Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Mommy and a Muslim . . . sort of.

Luke 15:7 “I say to you that likewise joy shall be in Heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”

Last night, the Lord made a way for His gospel to go out and was pleased to use me and a friend at Finlay Park to make it so. We were given 10 people to share the gospel with, and I am praising God for the wonderful response.

One conversation I had was with two young ladies, Nicole and Jasmine [names changed, as will become clear later]. At one point of the conversation I asked Monica if she thought she was fulfilling her purpose in life, to which she responded, “No.” She described how she was not where she wanted to be and hated her job, “but nowadays, ya’ take what you can get!” And she laughed.

When I asked if she could describe one of her spiritual goals, her mouth dropped open and with an embarrassed titter stated matter-of-factly, “ya’ know, I really don’t.” I left her alone for a moment to think. “I gotta come back to that,” she said as she agitated and laugh nervously, wrestling with the sudden realization that she had no spiritual goals.

I asked her about her child-hood impressions of God and she quickly responded how she always knew God was the Creator. “We had to come from somewhere!” I probed further to discover what she thought of God now. She again was astounded by her own lack of thought in the matter and laughed in embarrassment.

As we were near the playground, I pointed to one of her kids and told her that someday soon one of her children would ask her about God—how would she describe God to her children? She dropped her hands and loudly confessed, “Man! We gotta go to Church! I have no idea!” And she proceeded to revel and thank me for making her think about these things.

I knew the Lord had blown this door right off it’s hinges, so I proceeded to discover what she thought of herself in general with the “Good Person Test,” to which she gladly admitted that she was confident that she was a good person. When I asked if she’d kept the 10 Commandments, her face fell and she in a very serious tone, “Oh, no”.

Probing further, I asked her if she’d kept the 9th commandment. No. Then without prompting, she confessed, “I’m a stinking liar!” And she stood amazed at her own realization again.

I asked if she’d kept the 8th. She said she had. I asked if she had brothers and sisters and if she’d ever taken anything to keep without asking. We laughed for a moment about the dynamics of siblings, then she got serious again and said, “I suppose I probably have.” Then with the same surprised tone loudly realized, “Now I’m a thief! Oh, no!” and she agitated again.

I took her through a couple more commandments and then reminded her that she thought of herself as a “Good Person.” What did she think of herself now? “I am not at all a good person!” And laughed at her new-found confession and got serious again.

I asked her how she thought God saw her heart: as good, or as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, etc. She gasped and stared at me, eyes wide.

I asked her if she knew if she would go to heaven, or hell? She said, “heaven.”

I wanted to know why . . . and she could not answer and admitted softly, “I want to go to heaven . . .”

I showed her Revelation 21:8 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and told her she had no chance of going to heaven. She began to shake. Now I am certainly no George Fox, for when I share the gospel no men quake—and I pray they would never quake on my account—but the realization of God’s Holiness and her sinfulness caused a visible manifestation in this girl’s hands.

I told her what God did to take care of her sin problem in Christ Jesus (that she needed to repent of those sins she confessed and ask for salvation) and that God would give her make her a new creation with the guarantee of the presence of God and all else that is made in heaven by Him. She broke out in the biggest smile and began to yell, “Jasmine! Jasmine! You gotta come hear this!”

And heads all around the playground turned to hear.

I felt led to ask her if she had heard anything like this before, and she told me she heard “a prophet” once, but not talk like this. She yelled for Jasmine again.

I prompted her to do more than hear, but if she’s heard the Spirit, do not merely hear and harden the heart, but act and cry out to God in repentance and ask Him for salvation. She said, “I will! I will!” I gave her a tract and Jasmine approached.

Long story short: Jasmine is half-Turkish and her family are Muslim. She grew up Muslim, but has lived in America long enough that she felt comfortable to say, “I do not call myself a Muslim anymore, though I’ve been baptized Muslim and my family says I will always be Muslim.”

I asked her if she’d kept the 10 Commandments. She asked if that was the one that talked about fornication. She caught me by surprise there, but we talked about the principle as found in adultery. I showed her in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that she was not going to inherit the Kingdom of God and this was how (by her own admission) God saw her heart and like her friend, was left in a very desperate situation. She, too, agitated and squirmed uncomfortably. I explained Christ’s payment and used the court-room analogy and she understood plainly the gospel and her need to repent and ask for salvation. I showed her that God would make her a new creation and her sin of fornication would be forgiven.

I then felt led to do something I’ve not done in this setting before: I shared a portion of my testimony and of God’s healing miracles and she got excited at the promise of salvation. I reminded her that abundant life does not mean, “better life” nor that God would replicate those miracles in her. She understood.

Then she started asking the questions: “What about the Koran? Is it really the final revelation of God?” I told her that every major religion seems to have had the final word since the Koran was written and the problems this causes as everyone seems to have the final revelation. She laughed and agreed. Second, I told her how Jesus Himself is the Word of God.

She then talked about how she agreed with what I was saying, but felt safe recognizing there were many ways to God. I told her that I was going to be going home soon and would get into my car and would drive right through the park, up the steps, through the Federal Building, etc. until I reached home. She looked at me like I was crazy. I told her the only way I could go home was on THAT street, which turned THAT corner, through THAT stop light, etc. I reminded her that Jesus said, “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

She stepped back, mouth open. I let it soak in.

She then agreed, hands up, “Ok, Ok! Good come-back!” And I reminded her that if she did not believe that, she was breaking the 1st and 2nd Commandments by creating a god of her liking and was denying the God of the Final Word. Her mouth popped open again.

She then asked about all the “other prophets.” I asked, “Which prophets?” She paused and said, “I dunno. I just hear about all these prophets. What about them?”

I showed her in the Bible about Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations [just kidding—seeing if you are paying attention], Ezekiel, and so forth all spoke of Jesus or of God’s grace, mercy and wrath. I taught her about the sacrificial system and how prophecy of the need and work of Jesus goes all the way back to the Fall of Man—and that she needed to repent of her sin and ask forgiveness to inherit eternal life.

I gave her a tract and another written to a Muslim audience about the uniqueness of Jesus.

Please pray that God would continue to move on these two women, that they would cry out to God and repent. Also, please pray for the other four people I talked to (one man and three women) and the other four my friend Alan talked to.

A word about Alan. He is a great kid, a young man, newly married and eager to serve God. Never been witnessing before in his life like this. I was hoping he would join me and we could go around together and talk to people (he was in my Way of the Master Basic Training Course)—no. Not Alan. He joined me when I was already talking to one person . . . and he just takes off! Bible in hand, walks right up to people and starts talking about God and Commandments and Christ and . . .

He was never given an ounce of flak and the gospel was well received by those who heard.

I am so PUMPED UP! Praise the LORD!

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