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How to Walk on Air

I need your advice. I purchased some expensive seed from a reputable store, who told me the seed produced a 100% successful crop every time. They gave me instructions, but I didn’t bother to read them. Instead, I just tossed handfuls onto the soil, and to my dismay 70% of it didn’t grow. What would you tell me? Of course, you would say that I should have taken the time to read the instructions.

I need some more advice. To our dismay, we are finding that 70% of kids brought up in Christian homes fall away from the faith. What should we do? Of course, you should tell us to read the Instruction Book. You would say to make sure that we are sowing the seed of the Word of God, biblically. I did just that way back in 1982 (when I discovered this tragic fall-away rate), and I found that most of us haven’t been following the Instructions.

Many of those who supposedly become Christians nowadays don’t become Christians at all. They are told to ask Jesus into their heart or to pray a sinner’s prayer, by people who have either never read the instructions about reaching the lost, or they don’t understand what the Bible says on the subject. A.W. Tozer said, “A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to ‘accept’ Christ without forsaking the world.” The way to become a Christian is to repent of all sin and to trust alone in Jesus Christ for our salvation, and for that to take place we must prepare the soil before we plant the seed. If we don’t do that, we can be sure that we will have a crop failure.

“The way to become a Christian is to repent of all sin and to trust alone in Jesus Christ for our salvation, and for that to take place we must prepare the soil before we plant the seed.”

The fact that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again, is the gospel seed. The human heart is the soil in which it should take root, and the neglected tool that prepares the soil is what the Bible calls “the Law of God” (the Ten Commandments). If we don’t use the Ten Commandments as Jesus did to prepare the sinner’s heart (see Mark 10:17-19) we will see tragic results.

I think one of the best ways to explain how to do this would be to share an email that was sent to me by 15-year-old Julia. This faithful young lady had been trained in the teachings expounded in “Roots” (which are based on the Bible) and she put them into practice. Join me as a fly on the wall and watch her share her faith biblically. Julia and a friend went to an outdoor mall, and this is what happened:

After a few minutes, two girls sat down at a nearby table. “Perfect!” I thought, and whispered to Marissa, “Let’s get those two over there.”

As we approached them, I hesitated a little. Now that I got a better look at them, they seemed to be older than I expected, probably over eighteen. And they were smoking. Feeling a little uncomfortable, I double-checked with my dad and asked if it would be appropriate to talk to them. He said, “Yeah, of course.” So Marissa and I went to start a conversation.

I approached the table and said with a smile, “Hey, can I show you guys something?” They both nodded. “Sure.” I showed them one of the optical illusion tracts and let them keep it. Then I started from there.

“So my friend and I have been going around, asking people a controversial question. Do you have a minute?” They said they did. “Where do you think people go when they die?” They thought about that for a moment, but couldn’t really come up with an answer. “Well I believe in a Heaven and Hell,” I responded. “So let’s just pretend there’s a Heaven and Hell. Do you guys think you’d be good enough to go to Heaven? Do you consider yourselves to be good people?” They both said, like most other people, that they thought they were good people and would go to heaven.

From there, I plunged into the Law and went through some of the Ten Commandments.

After I had done that, I said, “So by your own admissions–I’m not judging you–but by your own admissions, you’re both lying, thieving, blasphemous, murderers at heart. If you stood before God on Judgment Day, and God judged you by the Ten Commandments, do you think you’d be innocent or guilty?”

Amanda, the younger one, replied, “I’d be guilty.” But the other girl, Jennifer, wasn’t as convinced. “Well, God is a forgiving God and he’d forgive us if we repented.”

I cringed inwardly. This girl wasn’t going with the flow like the other people I had witnessed to earlier. I didn’t want to give her the wrong answers. But God was there with me, and I knew He would help me.

“Yes, that’s true, but let me give you a scenario. Say I was in court, and I had murdered someone, and I was about to be sentenced, but I looked at the judge and said, ‘Hey, I know I murdered that woman, but I’m a good person and I’ve done a lot of good in my life. I’m sorry for what I did, so can’t you just let me go?’ No, of course he wouldn’t let me go. If he’s a just judge, then he would give me the punishment I deserve. It’s the same with us. We’ve sinned against an Almighty God, and after all the sins we committed, of course we deserve a punishment.”

“Yeah, but it just depends what you’ve done, just like you’d get worse punishment for different crimes you committed,” Jennifer argued. “Like with murdering and stuff.”

I realized the conversation was getting off track, so I tried to lean into the gospel and get back to my point. “Do you know what God did so that we wouldn’t have to go to Hell?” They said they didn’t know.

I then explained the gospel; about how Jesus came and died for us, and paid our fine so we could go free and have eternal life. I also explained that we need to do two things to have eternal life: Repent of our sins, and trust and believe on Jesus. I emphasized how salvation is a free gift and doesn’t have to be earned. After a few minutes of getting deeper into the gospel and about how we as people need to make the choice to follow Jesus and devote our lives to Him, Jennifer started to share some things that I didn’t expect.

“Well, look,” she said, after I had paused for breath. “You seem nice, and you’re still really young. But my life has just been a piece of ****, and I gave up on God. I’ve been raped, I’ve had horrible things happen to me as I’ve grown up, and my life is just a mess. I gave up my faith a long time ago, and that’s why I’m like this today.” As she shared, I realized that she didn’t seem angry at all, just…bitter. Bitter with what she had endured over the years. I felt a deep sadness and compassion for her well up in my heart.

“I am so sorry,” I whispered, just pausing a moment to sympathize with her. I felt so much pain for her. I ached for her.

“Oh, don’t be sorry,” she said, brushing it off. “I’ve gotten used to it. That’s why when stuff like that happens to you, you just have to learn to suck it up.”

I paused again, trying to sort out my thoughts and respond appropriately, while still being sensitive to her feelings. “I really am sorry for what you’ve been through, and I know I’ll probably never understand what you’ve endured. I really haven’t gone through much, and I know what I have gone through will never compare with what you’ve gone through.”

She nodded, and seemed to appreciate what I was saying.

“But,” I continued, choosing my words wisely, “you can’t just go through life and learn to ‘suck it up.’ What’s the point of life, then? You have to know where you’re going and which path you’ll take. You have to know if you’re right with God and if you’re going to heaven or hell. You need to choose which place you want to go to, because you’ll be spending eternity in either one in the end. You don’t have hope if you’re just trying to survive through each day.”

“Oh, I have hope,” she said, still stubborn.

“What do you have hope in?” I asked in a gentle voice.

“In myself and my family.”

“Well you and your family will one day pass away. You’re all going somewhere, and you need to decide where you’ll go. You can’t have hope in them and yourself. Only hope in God, because He’ll always be here no matter what, and He has the power to save you. I’m not saying that life will get easier and you’ll be happier, but if you repent and trust in Christ, you’ll have eternal life and a relationship with God. Jesus suffered for you, and in return for what He did, you need to give Him your life. We never know when we’re going to die. We could all die today. If you died in your sins right now, you’d go to Hell. And I’m not out here to get paid, or to get popular. I’m out here because I really care about you, and I don’t want you to go to Hell. I know where I’m going, because I have received the free gift of eternal life, and I want you to do that too.”

The two of them were really paying attention now, and they seemed very convicted. I talked with them for a while, and I still don’t know how I was able to talk to them without stumbling too much on my words. God was really helping me lay out the gospel to them.

A little later, Jennifer said something very interesting. “I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’ve said, ‘**** Him. **** Him. Why did he ******* do this to me and why did he make my life like **** and why did he make me so miserable?’ But…” And then she broke off, looking thoughtful. “I don’t think it’s really His fault.” She seemed to really be pondering what I had said to her.

“It’s not His fault,” I replied. “It’s man’s fault. From the beginning, Adam and Eve sinned, and that’s what brought all the sin and misery and pain on us today. God wasn’t the one who brought the sin into this world.” I tried to explain as best as I could about how God is a God of love and how he wants us to come and repent, and He isn’t a wicked God who is always condemning and trying to make people miserable.

At one point, Jennifer said something that surprised me. “You seem really strong in your faith, and you need to keep doing this and talking to people. Don’t do what I did. Just keep doing this. But when you get older, you’ll go through horrible things, and you’ll probably lose your faith or fall away. That’s what happened to me.”

That made me stop and think deeply for a second. How could I explain what true faith in God was? I tried my best. “Well, when someone really, truly believes in Christ and has a sincere relationship with Him, they won’t completely fall away from Him. They might stray at some points, but they won’t go away from Him forever.”

We talked some more, and I couldn’t believe how well the conversation was going. Finally, I decided to wrap it up.

“Thank you so much for letting me talk to you both,” I said, smiling. “I really do care about you, and I’ll be praying for you. Do you have Bibles at home?” They said they didn’t.

“Well please find a Bible, read it, and obey what it says. And please repent and put your trust in Christ. He’s the only one who can save you.”

“I still can’t believe that God has been able to use me in this incredible way, and I find nothing more enjoyable than sharing my faith with others.”

As I was getting ready to walk away, Jennifer stopped me. “I thought you were going to shove religion down my throat when you first talked to us, but you didn’t. I could tolerate what you said, and you seem really nice. Thank you for talking to us; this was a really neat conversation. Don’t lose your faith.”

It amazed me how she kept emphasizing how she liked what I was doing, and she didn’t want me to stop. Amanda agreed with her and said, “Thank you so much.” They truly looked grateful.

I walked away, feeling as if I was walking on air. I had never felt so happy and amazed in my life. Imagine if I had backed away from talking to both of them? I would have never shared the gospel with them, and they wouldn’t have been convicted of their sins. I really think God brought me there at the right time, especially for Jennifer. People like them stir up the passion inside me and make me want to save lost souls even more. I’ve already started praying for them, and I really do love them so much and care about them with all my heart. I still can’t believe that God has been able to use me in this incredible way, and I find nothing more enjoyable than sharing my faith with others.

Ray Comfort

Ray Comfort is the Founder and CEO of Living Waters and the bestselling author of more than 90 books, including God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life, How to Know God Exists, and The Evidence Bible. He cohosts the award-winning television program Way of the Master, airing in every country in the world, and is an Executive Producer of “180,” “Evolution vs. God,” “Audacity,” and other films. He is married to Sue and has three grown children, and hasn’t left the house without gospel tracts for decades.

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