Letter from an Unsaved Friend

This poem was taken from the Living Waters website and is a vivid picture of why we need to share the love and justice of God with our unsaved friends.

 

Letter from an Unsaved Friend:

My friend, I stand in judgment now, and feel that you’re to blame somehow. On earth I walked with you by day, and never did you show the way.

You knew the Savior in truth and glory, But never did you tell the story. My knowledge then was very dim. You could have led me safe to Him.

Though we lived together, here on earth, you never told me of the second birth. And now I stand before eternal hell, because of heaven’s glory you did not tell!

 

Jan 6 – Barista Wake-Up Call

Today we had an incredible communion service at church and pastor Joe started sharing from the gospel of John, which we will be studying for the next several months. After the game we went to our son’s house to watch the Seahawks beat the Redskins and we exchanged Christmas gifts with him, Shanya, and Ty, since they were out of town for Christmas. We then came home I realized I had not witnessed to anyone today. We started putting together a jigsaw puzzle that our pastor had given us for Christmas and I got a phone call from my friend, Mike. Mike and I decided to go to Starbucks to chat for a while so I met him there at 8:00 PM.

What a perfect opportunity to share the gospel!

Mike paid for our drinks but I asked the barista if she could break $1 million bill. She laughed and asked if it was real and I told her that there is no such thing as a million-dollar bill, that’s why we’re able to print them. She asked me why we print them and I told her that I don’t print them I buy them online. I told her that it comes with the million-dollar question and I asked her what she thinks happens when someone dies. She hesitated to answer and it appeared that she was concerned about her coworkers hearing her answer. This is a rather common response when there are other ears around. She pointed up and said that we go to heaven. I asked if everyone goes to heaven and she said no only those who believe. I said “believe in what”? And she said if we believe in God. She was very hesitant to answer and I could see her peeking out of the corner of her eye to see if her coworker was listening. I believe she became even more nervous if I asked her if her God has a name. She quietly said “Jesus”. Just then her coworker came over and asked what we were talking about because she overheard us. I believe she asked if she was being quizzed and she asked her how this conversation got started. I didn’t get their names so I will call the first gal Jenna and I will call the second gal Sarah. Jenna said that the conversation had just gotten started on its own. I then asked Sarah what she think will happen to her when she dies. She said she believes that she will go to heaven, and Jenna then said “you just asked the 2 Christians that work here”. So I asked Sarah a little bit more. I asked her why she thinks she will go to heaven and she said that it’s because she believes in Jesus. I asked her what it is about Jesus that would be so special that would get her to heaven and she said that she believes it is because we have hope and he brings hope and we all want hope that there is a heaven. I agreed with her and said that I think that everyone believes there is a heaven but what is it that is so special about Jesus? She was stumped to give me an answer so I began explaining to her that we have all sinned against God and because of that we are unable to please God through our good works. As I was explaining to her about God’s plan of redemption there other coworker walked up, we’ll call her Melissa, and overheard the conversation and asked how this conversation got started. Sarah said that it had just come up and as since Melissa had decided to get involved in the conversation (thank you, Lord) I decided that I would ask her (of course).

I asked her what would happen to her when she dies and she said “I hope I can come back and haunt everyone.” I said “wow, why would you want to do that?” She said she just thought that it would be fun. I asked her if she believes that there is a heaven and a hell. She said yes she thinks so. I asked her if she thought she was good enough to go to heaven and she thought about it for a minute and said “no, probably not”. I asked her why she thought that and she said she probably supposes that none of us are good enough to get to heaven. I asked her how we get there then and she said “well I suppose I don’t know”. I said “wouldn’t you want to know if you could? Especially before you die when it’s too late?” She said she probably would want to know if she could so I explained to her and I asked her if she is ever told a lie, She said yes and admitted that that would make her a liar, and I asked her if she had ever stolen anything, she had to think for a while and then realized that she had stolen a pen from work and she admitted that that would make her a thief, and I asked her if she’d used God’s name in vain. She said “Yes, every day”. I said “you mean you take the name of the God they gave you life and every breath you take and you used his name as a curse word to express disgust?” I told her that that’s very offensive to God and he says that he will not hold anyone guiltless that takes his name in vain. I told her that’s called blasphemy. I told her that the Bible says that no liar, thief or blasphemer will inherit the kingdom of heaven. She said that no one could get to heaven then. That were all going to hell. I said “no, but we all deserve to go to hell.” I explained to her what God had done for us, that although we all deserve death and that we all deserve to go to hell, but God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. I explained to her that that 1st means that although she had sinned against God and deserved to spend eternity in hell because God is a just judge and must punish sinners, that God loved us so much that, although we could not earn his favor and that all of our good works are filthy and his sight, God came to earth, close himself in flash, lived a perfect life and therefore did not deserve to die, but he offered up his life as a sacrifice for our sin and that if she would believe and place your trust in Christ that God would impute Christ’s righteousness upon her and give her eternal life. I told her that she must repent of her sentence, turn away and stop living for herself and start living for God and trust in Christ righteousness alone to pay for the penalty of person against a holy God. I could see that Melissa had her eyes opened during this conversation. She did not make a profession of faith at this time but certainly now has some things to think about. I asked her to please think about the things that we had talked about and to get right with God before she lays her head on her pillow tonight because she is not guaranteed a tomorrow.

As I was talking to her the other 2 girls were, obviously, listening intently to what I had to say to her. I believe Jenna was already a Christian as she explained to me that her parents were pastors at a church and Fall City and I know that she agreed with everything I had said. Sarah, on the other hand, was listening intently and I believe it was probably the first time that she had heard the Gospel presented in this way. I pray that she heard the truth and will repent of her sins as well.

I praise God that my conversation with all 3 of them was an encouragement to Jenna and I know that it was an encouragement to Mike, as well. It brought great joy to me to share the gospel and my faith was strengthened even more. there is no greater blessing than to share the gospel with an unbeliever with one exception: to see an unbeliever come to faith. Please prepay for Jenna, Sarah and Melissa.

After our conversation I went to my jacket and got a rainbow track for each of them. I pray they will read them and that God’s Kingdom will expand according to his grace in Christ Jesus.

Please pardon any mis-punctuations or misspellings as this blog post has been dictated and not typed.

Jan 4 – Fun Teenagers

It’s always fun sharing with younger teenagers. They (almost) always respect your authority as an adult and they will listen and interact with you.

Tonight I came across 7 young men and women, about 13 years old, who were hanging out harmlessly enjoying their Friday afternoon. I said “Here you go you guys, million dollar bills for everyone”. They all gave it a shot at an answer to the million dollar question. One of the girls even said that we get seven minutes when we die to recall everything in our life, that’s where Deja Vu comes from – I learn something new every day. I’d never heard that one before. After going through a few of the ten commandments they all recognized their plight and a few seemed genuinely concerned so I was able to share about the good news of Christ’s atonement for their sins. They were concerned that they couldn’t do enough good things to make up for the bad things. I used the courtroom analogy to explain to them that a judge can’t forgive their theft just because they help little old ladies to cross the street. They should do that anyway but they must pay the proper fine for their sins and the Bible tells us that sin is transgression of the law (1 Jn 3:4) and the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23). It’s often much easier to speak to a group than to an individual since as each person in a group shouts out their answers and comments you can reply to the ones that you want to reply to. In this case there were many good responses and a great opportunity to share the truth of the love of Christ. After our conversation I gave each of them a rainbow tract and I encouraged each of them to read it and to really think about what we had talked about.

As I began walking away one of the young men said “Hey, I got a trillion”. Sure enough, he had a trillion dollar bill so I was able to help them figure out how many millions are in a trillion.

Side note:

In case you never realized it…there are a million millions in one trillion. Our national debt is over 14 trillion, a number too large to conceive. If you were to spend one million dollars per day it would take you 38,356 years and 70 days to spend one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000). You would not have even spent one trillion if you had spent one millions dollars every day since Christ came to redeem us from our transgressions.

Jan 3 – I Will Not Be Disappointed

Today I was planned to share with the barber at The Art of Shaving but two things happened:

1. He didn’t speak good English.
2. He had a razor to my throat! I didn’t fear him killing me, but it’s hard to talk to someone when you have to keep your mouth shut and keep your face still.

After going back to work the phones wouldn’t quit ringing (I don’t witness to my customers on the phone) so as I was leaving for home I realized that I had not shared the gospel with anyone today (with the exception of speaking openly about my faith in Christ with the young man I interviewed for a new technician position) so as I was leaving I saw the Snap On Tools truck in the parking lot. I walked out to the truck to share with him. I’m really glad I gave myself this challenge (made this commitment) because otherwise I would not have gone out of my way to talk to him – I would have waited for the “opportunity” to arise some day. So, I’m on his truck and he’s on the phone, and I’m waiting, and I’m waiting, and I’m browsing through all the really cool tools on the truck and I’m still waiting, and he’s still on the phone, and I’m still waiting. It sounded like it was going to be a while so I went home. I stopped at the grocery store in hopes that an opportunity would arise but nobody was hangin’ out, everyone was running in or out of the store because it was darn cold and the wind was really blowing.

Oh, well, no opportunity tonight. I praise the Lord He has given me a conviction to step further out of my comfort zone for His Glory!

Jan 2 – Unknown Brother

Today was a long day at work so, since I didn’t want to miss my opportunity on day 2 of my commitment, I stopped at QFC on the way home to see who I could speak with. There were two guys outside, one on the phone and another just standing there. I didn’t stop to talk to either one but, rather, I went into the store to see what I could see. On my way out I approached a young man in his early to mid-twenties and handed him a million dollar bill. I asked him if he had one of these yet and he said yes, that he had received a few of them when he was in college. I asked him if anyone had asked him the million dollar question and he said that they had and when I asked him what his answer is, “What will happen when he dies?” he said “I will go straight to Heaven”. I asked him if everyone will and he said no, only those that have faith in Jesus. He said he will go to heaven because of his faith in Jesus. I asked him why faith in Jesus will get him to Heaven (I always ask that since I have found that many people quite often will claim faith in Jesus yet they cannot tell me why Jesus’ death and resurrection saves them, indicating an empty faith and possible false conversion). This young man tonight said that Jesus had paid for all his sins through his death on the cross. After a few more questions it was evident that he knows the Lord. I blessed him and we each departed on our ways.

It wasn’t easy to go out of my way when I was tired from a long day, but I was blessed as I seemed out a soul to share with. After stepping out of my comfort zone the Lord blessed me with encouragement from a brother in Christ. I didn’t share with someone that needed to repent and hear the gospel, but I pray I encouraged this young man to step out and share his faith more intentionally.

Today’s lesson – What I can do differently, or in addition, in a situation like this:

1. Give him a copy of the “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” CD
2. Ask him to pass on the tract to someone else
3. Encourage him to actively share his faith
4. Get his name and ask him how I can pray for him (and then do it)
5. Find out where he fellowships and how he is serving in his local congregation

Jan 1 – Effeminate Chris the Cashier

New Year’s Day 2013. Today was a day at home so I needed to get myself out of the house if I was going to interact with anyone other than my dear, sick wife (she had been battling a cold and sinus infection for a few days). I got out my bicycle and went for the first ride in several months. The sun is shining and it’s a nice, crisp January day.

Since it’s hard to talk to someone when you are pedaling I stopped for a bottle of vitamin water and paid with a million dollar bill. I asked the cashier, Chris, if he could break a million. He laughed and tried to give it back to me. I asked him the million dollar question (“What do you think happens when someone dies?”) and he said he supposes we just go into the ground. He admitted that he believes there is a spiritual realm after death but he doesn’t know what or where that is.

When I asked him if he considered himself to be a good person he gave the expected answer, “Yes” (Prov 20:6), and he supposed he was good enough to go to Heaven. He said he would be willing to look at the 10 commandments with me to determine if he was good enough. He said he had told millions of lies and admitted that that makes him a liar. He had stolen when he was a kid, which makes him a thief, he uses God’s name in vain every day but doesn’t think God would mind that because he wouldn’t be offended if someone said “Oh, my Chris” (I had never had that response before), but he also admitted that nobody would ever do that since they don’t despise his name. I explained to him that he is taking the name of the God that gave him life and using it as a curse word, which is blasphemy. I told him that Jesus said that “whosoever looks at a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart”. He said he had never looked with lust at a woman but freely admitted that he had done so with men. I pointed out to him that he has broken God’s commands and he freely admitted that he is guilty before God and deserving of His wrath. He said he wasn’t concerned because whatever happens will happen. I told him that God had done something very wonderful for him so that he would not have to go to hell and I asked him if he knew what that was. He said “Yes. He died for us”. Clearly Chris knows the story (somewhat) but just doesn’t believe it. I explained to him that what that meant was that Christ had paid his fine for him and God is willing to commend his death sentence but he must repent of his sins and trust in Christ alone, no longer on his self-proclaimed goodness.

Another man came in behind me to pay for his gas so I had to cut our conversation short. I didn’t continue the conversation at that point but prayed as I left, trusting that the Lord will use the truth of His word to convict Chris of his need to repent.

In reflection, as I always do as I leave a witnessing encounter, I considered what I could have done differently. I certainly could have waited for the other customer to leave and continued the conversation. I certainly could have shared a little more scripture with Chris to show him that he is clearly and justly condemned by a righteous and just God because of his sins and in need of forgiveness through the blood of Christ. Finally, I will be sure to carry “rainbow tracts” with me at all times since they have a great and concise proclamation of the Gospel that someone like Chris can read while he is twiddling his thumbs waiting for customers to come in.

I praise the Lord that He gave me the desire, the conviction, and the courage to go out of my way to have a conversation with Chris today. I pray He will continue to bless me with opportunities and that I will be faithful to Him as those opportunities are given to me.

James

Last night I met James sitting at the bus stop in Bellevue. I asked him if he had a few minutes to take the intelligence test and he said he would. He did better than most people – he answered half of the questions correctly. When we reached the questions about God at he first stated that he was unsure if there was a God. However the other questions pertaining to the qualities of God he had definite opinions about.
He said that he does believe that God cares about right and wrong (good and evil), that there is a Heaven and a Hell, that you cannot get to heaven by living a good life and that God’s standards are not the same as ours.
When I questioned him about a his uncertainty about the existence of God he used a common argument that he doesn’t understand why an all-benevolent God would allow “Bad” things to happen. He said he has seen a lot of bad things and he doesn’t know why God would allow that to happen.

As I was on my run this morning I reflected on our conversation and gave some thought to the proper response to that type of question or uncertainty. I guess my question to James or anyone who has that question would be “what would you expect or want God to do?” and also “Have you done any “bad” things? Should he take away everyone’s ability to choose so that no bad things would happen? Should he put down his hand and stop those “bad things” from happening in every circumstance? Should he only allow bad things to happen to bad people? Should only good things happen to good people? This ultimately brings us back to the big question: How good is good and how bad is bad? Whose standard should we use? If we each go by our own standards then there is no one who could actually determine the difference between good and evil. Perhaps God should just put an end to everything right now and send the righteous to Heaven and the unrighteous to hell. So now the real question is: Are you good enough to go to heaven? Or have you done “Bad things”, too. So now the question comes down to not “what should God do?” But, rather “what should you do?” Will you confess your sins to God and accept his complete and total forgiveness through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ? Or will you continue to blame God for the bad things that happen in this world and therefore reject his offer of free forgiveness through Christ and be condemned along with all the other people that have done “bad things”?

As I was discussing this with some of my other friends a last night I thought about what people are really saying when they blame God for evil things happening. This came up because Andrew also had a conversation last night with a man who claimed to be an atheist yet at the same time was angry at the attributes of God, namely, that he called for the “massacre” of people in the Old Testament. I believe when people speak like this they are trying to make God look worse than themselves in order to justify their sinful heart. If they can make God look worse than themselves then they can justify their own behavior and, therefore, call themselves “good” and God “bad or evil”.

Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?  Proverbs 20:6