Ask Your Preacher
About the prodigal son in Lk. 15, you said that it is important to God that we all come back, so He can forgive us. But then why can’t all people just be, like, crazy, and in the end of their lives, go to God and ask for forgiveness and all will be fine? What is the argument that keeps someone from doing that?
Last Minute Convert
Dear Last Minute Convert,
The easiest way to answer this question is by referring to Gal 6:7 which says that God can’t be “mocked”. This means that we can’t trick God or fool Him into believing we have changed when we really haven’t. Rom 8:27 says that God searches our hearts, and 1 Jhn 3:20 says that God knows all things. When we come to God for forgiveness, God expects us to not only want forgiveness, but to change our mind about sin. The word ‘repent’ means ‘to change your mind’, and repentance is a requirement for salvation (Acts 2:38). If we attempt to live a sinful life and just “fool” God by asking for forgiveness at the end, it won’t work. God knows whether or not we have truly repented of our sins and are truly sorry for the sins we have committed. It isn’t enough to want forgiveness; you have to hate sin and really believe that you were in the wrong. Our faith in God must be a sincere faith (1 Tim 1:5). If it isn’t sincere, God will know, and He won’t be tricked.
I'm hoping you might be able to help me in something that has been bothering me a lot, and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to take care of this major concern: I feel that until I am prepared to show someone what God says they need to do to be saved, I'm not doing one of the most important things He asks of me. I've seen outlines for teaching someone the plan of salvation, but nothing I can put in my purse. Are there, say, ten verses that include most everything I might need in order show someone God's plan of salvation – something I might be able to memorize and possibly make into a small handout in case the opportunity arises? Seems like the subject of God comes up when least expected, and I want to be prepared to share my faith. I would greatly appreciate your assistance.
Ready To Be Ready
Dear Ready To Be Ready,
What a great New Year’s resolution! Everyone should try and be ready to explain why they believe what they do and be prepared to share God’s plan of salvation with others (1 Pet 3:15). Many people have the exact same problem that you have – trying to have something simple enough to have on hand and take with them.
A while back, we taught a class on how to teach people about Christ entitled “7 Questions For Your Soul”, and as part of that class, we made up a set of notes that could be printed off on sticker paper and put into the inside cover of your Bible; the whole thing fits on two pages of a standard-sized Bible and could easily be made small enough to fit into your purse. If you’d like, below is a .pdf copy of those notes. Feel free to use, distribute, and adjust as you see fit to help you be the most effective evangelist you can be!
If the devil influenced Osama Bin Laden to kill so many people, what happened to the people who were killed that had not yet given their lives to Christ?
Osama bin Laden’s death marks a major victory for us Americans, and it brings our minds back to that fateful day on September 11, 2001 when so many perished because of the desire of that man to follow the Quran to its ultimate end – death of all the infidels (non-Muslims).
So, since so many people died so unexpectedly through Osama’s acts of terrorism, what does happen to them? All death is unexpected, meaning that none of us know when we will die. Our lives are merely vapors that quickly vanish (Jas 4:14). Because of the uncertainty of life, David prayed that God would teach him to contemplate his own death and to measure his days (Ps 39:4). Whether we die quietly in our sleep at a ripe old age or suddenly in a car crash in our early twenties… the effect is the same – we must be ready to meet our God. We all must ask that all-important question: “What must I do to be saved?”… because we never know when we will go to the judgment (Heb 9:27).