While catching up on the scores from last nights NBA schedule this gentleman comes to my table and asks me a question. ( His words will be bold italics, mine will be plain font.)
"Are you a student of the bible?"
"Yes." Was my reply
"Can I ask you another question?"
At this moment he took the seat across from me and I prepared myself for.. I don't know what.
"Is the Christian God, the same god for everyone?"
"Yes. He is the same God for all, in terms of us being created by Him."
"My friends and I have this discussion every morning when we get together."
(To clarify a little, these are the older guys who get together almost every morning at McDonalds for coffee and socializing. I actually did a post about them.)
He told me he grew up Lutheran and is still a Lutheran. His reaction to how I answered his next question threw me for a second.
"Does the Christian God only care about Christians?"
The look on his face belays uncertainty. I open the scriptures to John 3:16.
While still looking at me he grabs the bible and reads it. (For all of 3 seconds. More so from memory than looking at the words on the page.)
I ask him to Read the verse. He does.
Pause. Pause. Pause
Holy Ghost Revelation
"God is a god for all."
"Yes he is. Christ came to save all who are lost. Since we are all sinners in need of salvation, Jesus came for e v e r y b o d y."
I waited a few seconds as he seemed to take all of this in.
"What about Hindu's who have never heard of God?"
"He can be there God also."
"What about the Japanese person living in a hut far away from civilization? Or the person in a jungle who does not know this? How about the Muslim who kills in the name of their god?"
"Yes, yes and yes."
"I don't know about this!"
"You just read in the bible, "for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, in that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
"Whosoever is an all-inclusive word. God does not exclude anyone from the free gift of salvation."
Man and its many forms of religion preach works. But God simply says "believe".
"Only by way of the Cross and the shed blood of Jesus."
Scepticism covered his face. But as he slowly stood, I could see the fog begin to lift.
What was he thinking? I silently asked.
"Stay" I wanted to say. "Let us talk some more", danced across the theater of my mind.
But, I let him go knowing he was in better hands now. The Holy Spirit was at work and I needed to get out of the way.
He thanked me for my time and rejoined his friends for a few more words and they departed.
My only regret is not asking him his name, but I'll se him tomorrow and I will pray for him continually until that day....