I can’t change. I grew up with this.
P: Yes, but what if it’s wrong? The Catholic church has some things right, but when it comes to how to receive the forgiveness of sins it teaches what is contrary to Scripture.
J: I can’t change.
P: Really? So your parents along with the Catholic Church are the authorities that govern what you believe? And you’ll side with them over the Bible even when the Bible clearly teaches how to receive forgiveness in a way contrary to Catholicism?
P: Well, thanks for taking the time to let us speak with you. I just want to give you one last Scripture to think about as we leave. (I opened to Acts 17:10-11 and showing it to him, I read the Word, explaining parts of it as I went). The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. This is the kind of spirit that pleases the Lord; examining Scripture to find the truth. The Berean’s authority was Scripture and not Jewish traditions. That is what you need to do, submit yourself to the authority of God and His Word. Thank you for time. (I left him with some good literature with our info).
May God have mercy on him; and may God help all of us to be more like the Bereans!