As folks gathered on the street corner the conversation of the day settled on those who have been approached by friends and even strangers telling them about the message of the gospel that is found in the Bible. Some said they have heard this gospel message before and have said the salvation prayer a few times because they figured it might improve their lives. Others said that there are people out there who are no more than alarmists who are always telling people to repent because the end is near. And a voice was heard saying that they have had enough catechizing in their life.
It was said that the bottom line is that God will acknowledge the good things people have done and he will separate the good from the bad when all is said and done. Most had similar ideas about God and believed that God knows that the greatest amount of people try to live good lives and the majority of religions get the story straight and teach that there is a God and people should not let their life get topsy-turvy about religion. It was mentioned that if God knows all people are good at heart, then why did Jesus die on the cross? As we pondered this query, the sounds of the busy street corner took over with people and traffic moving about and then as if to shout, someone declared “I’m a Christian.”
All took careful notice of this declaration and a voice inquired if this Christian could shed some light into our conversation. The Christian continued and here is what was said: “Many years ago someone asked me if I considered myself to be a good person. I was taken aback but responded in the affirmative about being a good person. I was then invited to respond to a few more questions to see if I qualified as a good person. I agreed, and was asked if I ever told a lie, or did I ever steal anything and did I ever have a lustful thought. Well, at first I didn’t know what to say but then admitted I was guilty of these things. I was stunned when asked if God were to judge me by the Ten Commandments did I think I would be guilty or innocent and did this concern me. Suddenly and unexpectedly I realized this warning about breaking God’s law.
I answered that I would have to say I was guilty, and yes, it did concern me. This encounter opened my eyes allowing me to see my true self, a sinner at heart, who has offended God by violating His Law. I pictured myself as a guilty criminal before God. The next question seemed to tumble from above, “Do you think you will go to heaven or hell?” I was shaken and not sure what to say, but I knew I was in danger of hell. This person did not offer any kind of salvation prayer, but only encouraged me to get right with God.
Alone, and on my way home, my focus was not on my happiness on earth, but only my need for forgiveness. This knowledge of God’s law had prepared the way for me to see that I was not morally good and I needed the Savior. Arriving back home and at my desk the Cross of Jesus was now clearly understood. I just talked to God and said I was sorry and repented of my sins and shared with God that I believed that His Son Jesus took the punishment for my sins and died for me and that Jesus rose from the dead. I submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ that day.
All who have read this encounter are encouraged to get right with God.