Tonight we went out to our normal spot in Burbank Town Center to do some open air preaching and witness one to one to as many people as we can. We are having about ten to twenty conversations each in one night, and if we have about ten or twenty regulars we are getting the gospel individually to almost four hundred people in just under three hours. I pray that the Holy Spirit is able to send people to water the seed and ultimately see the fruit of salvation to His glory. We are just trying to be faithful and plant the seeds.
I had the whole family with me tonight, so I couldn't stay as long as I usually do, nor could I make an audio recording of a witness encounter. But, I did end up speaking with a few people that stuck out to me. There are many kids we speak to in Burbank that are from an Armenian background and attend a church of that culture. Similar to Catholic and Orthodox (and most other religions, actually) I see many people who are basically a "cultural" Christian. They consider themselves part of the religion because their family is a part of it. But, they have no idea what the beliefs are, nor do they attempt to practice them. I see many of them wearing big crosses around their neck, but don't have any idea why Jesus died on that cross.
But, tonight, I met a couple of young ladies who were genuinely interested in what we were doing. She thought it was great because she was already a Christian, from the Armenian Church, and wanted to find out about sharing her faith with people. I thought that was great and I asked her what she would share with me if I wanted to find out how to become a Christian. What would I need to do to be saved. She told me that she would have me say "the prayer". Intrigued, I asked what "the prayer" was. She told me that she forgot. I asked if all I had to do was repeat something and that would be good enough. She said, basically I needed to be reconciled with God for my sin. My what? Um, your sin, you know, what you inherited from Adam and Eve. Unless I get reconciled, God is going to punish me for what two people I never met did thousands of years ago??? That doesn't sound fair. And, it didn't.
I said, "Here is a better way to convey our need for reconciliation." I asked her if she had ever told a lie. Yes. Ever stolen? Yes. Blasphemed? Lusted? Called her brother an idiot? Yes, Yes, Yes. OK, then I asked her if she had a conscience. I mean, does she know right from wrong. Yes. Ok, so every time you commit these wrongs, you do it with full knowledge and do it anyway. Wow, yes. So, you are responsible for your own sin, and you should be the one to pay the penalty. Yes.
Ok, now the fact that Jesus took that penalty, death, upon Himself to show God's mercy makes it a little more personal. It makes more sense. She was stunned and said that she wished I could come speak at her church. I told her that she would be more than capable of telling everyone the Good News. I gave her some stuff to read, some stuff to listen to and encouraged her to ask questions. Get that scripture in your heart and God can use you to tell everyone in all places at all times the reason for the hope within you.
It encourages me so much to see people who are saved and looking for a clear way to share their faith with others. Just a few months ago, I was that same person. I heard a clear presentation of Law and Grace and I have not been the same since. There isn't a person I see walking by that I don't in my heart wonder if they have had a chance to make a decision for God. It is hard to sit around wasting time knowing that most people who are just outside your door have never had a chance to hear of the justice and the mercy of our Creator. I encourage you to get out there and start sharing your faith. It is like eating potato chips... I bet you can't tell just one!