My two daughters and I had just finished shopping at Trader Joe’s, when we spotted a young man sitting in front of Jamba Juice with headphones on, reading a book and with a dog sitting at his feet. D.D. and Laurel Ann ran to pet the dog and as they did, I asked the young man what he was reading.
“The New Testament,” he answered.
“Oh great,” I said, “I just gave a ‘Gospel of John’ away. It’s in a really readable version and ‘The Pocket Testament League’ puts it out. If I had one I’d give it to you. By the way, what’s your name?”
“Justin, since you’re reading the Bible, tell me, if you were to die right now would you go to Heaven or Hell?”
“I think Heaven…”
“Well, I do good things. I don’t think I’ve done any really major sins. God would understand.”
“Let me show you something, Justin. Turn to Romans, Chapter 3. It says here that there is no one who does good, not even one (v.12). So you see, no one does enough good to earn God’s favor. One sin sends you to Hell, so what do you think you need to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, let’s turn to John 3:3. A really religious leader named Nicodemus came out at night to meet Jesus and wanted to find out how to get to Heaven. You know what Jesus said?”
“Jesus said, ‘You must be born-again.’ You must turn away from your sins and start following God.”
There was a pause. My girls had stopped petting the dog and they were now listening.
I then asked, “Would you like to be forgiven of your sins right now?”
“Yes,” Justin replied.
“Awesome! Let’s pray. Just repeat after me or make it your own prayer, “God, I know I’m a sinner and I need your forgiveness –
“D.D.! Laurel! Where are you?
“I believe that Jesus paid for my sins on the cross, was buried for three days and rose again to give
“Come back here now!
“and rose again to give me eternal life. Thank-you Lord for saving me
“I mean it! Come over her now…1…2…3…
“And I’m thankful I can call you my Father and my God. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Dude, you are now a Christian and will go to Heaven. Now you need to find a church that teaches the Bible. You know, you don’t go to church because you have to, you go to learn what this Book has to say ‘cause it’s hard to understand.”
“I’m moving to San Diego.”
“Tell you what. Give me your e-mail and I’ll contact you with a good church down there. Send me your address and I will send you a new Bible and some info about what you just did. You can contact me anytime if you have any questions.”
We all said good-bye and went back to the van where my wife was waiting.
By: Pastor Steve Sanchez