I sat down in my seat and settled in for a long flight to New Jersey. Next to me were two guys, a doctor and a scientist, who just met each other and were fully engaged in a conversation. After a while, one of them looked at me and said, you have a remarkable presence about yourself. Are you an actor (I couldn’t wait to tell my wife)? Have you made any films? I told them I made a film for Christians that is shown in churches. They quickly dismissed that as a possibility of something they have seen. I asked them about their church background. It was a very negative experience for both of them.
I asked further questions about their negative church experience and then explained the difference between churchianity and Christianity, between religious rituals and rules and a personal relationship with Christ. That made sense to them, but they had questions. Why believe the New Testament when it was written by men? What about other religions? What about those who have never heard about Christ? What about the hypocrites? Why couldn’t a person get saved and then live the rest of his life just as before? Why shouldn’t a person wait till the end of his life to receive Christ?
They were very appreciative of getting answers to these long held questions. Then they began to share more personally. The scientist said his best friend died a year ago at age 35. He was concerned about what happened after death. Science did not have an answer for that one. I explained again about the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ, that it was a gift and not something we could work for, earn or deserve.
The doctor then shared that he just learned that his mother was dying of cancer. He did not know what to say to her. I gave them a gospel track entitles, “Would you like to know God personally?” I went over it with both of them, especially so the doctor would know how to lead his mom to Christ.
Then the doctor shared that his wife was an atheist. I told him that, usually, one cannot win over an atheist by intellectual arguments. Usually with an atheist there is a traumatic experience, something very bad that happened to them. The atheist then concludes that if there is a God who is good, loving and powerful, and he let that happen to me, then I must be of no value to God. He has rejected me. But that is a very painful perspective of the situation. It is easier for them to believe that there is no God at all, than to believe that there is a God, but he has rejected me.
The doctor then told me that his wife was repeatedly, sexually abused when she was a young child. I told him that God had nothing to do with that. When people turn away from God, the further away they go, the more evil they become. What happened to her was evil. It broke God’s heart and God has promised that he will exercise vengeance on those who do evil.
But what about her? Satan’s goal is to get her to blame God and turn away from him. In doing that, she is turning away from the only one who can heal her heart and rebuild her life. She needs to see her situation from God’s perspective and turn to him for healing and rebuilding her life. But you can’t help her or your mother until you personally turn to Christ and receive him yourself. He said that he would do that tonight. They both said that they were going to do that and thanked me several times for answering their questions.
Then the scientist said, “I have prayed every day for the last six weeks. I thanked God for the day and all my friends and asked him to help me through the day.” Was that an OK prayer? I said it was a great prayer and all he needs to do now is invite Christ into his life and the relationship would become even more personal. He assured me he was going to do that.
After that I referred back to the explanation of how God usually leads missionaries to the people who are seeking Him. He just somehow makes the circumstances work out so they meet each other. Divine circumstances. I suggested that God put us together today for that very reason…he is reaching out to you because he knew what was going on in your hearts, he knew your hearts were open to him. They both nodded in agreement and said thank you.