Thursday, March 6, 2008

Jake at Freestone

Last Friday I met up with Edwin to witness to the young people at the Freestone park skate facility in Gilbert. We stayed outside of the actual skate area on the sidewalk that led to a water fountain. Needless to say, there was plenty of traffic--all on skateboards. The constant click click, click click on the concrete rendered the recorded audio unuseable, but we had some great enconters all the same.

One young man named Jake was LDS (Mormon), and was more than happy to talk to us--at first that is. We used the Ten Commandments to try and establish a clear definition of sin and to let it work on his conscience. Jake however, was convinced that he only need do his best in order to stay on God's good side and that his good works would hopefully at some point outweigh the bad. We used the familiar courtroom analogy and also cited Ephesians 2:8-9 speaking of Grace and faith and Isaiah 64:6 describing our deeds, but it didn't seem to get through to him.

It reminded me that Mormons are in a religious system that relies heavily on good works and that it is so deeply engrained in them. My observation has been Mormons I have gotten to know better live under a great deal of pressure to live up to those standards.

Jake was also fairly certain that Mormons and other Christian denominations were basically the same. All I could do at this point was to draw a picture for him that defined our differences clearly and state the consequences. Mormons do not believe in a triune God. The bible affirms it. Mormons believe that Jesus was created by God through a physical relationship with Mary and that He is the brother of Satan. The bible teaches that Jesus is God in the flesh and that He has always existed in unity with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Finaly, I pointed out Galatians 1:8 stating the consequences to those bringing another gospel such as Joseph Smith and the LDS church has done. According to LDS doctrine, unbelievers have another chance after death to accept the Mormon Jesus. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, that once we die, we face judgement.

So this was my question to Jake the young Mormon: "If the bible is wrong and Mormon doctrine is true, I have another chance to believe in the Mormon Jesus. But if the Bible is true, what will happen to you Jake?" He didn't respond, but by now he was being faced with some pretty cold hard evidence from the bible. I can only imagine the doubt and fear that was going on in his mind. We urged him to examine the bible for himself as he left. We can only pray that he will.

Some of this story may seem like I was hard on Jake, but the truth is, that without the real Jesus of the bible, there is no hope. I would much rather have left him with a hurting spirit that may motivate further investigation than useless platitudes that were easy to brush off. As long as we preach the true Gospel and the consequences of a false one, we have been obedient and can only pray that God's precious Holy Spirit will work on this young mans heart and convert him to the One who gave everything. One thing we always need to do is to preach in love.

Please pray for Jake.