Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Neighbor's Encounter with Christianity

I walked my friend to the door and noticed a Buddha sitting on the porch, welcoming unsuspecting visitors. Inside, incense greeted my nostrils in a room decorated with the sun, moon, and stars. I felt sick inside and quickly made my exit.

Driving back home from dropping my neighbor off at a “meditation” meeting, I struggled with the Lord. In my efforts to be a witness to this woman, I had crossed a line that I knew in my heart I should not have crossed. “Oh, Jesus,” I prayed, “I am so sorry. What do you want me to do to make this right?”

Feeling better, I determined in my heart that I would call Amy and let her know I would not be able to take her to the next meeting. Then I would explain why.

The next morning I got up my nerve, dialed her number, and waited for the voice on the other end.

“Hello,” Amy’s easy-going voice rang out. I closed my eyes, breathing a prayer for grace and the right words to share that would not turn her off, but draw her in.

“Hi,” I quickly replied, beginning to sweat. “How did the meeting go last night? What sort of things did you talk about?” I wanted to be crystal clear about my suspicions before making judgments about her meeting.

“Oh my, we had a wonderful time!” Amy cooed. “In fact, I thought about your missionary daughter in India when the speaker stood up to address our group. He spoke about different religions and how we can pull the best from each one.”

When she took a breath, I jumped in. “Amy,” I gingerly began. “I won’t be able to take you to your next meeting. You see, I offended my best friend by taking you last night.”

“Oh, who is that?” Amy said.

“The Lord Jesus Christ.” I felt a renewed strength surge through my veins. I knew Jesus was with me and proud of my unashamed stand for Him. “I felt so uneasy on the drive home last night,” I explained. “You see, I cannot take you to a place where I know the folks inside are not proclaiming the truth. Jesus says in John 14:6, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ Amy, Jesus is the only way to make peace with God. He paid a huge price to purchase my salvation. I cannot turn my back on that or on Him. He is my Savior. I care nothing about the religions of the world. What I do care about, and what Jesus came to offer, is a relationship with the Father. That is how Christianity differs from every other religion. It’s all about relationship, not adherence to a religious set of principles. All the other founders of religions are dead and gone, but only Jesus died and rose from the grave, as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:6. Over 500 witnesses attest to that fact, as well as secular historians, who lived during that time period.”

“But why only Christianity, Eileen?” Amy interjected. “There are so many good things in other religions.”

“Do you think Satan would reel us into a lie by making it look unattractive? He always mixes just enough truth in with the lie to make it look palpable. That is how he can lead so many on the broad path to hell and destruction. Why Christianity, Amy? Because it’s all about relationship with a Person who is alive, who knows me inside and out and has still chosen to love me and give His life for me. It’s about the only Person in the world who ever rose from the dead of His own power! That’s why, Amy. Christianity is the only thing that makes sense. It is a free gift, unlike all the other religions of the world which are based on good works.”

Amy was silent on the other end. I knew she was considering Christianity and I was grateful God gave me the courage to begin a new day planting more seeds for Him.

~~

Eileen Rife, author of Chosen Ones, speaks to women’s groups on a variety of topics. She is currently working on three writing projects, two fiction and one nonfiction. www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com.



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