He visited with him for about 4 hours. The first 2 hours were just catching up on life and family matters and the last 2 hours were spent addressing his spiritual state.
He is 81 and in failing health due to the fact that he is a chain smoker and has high blood pressure. He also has a prideful heart that is so arrogant that it will not allow him to humble himself and repent of the sin he loves so much.
He understands that Christ died on the cross for his sins. He understands that he has done bad things, isn't righteousness, and has broken God's moral law. But he also tries to do good things too, to spiritually offset the bad. Much like environmentalist movie stars continue to fly in their jets and figure if they plant a few extra trees it will offset the damage to the environment, he figures if he does enough good things it will offset the bad. There is no such thing as spiritual "carbon offsets."
While he claims that he doesn't agree with the Catholic church, it has greatly influenced his belief system. It was his only religious experience. He said he only went because his wife went there and he wanted his daughters to be "raised right." My husband's parents, who were missionaries in a foreign country for several years, have witnessed to him for over 40 years. Ralph acknowledged to my husband that he knew his daughter and son-in-law (my husband's parents) "got religion" several years back, but still believes that he can work off his sin and ignores what they've told him.
My husband reasoned with him and told him that when he dies, it will be too late. Ralph replied that he believes that he is going to have to pay and work off his sins in this life. But, he quickly added that he doesn't believe that God will let him off for free. So my husband said, "If someone gave you $1 million and you replied, 'I just have to give you something for this fabulous gift' and you reached into your pocket and pulled out a nickel, don't you think that would be offensive to the giver?" He said he totally understood the analogy and agreed that if he was the giver, he would be offended if someone he just gave $1 million to, gave him a nickel to thank him. He said it would hurt his feelings.
He acknowledges that he has done a lot of "bad" things. While there, Bill helped him set up his e/m account and was warned, "Be careful of any photos you might see. I'm a dirty old man, but in my mind only."
And isn't that the point that so many miss? We so often believe that if nobody sees us or catches us and our thoughts that it's not really bad enough to cause God to be that angry.
When told that God does judge the secret places of the heart he replied, "I have my own way of thinking about things and God and I have come to an understanding."
Oh how many times I have heard that from unsaved, unrepentant, arrogant, stubborn individuals who use that to justify their sin! My heart breaks, as does his family's heart, over his stubbornness and unrepentance. His understanding is only one-sided, because God does not compromise. Ralph refuses to believe that when he dies and stands before God on Judgment Day the multitude in heaven will stand and applaud as God casts him into hell into a Godless eternity praising God for ridding the earth of him! Unless he repents and believes before he dies, you are staring at the picture of a man on death row.
If you are not saved and reading this, you will be held accountable by God on Judgement Day because you heard the truth and ignored it. Doesn't this concern you? Please, before it's too late, humble yourself by acknowledging your sin to God, repent of it, throw yourself on the mercy of God by placing your faith in Jesus Christ and read your Bible. Do what it says. When you die you will pass from this life into eternal life!
If you are saved, who do you know that needs to hear the TRUTH? Tell them before it's too late! Don't tell them that God loves them and they have a God-shaped hole in their hearts or that he has a wonderful plan for their lives! You are lying to them and will be an accessory to their death. All unrepentant people are objects of God's wrath. Only when we repent and believe do we become objects of God's affection.
When they won't listen... you pray.