Wednesday, 4 June 2014


I had an interesting chat with a man yesterday. I want to pass on some of the teachable points.

I was giving out invitations to meetings we are having, and a man saw me walking down the driveway asked me what I was selling. I told him there was nothing for sale, and I asked him what he knew about salvation. He told me he was a Catholic, so I asked him what he thought would happen to him when he died. His reply was, "When you're dead, you're dead. In the ground, that's it." Then, in his very next sentence he said you come back as something else.

So here we have a man who says he is a Catholic, who then says he doesn't believe there is anything after death, who then affirms reincarnation! I tried to get him to take his pick because he can't even have any two of those options, never mind all three! It certainly demonstrates that many people can go along quite happily holding blatantly contradictory beliefs.

Anyway, he opted for the view that there is nothing after death, so I asked him if he thought that applied to Hitler - does he get away with it? This gave him pause, then he went ahead and said yes, there's no punishment for Hitler.

"So there's no justice then?" I asked. He readily agreed there's no justice, sure look at all the evil going on. But I told him he was missing something here - if there is no God to meet and no judgment to come then what does he mean by evil? He was chewing on this, so I asked him was Hitler evil, were his actions wrong? "Of course!" he said. So I came back with the playground retort, "Says who?" His first response was "Says me!" But I pointed out he isn't God - why does he get to determine right and wrong and impose it on others? Why should Hitler care? His next effort was that the law says it's wrong. There are a couple of points here: first, this is backwards, the law doesn't make something wrong, laws are made because things are wrong. If this weren't the case then there would be no such thing as unjust laws, and there would be no such thing as evil in a society that doesn't have laws! Second, Hitler didn't break the law! He operated within the law of the land. So if there's no God to meet, no judgment to come, no law upon us, we are left with nothing to say to the challenge, "Says who?"

He stood silent, then said, "Hold on, you're confusing me here." I didn't say this, but I think he was pretty confused before I got there, he just didn't realise it.

I told him that we know there is right and wrong, good and evil, because we have been created by a righteous God who has put His law in our hearts. We know then there is judgment to come, death is not the end.

Added to that, the Bible doesn't leave us to guess about this. I told him that the Bible was a book full of prophecy. These are prophecies that can be tested, and therefore trusted. The Bible has proven itself to speak with accuracy and authority on the future, and it tells us there is a heaven and a hell. Because of our sin we deserve hell, but because of the sacrifice of Christ we can have heaven, if we are prepared to repent and accept He took the punishment we deserve.

I left him with this as well, it's not the case we have to wait until we die to make sure we've interpreted this correctly. The moment a sinner turns to Christ for salvation he is born again, and receives new life, so we can know from our own experience that this is real.

I really hope I left him less confused than when I found him. We really can't afford to be unclear about this.