“I Haven’t Kept the Rules”

Today I had a long conversation with “Dennis” on the street corner downtown. He was on his bicycle waiting to turn the corner as I was crossing the street in front of him. I started up a chat with him which quickly became a conversation about his readiness to enter eternity and stand before God.

As I was inquiring as to his relationship to the Lord , he said with great discouragement in his voice, “Oh I haven’t kept all the rules.” He then told me all about how he was disqualified because of all his sins and his failure at “keeping the rules”. He was humble, confessing his sins to me as well as his fear of God and his belief in Jesus Christ. Apparently, this man was quite aware of his sins. He told me he had repented of his sins to God. This man was feeling condemnation and was quite discouraged because he thought it was religious “rule keeping” that made a person right with God. So this was a blessed opportunity to tell the wonderfully good news of the the atonement made for our sins by Christ on the cross, and the righteousness of Christ that is a gift of God by His grace through trusting faith in Jesus.

Then we talked about confession and repentance in the life of a believer (1John1:9, Psalm51), developing a close friendship-relationship with the Lord through prayer and the Word of God, and I encouraged him to read through the New Testament in that Bible he says he has at home. He greatly misses the wife of his youth, to whom he was faithfully married almost 40 years before she died. I told him of the sweet promise of God in scripture that if he is (like his wife who was a believer) in Christ by faith, he will see her again at the Resurrection of the Just.

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