Yesterday I wrote of a lady at the store that I had the chance to talk to for a few minutes. I left her with a tract and said that I would come to talk to her about it another night. Tonight in church, I shared that story as a testimony and prayer request. I asked the family to pray for her and for me as I tried to share the gospel with her further...
After church and driving the bus route tonight, I went over to Pastor Jose Luis and Mary's house for dinner. We finished around 9:00 and I told them, "OK, I've got to go witness." So I stopped by Brian's house, grabbed a few tracts, and headed out towards the store. I prayed as I went that God would give me the words to say and prepare her heart to receive them. I determined to go right in the store this time. I would not get scared and sit outside like last night. When I got there, she was the only one at the store. God couldn't have set it up more perfectly.
I picked out my Coke and vanilla Submarinos (like Twinkies) and went up to check out. After we talked for a bit, I asked her, "Hey did you ever get to read that thing I gave you?" "Yes, I did. I read the whole thing." "And did you understand it?" "Well, most of it..." "Then do you believe it?" "Oh yes, because it's the Word of God!" So we got to talking. God had brought her to the perfect level of understanding. Listen to what she said: "Well, I understood from the beginning how all of us have sinned. And I know that's true, because I know that I'm a sinner. But I didn't understand exactly HOW Jesus saves us. I mean if He died for our sins, does that mean that ALL people will go to heaven?" I said, "OK, let me ask you this. If you were to die tonight, based ONLY on this book and these verses, where do you think you would go?" She said, "Well, I don't know! I mean I really don't want to go to hell, but these verses say that I can't go to heaven if I am a sinner. So I don't know." I smiled and told her, "I do." "You do?" "Yes, I do." "So you're going to heaven when you die?" "I KNOW I am!" "Well how?" What a great place to start!
So I opened my Bible and reviewed the Romans Road on sin and the penalty of sin. We talked about how Jesus lived here on the earth for 33 years without sinning. So he did not have to pay the penalty of death for Himself. But He chose to die anyway for us. So I told her that the work of salvation is complete. Jesus has done everything He had to do to make salvation available to us. Then I gave her the example of the Coke I had just bought. I said, "Suppose I want to give you this Coke as a gift. I have already paid the price for it and I'm just holding it out to give you - like this. What do you have to do to make it yours?" She replied, "Well, nothing more than to reach out and take it." "Exactly!" So we read Romans 10:9-10, "That if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." She said, "That's it?" I said, "That's it!"
We talked a bit more and I told her a little about what it would be like if she accepted Jesus as her Savior - how the Holy Spirit would live inside her and clean up her heart and change her life. I told her how if she received Jesus as her Savior then God would write her name in the Book of Life in heaven and one day, when she dies and stands before Him, He will open that book and read her name. Then He will look at her and see no sin, because Jesus paid for them. He will look at her and see His child.
By this time, it was actually time for her to close her store. She said, "Would you like to come back tomorrow and talk about this some more?" I said, "Sure, I can come back sometime, but let me ask you this. Do you believe all of this?" "Well, yes." "Then do you think that you're ready to receive Jesus as your Savior tonight?" "Yes, I am." So I led her in a prayer, and she prayed and asked for God's forgiveness for her sins, and asked Jesus to be her Savior!
Tomorrow or another day, I'm going to go back there and take her a Bible, in case she doesn't have one yet. But praise the Lord for His great work and join in the celebration that is going on in heaven tonight!
"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." - Luke 15:10