Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Behind the Scenes of Way of the Master Radio (08-14-07)

I was joined today by my niece, Allison. We returned to the Santa Clarita Superior Courthouse, where the fishing has been very good. Today, the fishing proved to be good yet again.

Our first-hour guest was a postal worker by the name of Ed. Ed was an interesting fellow. He professed to be a Christian, and acknowledged that there is one way to heaven--Jesus Christ. But his understanding of repentance seemed to focus on "saying you're sorry." He also considered himself to be a good person and saw goodness as a requirement for salvation. He seemed to affirm everything Ray said to him, during their conversation, yet it just seemed like something wasn't right.

Unfortunately, I had a glitch with my recorder and I did not record my follow-up conversation with Ed. As I often do with people who profess to be followers of Christ, I took Ed through a "three minutes to live" scenario. If I only had three minutes to live and I didn't know Jesus Christ, what would he tell me?

Ed became uncomfortable as he struggled to articulate what I must do to be saved. But again, he affirmed that a person must seek God's forgiveness, and at one point he even mentioned being born again. Giving Ed the benefit of the doubt, I stressed to him the importance of being able to articulate the one, true gospel.

Later in the conversation, Ed asserted that a person has to be baptized to be born again. That was a red flag. I reminded Ed of the story of the thief on the cross. He wasn't sure what to do with that, and he quickly backed down from his position that baptism is necessary for salvation.

After we said our good-byes, Allison and I talked about our time with Ed. Was Ed saved? Was he a false convert? Was he simply immature in his faith and unable to articulate what he believes? Can someone be saved and yet unable to articulate how a person is saved?

Ed left me scratching my head a bit. But, as I always say, "When in doubt, preach the Gospel."

Pray that Ed will either come to genuine repentance and faith, or begin to grow in his faith to the point where he can articulate the Law and the Gospel to others.

Our second-hour guest was a young man named Aanont. He is Thai and a practicing Buddhist. He is a graduate student, studying to be a mechanical engineer. His hope is to one-day design prosthetic limbs for children. Aanont represented a "quadruple whammy," a "grand slam," a "fourth-degree black belt" to the Christian who is intimidated about sharing his or her faith. 1) Aanont is from a different culture. 2) He practices a religion about which many Christians (including me) know very little. 3) He is very intelligent (a 22-year-old technical, scientific graduate student). 4) And he is a NICE guy.

Listen to my follow-up conversation with Aanont. Notice how little we talked about his religion. And pay close attention to how easy it was to dismantle two of his core beliefs--"The Big Bang Theory" and "Moral Relativity" (the notion that everyone's beliefs are right). My hope is that my conversation with Aanont will serve as a source of encouragement to every fishermen who gets nervous at the thought of speaking to the Aanonts of the world. You need not be worried. Just be faithful and obedient to Christ. He will take care of the rest. :-)

Although Aanont did not hear the gospel today (I did put it in his hand by way of a tract and a book), he did hear the Law and he was left to consider the validity of some of his core beliefs. My prayer for Aanont is that he will wrestle in his conscience with what he heard today, until the Lord sovereignly chooses to draw him to repentance and faith.
Join me in praying for Aanont's salvation.

It was another good day of fishing!

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