My friend asked me over lunch a while ago. I didn't have an answer. I simply told him that you know you are a Christian when you know.
I thought about that. Not quite the answer I liked.
Today, over pho, we talked about being a Christian and what it meant to follow Christ. I pulled passages from Acts 2 when Peter told the crowd to repent and baptize in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). I told him that those who follow Christ are to repent for their sins and turn their life to Him.
We talked about sins. There were a lot of questions. He asked what about the guy who accepted Christ and go rob a bank and killed someone, is that a Christian? My answer was that those who accept Christ will want to stop sin and be Christ-like (we pulled out Galatians, fruits of the Spirit as well).
I also told him that none of us can go to heaven by being good. I pulled the Young Rich Ruler (Luke 18:18-30). The young rich ruler did everything right in relationship to people (don't murder, obey parents, don't lie). Yet because he chose money over follow Christ he will not get to heaven. Then I pressed hard on the point that none of us are right with God. All of us, are sinners, under the eye of God. I brought out Matthew 5-6 where if we hate someone in our thoughts, that's considered murder in God's eyes.
Then I pulled out a great passage from Luke 23 when Jesus was hanging on the cross and one of the criminal repented (Luke 23:26-43).
A few more questions were asked...what if our loved ones, who passed away and do not know Christ. Without a doubt and with care, I looked at him square in the eyes and told him that Jesus is the only way to heaven. I wish there is another way but the Bible is the truth and this is what I believe.
We had lunch for more than a year now. It is amazing to see how my friend is transformed by grace through the Spirit. Looking back, I really not sure what I done other than be generous and shared many meals together. I don't think I done anymore than being a observer and see God set out to do what He promised.
For the past few weeks, I cried to God for Him to show up. He promised that His Spirit will be among us and He will called back those who He predestined. To see how the Holy Spirit transformed my friend was remarkable. We prayed some more and talked about Baptism. I told him focus on the baptism of the heart. And God will take care of the rest...
I am thankful to be used by God and proclaim His Good News. I will pray more and more for my friend to be strong in faith.
Indeed the Spirit is among us. This is where the Spiritual battle lies...and I refuse to back down...because my Savoir didn't give anything less than His Life.
Praise the Lord.