Talked with about 20 teens this afternoon. A couple are Jewish, a few are agnostic, a handful are Christians of various backgrounds. We had a great discussion about the fact that God isn’t thrown when we have questions and doubts about Him, Christianity and faith.
The students who were willing shared one of their questions that they had for God. Some of the questions: Are miracles real? Is my father in heaven or hell? How is it that God can forgive so easily? A bunch of good questions.
But one young lady had a very difficult question. To help answer a couple of the questions, we summarized Lee Strobel’s story. How he became an atheist and how his wife, attending a Bible study became a Christ follower and how she changed due to her new found faith, and it made an impact on him and he began an investigation of Christ and the Bible to determine if the claims Jesus and his followers made were true. We told how after 20 months of investigation he came to the conclusion that it was all true (http://www.leestrobel.com/ & http://www.leestrobel.com/channels/CFChrist.php).
The young lady had something that bothered her. The story of Strobel’s wife’s change stirred doubt in her mind. She said she had become a Christian a few years ago but she had never experienced a change in her life.
Ooh! That’s a hard one. I think you’ll see why. Avoiding the possibility of embarrassment, we talked alone afterwards. I also needed to take time to be sure we were using the same language and began asking her some questions. I discovered two issues. That she believed that a person is supposed to experience a dramatic change so that everyone, even herself, will notice a difference from before Christ to in Christ. Of course there is that possibility. It could happen, but it is not always that dramatic and noticable especially when the person was really a pretty good person before. You know, very moral, very kind, full of integrity, honest and such. Since she expected dramatic change, she thought something was wrong with her.
Assuming that everyone’s conversion will realize dramatic change is a common misunderstanding and something some Christian groups teach as normative, unfortunately.
The other issue is that she was forced (by her family if I remember correctly) to become a Christian, it wasn’t really her decision. When asked if she believed in God, she said yes, but in a Muslim way. Now there is going to be a conflict here. The teachings of Christianity about God, Jesus and salvation are going to be not just different, but in conflict.
I got the opportunity today introduce her to Jesus the way the Bible shows us. I got to introduce her to Jesus being the Son of God. I got to introduce her to the fact that change comes, according to Scripture, when a person gives their life to Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God and obedience to the teachings of the Bible.
She says she understands now. I am praying that she will now move in the direction that will result in change, maybe even dramatic change.
PTL that I was able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone who is part of a younger generation. PTL that I was able to share Jesus with another person.