A couple of people dressed like some sort of superheroes were hanging out near the corner, having a smoke break, cursing and talking about whatever issues they had been involved in earlier in the night. You never know what you'll see out on Mill Ave.
A guy named Bobby and a couple of his friends were talking with Rachel. He was saying that he didn't have to read his Bible, that he had read it once and that's enough. He claimed that God speaks to him but couldn't really explain to me how that worked. Do you hear voices? Doe He leave you a note? I tried to explain that God speaks to people through His Word these days, and that it is important to continually read the Bible.
They seemed to have a buzz going, I'm not sure if was drugs or alcohol. He kept claiming that the Bible was subjective, which to me is simply saying that he feels that he can twist Scripture in a vain attempt to justify himself. I quoted him Hebrews 10:26-27, but it didn't really seem to penetrate the haze he was in. After a while, they decided to take off and continue whatever it was they were doing that night.
Kevin stopped to check out the Illusion board, so I talked to him about the questions on it. He kept smiling and laughing as we went through the Good Person Test (GPT), but it seemed to be a more nervous laughter. I thought I could see some conviction in him behind the mask of apathy, so I took him through the grace as well. He said he wasn't real "religious", but he took a tract with him when he left. I think some seeds were planted with that guy.
Dana and Steve were a couple of Christians that stopped to check out the illusion board. As we went through the GPT, they didn't like the part about hell and punishment and, like a lot of people, tried to jump forward to the grace and repentance before understanding the need for it.
So I explained this to them and they seemed to understand. They took tracts with them when they left, and I think they understood the idea, but still didn't really like the approach to get there. However, it is a Biblical approach, and although God can use any method He chooses to reach people, it is no excuse to use unbiblical or heretical ideas to reach them. The Bible shows us clearly - Law to the proud, Grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Pet 5:5).
The Law is perfect, converting the soul (Psalm 19:7).
The Law is a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24).
Paul said he didn't even know what sin was, until the Law explained it (Rom 7:7).
People must understand their NEED for a Savior, otherwise the Gospel doesn't make sense. If you ask the average person how to get into heaven, they will usually claim it is by being a good person (Prov 20:6). If that were true, if there were any other way to get in, then Jesus Christ died in vain. If there were any other way, He did not have to suffer and die to pay our penalty that we could never pay. If there were any other way, then we could boast of how we earned our way in (Eph 2:8-9) by good works.
But as it is, in the Biblical sense, no one can boast, no one deserves it and no one can earn their way into God's good graces. It is a gift of God and our good works are merely evidence of our salvation, that we are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) and desire to please the Master.
Later on, there was a guy named Eric walking by. As we handed him a tract, he told us that he didn't believe in God. Then he stopped and asked Marcus and I if we believe in Satan. We told him, yes, of course, you'd have to, because he's mentioned in the Bible. Then he said that he believed in God, just not an afterlife. He had a Catholic background, and seemed to be having a rough time lately. I explained some of the problems with the Catholic church and that the Bible never teaches that we'll have an easy time in this world. I told him to make sure he was right on what he believes about the afterlife and to dig into it to find the truth.
We were able to talk to him for a little while and gave him some tracts to read through later. Please keep Eric in prayer, he seemed to have deep down belief, but it has been corrupted through the Catholic church and some hard times. I believe the Lord is beginning to work in him, to draw him closer.
Soli Deo Gloria