I walked up to Matt, who was around his mid-20’s. I gave him a million-dollar-bill gospel tract to break the ice, and asked if he had a Christian background. He said he was a Christian. I asked him whether he’s born again, and he said he was. He was standing outside a bar, smoking, and this raised a few questions in my mind.
I don’t think that smoking is a sin, but getting drunk is. We run into a lot of “Christians” who are on their way to get drunk. Jesus said that you can tell a person by the fruit they’re bearing. There would be people who did great things for Jesus, and on Judgment Day, he would have to say, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:15-23) So, it’s clear that not everyone who claims to be a Christian really is.
I asked Matt how he would respond to the following question. If you died today, and God asked you ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ what would you say? He said that he lived a good life, and God would let him in. This is a terrible answer, and indicates that he has very little understanding of the gospel, and I really don’t see how he could be truly born again.
I told him that I don’t consider myself to be a good person, and God should crush me, and send me to hell for what I did yesterday. He had a very puzzled look on his face, and asked me what I had done to deserve going to hell. I told him I’m guilty of breaking all ten of the Ten Commandments, and I started going through them with him.
I asked him whether he’s ever told a lie. He said that he had, and I asked him what that makes him. He admitted that it makes him a liar. I went through a few of the others, saying, ‘Have you ever stolen anything, taken God’s name in vain, or looked at a woman with lust?’ and he admitted to all of those, making him a thief, a blasphemer, and an adulterer-at-heart. I asked, “If God were to judge you by the standard of the Ten Commandments, would you be innocent or guilty?” He admitted to being guilty.
I asked, “So, should God send you to heaven or hell?” He admitted hell, and I told him that the Bible is clear that we all deserve that fate. He knew what God had done so that he wouldn’t have to go to hell, but I explained it a little bit further. We’re standing before the judge, guilty of all these crimes. The judge gives us a fine we can’t pay, so we’re about to be led off to prison for a very long time, when someone steps up and offers to pay our fine. That’s what Jesus did, and we accept that free gift by repenting and putting our faith in Jesus.
I left Matt with a more in-depth tract, and encouraged him to read the Bible. Is it possible for someone to be saved, and have no understanding of the gospel, and live like the world? The Bible seems to offer no assurance to that person. I guess if I witnessed to a true Christian, then that’s okay. If I witnessed to a false convert, as I suspect, then hopefully he’ll get saved.
Please pray for Matt.
Do you think Matt is born again? What would you have done differently?