God gave a blessed day to minister the gospel to two people in one day today (Friday). I thank the Lord. After dropping the kids off at vbs, I was on my way home when I saw a 60 year old man with a sleeping bag and backpack walking down the sidewalk. He sat down in the corner near a Starbucks. After I parked my car I walked over to him and sat down and we started chatting. We had a great conversation about so many things, such as old classic movies. He brought up The Robe, how the man had faith in Christ and began to meet with other believers.
He brought up the movie, The Ten Commandments. He said he believed in God. He told me the details about his horrible childhood and his difficult life, his time in prison, his struggle with drugs and booze, and his inability to get a job because of his record and his lost ID. He told me about the jobs he held over the years, such as dishwashing and recycling, (he couldn’t remember what else he has done in the last 40 years) and about the two wives he had. One was “bad”, meaning she tried to get him involved in really bad activities when he was trying to straighten out, and the other was someone he really loved, but she died young (in her 40’s) of a heart attack. He told me that she did not believe in God, but since she was a “good person”, he was sure she went to heaven.
So this was an opportunity to share the whole gospel, sharing about the goodness of Christ in who He is, and what He did for us. We went through some of the commandments, such as “Thou shalt not murder”, and about the meaning that Jesus taught, and the implications of that for us. We talked about Noah and the ark, how Noah trusted God, and how that is a picture of how God has lovingly provided us shelter and safety in Christ, even as God judges unbelief. We talked for a long time about Jesus: about God’s justice and holiness, and His love, kindness, mercy and grace in Jesus on the cross. I told Ron that God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
He had a lot of questions. He had a very broken, humble, open attitude. He asked me if God wants us to tell him, “Forgive me for my sins.”(yes.) So I explained about repentance and the importance of faith (and not works) and putting our faith and trust in Christ to save us, and forsaking our sins to follow Him. I shared about the repentant prayers of David to God. He said he wanted a bible to read.
So I invited him to come worship with us and explained (since he asked) that church is not a work that makes us righteous with God, but a blessing for instruction and fellowship, and for worshipping God with other believers, to honor God. He wanted to know if you have to “clean up” to come to church, and I told him that “cleanliness is next to nothing”. We talked about how the Pharisees thought their outward, “looks good on the outside”, self-righteousness was not pleasing to God, but the humble faith and trust that comes from the inside (from the heart) is what pleases God, no matter what our clothes look like. He had questions about pride vs. being humble, in approaching God. I’m going to visit him and give him a bible tomorrow and maybe he will be able to come worship with us also. Ron was crying (because he was happy) as we finished our visit with prayer. Pray for the salvation of this man.