Monday, August 24, 2009

This Scares Me . .

“This scares me” were the words of a terrified 15-year old girl on Saturday morning, when she realized that she may have to face God on Judgment Day.

On Saturday, August 22, 2009, our church was doing a water giveaway at the parking lot of a local WalMart. Two teenage girls passed by and rejected offers of bottles of water and flyers to our church.

I decided not to give up and asked the girls if they would be interested in receiving a Million Dollar Bill. They accepted the offer and I pointed to the Million Dollar Question at the back of the bill, “Will you go to Heaven?” The first girl said she hoped so. The second girl laughed. I asked why you laughed at your friend. She said I barely go to church. I encouraged them to look at the good person test as they walked away. I overheard the second girl tell the first, no one is perfect. It seemed the second girl was ready to dismiss the message without giving it much thought.

About 5 minutes later, the girls are coming down the parking lot (going in the wrong direction) in a truck. The first girl was sitting in the passenger seat and holding the Million Dollar Bill, she said “This scares me.”

With the girls’ truck pointing in the wrong direction, I told them not to go anywhere. I ran to my car, grabbed a Gospel of John and told the girl that she needs to read this book. I explained that there are 21 chapters and she can read a chapter a day. Meanwhile, one of the ladies from our church spoke to her friend. I told her, that at 15, I was just like her. Disobeyed my parents, etc. etc. After a brief conversation, the girls left.

Woulda coulda shoulda. Looking back, I know I could have done a better job of presenting the Gospel after the girl said “This scares me.” At that point, I could have said, what about the message scares you. Then I could have said, do you know what God did so that you don’t have to go to Hell. And before the girls drove off, I could have encouraged her to repent and put her trust in Christ. Although I missed it, I still believe that she got the message. Notwithstanding my shortcomings, this story shows that the Million Dollar Bill is a very effective witnessing tool.


AngryAtheist said...

Telling children that if they don't accept your God, that they will be burned and tortured and in pain for all eternity... That is sick and a form of child abuse. Religious teachings like this is what is keeping our country dumbed down.

Your religion is about teaching our children to be scared of some perfect person in the sky that created you in his image, but created you imperfect, and then punishes you for being the way he created you. And the only way for you to be saved from the impure ways that were implanted in you by your creator, God had to send his son down to be murdered for everyone. How absurd is that when you really think about it in the abstract? If god was perfect, couldn't he just snap his fingers? Why was it necessary to murder his son? These things make no sense.

Rich Bradford said...

Angry Atheist,
Thanks for dropping by. Volumes have been written on both sides of the argument about the very statement that you've reduced to two paragraphs.

Your last sentence hits the mark. "These things make no sense." We lie to one another all the time, yet God is willing to lay down his life for us and die for us makes no sense.

We steal from one another ALL THE TIME, yet God is willing to lay down his life for us and die for us makes no sense.

We commit visual rape by looking at members of the opposite sex (or for a certain percentage of population the same sex) and have graphic thoughts, yet God is willing to lay down his life for us and die for us makes no sense.

We take the name of the God who breathed life into us, and reduce his name into a curse word, yet He is willing to lay down His life for us and die for us makes no sense.

According to the Bible, God demonstrates his own love for thus in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. In other words, Christ was willing to lay down his life and die for you and me although we sit there as his enemies.

And also there is the ubiquitous, John 3:16, for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

You talk about dumbing things down. In a way, you are right. Moreover, I personally do not like "religious teachings." Because God is far more than "religious teachings."

Americans are guilty of making Christianity simple and straight forward. We are guilty of saying he is a Christian because he goes to Church every Sunday or she is a Christian because she sings in the band or in the choir.

Christianity is not about doing things for your Church. And it also is not about getting your "Get out of Hell for Free Card." It is about repenting from your sins and putting your trust in Christ.

I will tell you the same thing that I told the young lady that I met several months ago. Read the Gospel of John. You are highly intelligent. It should only take you 5 minutes a day over the next 21 days.

Since we are in the midst of the Christmas season, I pray that you encounter the real Jesus that is spoken of in scripture. I am not talking about the commercial Jesus that you see at Macy's or Wal Mart. I am talking about the real Jesus who came, preached the Kingdom of God, healed the sick, saved the lost and set the captives free.

Again, I thank you for dropping by and reading this page. Be blessed.

AngryAtheist said...

If we didn't have lustful feelings, what you call rape, towards the opposite sex than we wouldn't be a successful species would we?

By the way, I have read the gospel of John, and the rest of the bible, and the logic still evades me. Why would someone that is all powerful have to KILL HIS SON to ERASE SIN that HE CREATED?

Rich Bradford said...

Angry Atheist,
Again, thanks for stopping by and posting your comments. I commend you on having read through the Gospel of John and the entire Bible. I hope that you will continue to read through the Bible and the Gospels as you continue your journey of challenging Christians.

I hope that you do not take this the wrong way. It is not my intent to be flippant. To answer your follow up question, I would have to direct you to the Bible. Could I provide you with an answer? Absolutely. But I suppose you have heard all the anwers before from Christians coming to your site debating you. It is not my desire to debate you, much less get in a fight with you.

On the other hand, I would like to encourage you. Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. (See 2 Tim.4) Jesus told his followers to go make disciples (See Matt. 28, Mark 16). Though I am sometimes guilty for engaging in debates, I would rather encourage you to find the real Jesus. The Jesus who said about you and me, forgive them Father, they know not what they do.

If you have read the Gospel of John before, I would encourage you to read it again. I have read it many times and something different stands out, each time I read it.

If for some reason, you decide not to return, here is saying Merry Christmas and Be blessed.

AngryAtheist said...

Thanks for the answer, and I don't mind debating :)

Merry Christmas.