Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Neighbor

Today I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with my neighbor, Frank. He is a sweet old man and this particular morning my husband and I had just returned from our early morning walk. Bill had to leave for work and I saw our neighbor. We began talking. I'd only exchanged pleasantries with him before. Today, he had time. He works night shift and I rarely see him) So, after talking about the weather I started the conversation like any good conversation should start, I asked him if he was a good person. :) Well, thank goodness he was because I was able to give him a test to see just how good he was! LOL!

What a sweet time of fellowship that the Lord allowed today! He comes from a very simple upbringing and I found out where he's from which explains the simple, uncomplicated approach to life. However, he also believed many erroneous things. The first statement out of his mouth was that he knew that he needed to "get right with God" before he died and that he would "make peace with God" on his deathbed right before he died. I reminded him that he was in a car accident last year that scared us all to death. While he was unhurt, he could have died. I reminded him he may die tonight. If you don't "make peace" with God before you die, it's too late. I took him through it all. Law and Grace...Law and Grace. I explained it until it made sense.

He still thought that as long as he tried to "do right by everyone" then God would take that into account. I explained to him that his works were despicable to God. His good works would not let him into heaven. I said, "If the President of the United States invited you to the White House you'd be excited, right?" He said he would. I then said, "If you wanted to take the President a gift, do you think he would be impressed if you took a brown paper lunch sack filled with steamy dog poo?" He said, "No Way!" I said, "Frank, that is what your "good works" are like to God. You are presenting Him dog poo as a gift for what He has done for you by sending Jesus to die for your sins." He was speechless. His eyes brimmed with tears but he didn't cry. He was just very quiet.

Oh, if only I could convey to you the sweetness of this man. He truly is a simple, unprideful man and so easy to talk to. There was no arrogance only ignorance. He just didn't know or understand. He was so sincere but, sincerely wrong. He had been told so many untruths. He was just doing what he had been told. He said that he "walked the aisle and said the prayer when he was 16 but by the time he was 20, he'd backslidden." I told him he was a false convert and explained that.

I repeated Law & Grace again and then told Him again Confess his sins, Repent (and explained in depth what that meant), and believe in Jesus and he would pass from death to life. I then explained THAT is where good works come in. You respond naturally out of gratitude because of what Christ has done for you. It's called obedience.

By then, he was just repeating, "I really needed this today. Boy, I really needed this today." I asked him if there was any reason why he wouldn't accept the Lord today. Sensing that he truly understood (we had talked for 30 minutes in the front yard) he said that he was going to talk to the Lord today. He shook my hand and then gave me a hug. What a sweet opportunity this morning that the Lord allowed for me! At least the seed was planted on properly prepared soil in a properly tilled heart.I went in to begin teaching my kids and told them about what had just happened. They were so excited and we opened our school day in prayer thanking God for this opportunity!

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