After dropping off a gift basket at the local newspaper, we had some waiting to do before the bus returned. Matt saw people across the street and immediately saw it as an opportunity. Becca and I crossed the street also as I said, “Matt-this street witnessing is your gift, not mine…”
I missed the exchange of names, but I arrived to see the confusion in a man’s face as Matt approached him just to ask about how he was doing. How could he have been singled out? He was just a man standing on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette. If only he knew just how special and unique he had been created.
I continued to keep my eye out for the bus as the conversation went on. Eventually the story of the Love Out Loud tour and our mission to show Christ’s love in a tangible way to the west coast came up. It was about this time I started engaging in the conversation. “Okay, I have a question for you”, he stated. Immediately, I started praying in my head for words to speak and for his ears and heart to be opened. “Why do we just live to die?” Matt responded we would be able to know more in heaven. This man’s eyes were troubled-“why can’t we just have a choice-to live in heaven, hell, or earth?”
This is when the words came. His questions resonated in my heart-this was a lesson the Lord had revealed to me through the book of Genesis over the past month or so. The Truth is we were never intended to experience evil. We all know the story of Adam and Eve-and the Fall that followed you really should check out Genesis 3:14-23 -I was blown away by the reality behind the punishment and how we still see the effects today-it’s the human condition all found in this Book!). Although I still don’t understand the necessity for the severity of our punishment, I can now trust that it was out of His goodness and faithfulness that we were punished-it was for our best interest. Adam and Eve were given the opportunity to eat out of any tree but the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil-for the reason aforementioned (we were never intended to experience evil). Once that happened, in our punishment, the Lord still offered provision-He kicked them out of the garden so as not to eat of the Tree of Life. God did not desire that we would be eternally separated from Him-He desires a perfect relationship with us as intended.
So yes, we do have a choice. Our time on Earth here is our opportunity to make a choice. God has given us the exact environment needed to come to a saving knowledge of Him. The Bible tells us in Romans that everyone to all ends of the earth will hear (Romans 9:15-21). So, dear man, rest assured-your question isn’t unique; nor is it invalid. This is a question that burns on the hearts of so many. But, also know that judgment has been paid-Christ has died for all of us-and no longer is it a question of us being judged, but really of us judging God…is He enough for me? Could Christ really have died for all? Is eternal life only available through an active obedience to the will of God?
The answers are there-and readily available to be sought out. God has revealed Himself to all of us in all of His creation. It’s pretty incredible when you look around at how intricate His design is.
I’m not exactly sure what was conveyed through our conversation. But I do know he introduced me to his wife as a person who had finally answered some of his questions. His questions that had been building and festering for years-based on a fear of living a life without his wife, watching his mom suffer, and seeing others in pain. So, my heart was burdened as well. To get out the Truth that we do have a choice. We are designed to have a relationship with our Creator. I know many people might find me crazy, others will agree, and some are indifferent. I’m just frustrated with the view people have of this “Christian Religion”-due to the face that many Christians cause others to look past the intimate relationship Christ desires with us. One that’s loving, compassionate, captivating, honest, and genuine-and potentially everlasting. The Bible also states that one day every knee will bow and acknowledge Him as Lord. Our time here is our opportunity to accept who He is.
So, although I might never meet or talk to the man again-I will pray our conversation prompts him to seek more-because “ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.”
So, there you have it folks-my little spiel (that really isn’t my spiel at all-nor is it little). But i do always think about this, particularly because I don’t have too many Christian friends. I wonder if one day people will end up in front of Jesus and wonder why I never spoke more boldly about my beliefs. So, this is not AT ALL to condemn-only to encourage. To seek. And to ask questions. To go to God and ask Him to reveal Himself. And open your heart. It’s been an incredible journey for me-and I pray the same and more to you 🙂