Friday, July 10, 2009

Ichthus Festival - pt. 2

Have you been fearful that people will scorn you if you share the Gospel with them via a Gospel tract? I mean, they'll think you're a freak and get angry, right? I noticed when I was looking at all our pictures, we just happened to get a "before" and "after" photo of me handing a tract to two women. Look at the faces of the two women before I hand the tract to them.

Now look at the picture below- they are in the lower right corner. They are smiling! I didn't get yelled at, cursed at, beat up, etc. Just try handing out a tract at a public event. It will really help you get over your fear of anything that you may believe may happen to you if you're obedient and share the Gospel.

This is the first group of young ladies I spoke to. From left to right we have Brianne, Caroline, Rachel, and Morgan. I asked them the million dollar question and so our conversation began. One of them hoped they would go to heaven but the others quickly and enthusiastically told me they would definitely go to heaven. So I asked them, "If I had a knife in my back right now and it is certain that I will die within the next few minutes and I say to you, 'I'm scared. What must I do to be saved?' what would you tell me?" They all became rather quiet and then Rachel offered, "I'd tell you to pray and believe in Jesus." I told her that was pretty close, but then I pressed further and so began a wonderful conversation with these young ladies.

I told them that praying and believing in Jesus isn't all there is to it. I told them that there is no magical formula or special prayer they are to pray to be saved. I said you can walk the aisle and say the prayer, but if you don't repent, believe, read your Bible and obey it, all you've done is gotten a little exercise (as you walked the aisle) and a Kodak moment. I asked them if they read their Bible everyday. They said they try to but don't always read it and sometimes it is several days before they do. Rachel said, "Well if you don't just pray and believe then what else are you supposed to do?"

I explained to them that they need to realize that because Jesus was morally perfect, He was the only one who was able to take our sin upon Himself and credit us with His righteousness. I took them through the Good Person Test and asked if they had ever lied, stolen, disobeyed their parents, or taken God's name in vain. They admitted they had and when I told them that God takes those offenses very seriously and the punishment for those offenses is death. I explained that placing their faith in Jesus wasn't just an intellectual assent (just acknowledging Jesus is who He says He is) but it was a total belief that you have sinned, you deserve death (God says the payment for sin is death) and as He is about to sentence you to hell in the courtroom of eternal justice, when you didn't know Christ He stepped forward and paid your penalty for a debt you owed and could not pay. You respond out of gratitude for such an extravagant gift that you turn from the things you used to love and you find out through reading His Word what you should do.

I explained the difference between Godly sorrow and worldy sorrow because many times the answer I get when asked to explain repentance is, "It means saying you're sorry." It's so much more than that. It means that you do a 180 degree turn and go the opposite direction from the things that you used do and you don't keep doing them again.

The girls listened and all agreed that they had never really understood it that way before. About then, a woman walked up who knew them and indicated they needed to head to the next event. I had her take a photo and as they left I was so saddened that these young people probably go to church ever week, are in their youth groups and are generally viewed as the "good" kids yet, they are not even aware of the basic tenents of the faith or how to articulate them. They also have never even tried to share the Gospel with anyone because they have been told and also bought into the idea that "we will win them over by our lifestyle." That's what they have been taught. Please pray for today's youth and pray for these young ladies that they will open His word and learn for themselves what Christianity is all about.

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