Sometimes when sharing with an individual, you may not realize who is listening. I like to call it second-hand smoke when an innocent bystander, someone not involved in the conversation, hears the gospel and responds. I was sharing with a guy today who was an atheist. While proving the existence of God (I'm sure I will have an opportunity to share that with you in the near future), I noticed another young man suddenly take interest. After a few minutes, the young man that was not originally in the conversation asked a question:
Man:I have read the Bible, and it sounds like everyone is going to hell.
Me: Did you read what it said about liars?
Me: It says that they will have a place in the lake of fire. Did you read what it said about thieves, fornicators, and blasphemers?
Me: It says that they will not see the kingdom of God.
Man: What does that mean?
Me: It means that they will not go to heaven.
Man: Well...I'm going to ask for forgiveness.
Me: That won't help. Everyone will be asking for forgiveness. Does that work in the civil court when you commit a crime?
I shared with this man the good new of Jesus paying his fine, but the most striking thing about this conversation was the end.
Man: I don't think that I can live the Christian life.
Me: What is the only thing that you can't do now, willfully, as a Christian?
Man: I don't know....sin?
Me: That's right.
Man: It's too hard to do the right thing. I don't think I can do it.
Me: Jesus said that you will not see the kingdom unless you have been born again. When you put your trust in Jesus, you will receive the Holy Spirit. He will give you the strength to turn from your sin. He will make you a new creation. He changed me at 23, and I can promise you, the same temptations that you face now will never go away. I am far from perfect now, and I like to say that I am a bad guy saved by a good God. No one can achieve his standard of perfection, no one except Jesus.
He stared down at the ground nodding slowly as if he was in agreement.
I drove home thinking about the day that I put my trust in Christ, the day that I became a new creation. At the time of my conversion, I wouldn't say that I struggled much with turning to God. The thought of my sinful life repulsed me, my eyes had been opened. I pray the same for this young man.