Well, well, well. I was certainly blessed today. I got off later than I normally do, because I spent longer at lunch than normal. I saw a friend from out of town for lunch. That was a blessing in itself, but it wasn't the last one that I would receive from God today.
This morning when I stepped out, I had a coat and hat with me. I quickly took off the hat, because it was far too warm for it. I carried both of them with me, however, because a) it's March, I reasoned, the weather changes quickly during this time; and b) I hadn't watched or listened to any weather forecast. It cost me.
So when I got on the train today carrying all this extra stuff, I was kind of bummed by my decision. Then some kid jumped on the train at the Convention Center Station.
He sat a few rows behind me, so I had to turn around to talk to him. Wanting to open the door for a witness encounter, I started by telling him how foolish I was this morning. He exulted that he had left his dwelling with shorts and sandals that morning, saying that God was awesome and was blessing him daily. But somethings in his mannerisms tipped me off that he was a homosexual. I thought, Hmmm...this should be fun.
So I asked him if he had ever taken the Good Person Test. He said that he had. I asked him what was his score. He said 9 out of ten. I asked him what was the basis of his test, because mine is the Ten Commandments. He said, "Well, let me take yours."
"Have you ever told a lie?"
"Okay, well, what does that make you." He refused to admit that he is a liar, regardless of what color his lie is. By this time more people were getting on the train, so our conversation became a spectacle. (That's right--open air preaching!)
We went through all of the Ten Commandments. he admitted to insulting people (murder in the heart, see Matthew 5:21-22), looking with lust (adultery in the heart, see Matthew 5:27-30; and, no, sexual preference does not matter--God is all about equality!), dishonoring his parents (obvious, but I'll reference Exodus 20:12), and coveting (idolatry, Ephesians 5:5), but he refused to admit that he is not a good person. I continually reminded him of his sins and their seriousness against God. He kept saying, "But I don't hurt anybody!" when the real prolem is that he (like the rest of us) has broken the Law of the Creator of the Universe, man's forgiveness notwithstanding.
I said, "Look, I've broken all these Laws, too. I'm not a good person!"
"But I am!"
"So you're better than me? That's pride, man!"
"I didn't say that!" It was a laugh riot by now. People were thoroughly entertained, but I think that they were convicted a bit, too, because I never let up on the definitions of sins. I told him that Jesus said that no one is good except God, so either Jesus was lying or he was wrong. He said that Jesus was lying. Wow.
I told him that if Jesus is a liar, then Jesus cannot save us from our sins. He said that Jesus is not God. I reminded him that Jesus claimed to be God, I quoted John 1:1 and 14 to him, to show him that the Bible teaches that Jesus is God (not a god, as the Jehovah's Witnesses claim--because then there are two gods!), that God became man in Jesus Christ. We went back and forth on that for a minute.
Then he brought up his sexual preference, saying how he loved the acts which characterize his iniquity. I reminded him that I never brought that stuff into the conversation; he needed to focus on the crimes that he had admitted to doing--serious crimes (felonies) for which Hell is the punishment.
Then he suggested that I read a book, I believe it is called The Four Agreements, or something like that. He said it was 97 pages that would change my life. I told him that I didn't need to read that book, I have the Bible--which is far superior to all the books of man. He tried to say that the Bible has been corrupted, because it was written by men. Therefore, the words of Jesus that condemn people like me were added by people to suit their own fancies.
I pointed out to him the ridiculousness of this claim: By the Bible's standard, I am not a good person, either! If I am going to alter someone's words, I would at least make myself look good, and probably my friends, but the Bible teaches that no one is good except God (Matthew 19:17)!
Furthermore, the Bible has supernatural revelation in it, that man only discovered the truth thereof within the last few hundred years. I am, of course, talking about the Three Scientific Proofs. He was much intrigued, especially by that last one.
As we neared his stop, he wanted to get my contact information so that he could set an appointment to follow up on our readings (he would read the Bible, I would read his book). So I gave him my card, but he couldn't find his wallet. The funny thing is, I think it held his bus pass; but fortunately for him, he got off the train right as the guard was getting to our part of the train.
Now, this was really entertaining for me, because this was the guard that had refused to take the Good Person Test, and he was also the one that had strongly told me about handing out tracts on the train. So I told him after he had checked our fare, "Man, you missed all the excitement!" He wasn't too sorry, but I had to rub it in.
Then a young lady that had been sitting across the aisle started talking to me about what she believed. I moved over to sit in front of her so I could hear her better. She was also a homosexual, who believed that the Bible was only believable to a certain extent, but not all of it. She said that one of the things that turned her against Christianity was the way she was treated when she announced her preference of women. Now, I certainly don't condone homosexuality--but we have got to stop acting like this is the worst sin in the Book!
I told her that the Bible actually says that lying is the worst sin that one could commit (see Proverbs 6:16-19). People like to say homosexuality, but that is not true. And the reason people like to harp on it, is because they are guilty of lying, but not of homosexuality. I asked her if she had told a lie. She said she had. I told her that that alone put her in far more trouble than being homosexual ever could.
She noted that if lying is the worst sin, then we are all doomed, because everyone has told a lie. I assured her that this is the case. God punishes all sin, whereever He finds it, and, if we cling to our sins, whatever they may be, He will punish us with Hell on Judgment Day.
She said that homosexuality should be excused, because she felt that she was born that way. I reminded her that everyone is born sinning--we tell lies right out of the womb! Remember, lying is the worst sin. If we can repent of that, how much more should we repent of other sins?
I rode the train past my stop to finish our conversation. I told her I didn't want her to go to Hell, but I don't make the rules. If we don't turn away from all of our sins, God will not give us mercy on Judgment Day--and no special exception is made for homosexuality. She protested that she didn't want a special exception. I just prayed.
Then she told me about her mother, whom she claims wants her dead (which I can believe) but claims to be a Christian. I assured her from the Scriptures that anyone who hates someone else is a murderer, not a Christian (1 John 3:15). I told her that she needs to get saved, and then pray for her mother that she get saved.
I prayed with the young lady as we neared the end of the line. I dearly hope that she and the others--including that guy--were convicted sufficiently to cry out to Jesus as their only hope for salvation and to turn against their sins. Please pray for Wayne (not his real name) and Darla (not her real name, either), and all the other people that I talked to today. (I might finish recounting them in an edit tomorrow.)