Just across the street from my in-laws is a large pecan tree on an empty lot. Underneath the pecan tree today was an 86 year old man named CJ. His elderly frame was hunched over collecting pecans as I greeted him with a gospel tract. CJ informed me that he was born and raised Catholic. I asked CJ how a good Catholic gets to heaven and he replied, "I suppose by believing in God." To be honest, I was shocked that an 86 year old man used the word 'suppose.' It is my impression that people over the age of 70 believe they have it all figured out! Confused, I asked, "CJ, you are 86 years old and you can only suppose how to get to heaven?" When I walked CJ through the Ten Commandments, his Catholic upbringing began to come out. In desperation he replied, "It looks like I will be spending some time in purgatory." Inside my head a battle began between being kind and being honest. By God's grace, honesty prevailed, "CJ, purgatory does not exist. The Bible says that there will be a day of judgment and the wages of sin is death. If you are trusting in your own goodness on the Day of Judgment, you will go straight to Hell." I then waited for what I imagined to be a hostile response but CJ responded, "Well, unfortunately, I will go to Hell." His response opened the door for me to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
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