Today (while on a business trip in Germany) after work on the way home I mentioned that I really wanted to walk to the city center of the city where we were staying and see what was there. So, immediately one of the passengers in the car, a person from China, asked if she could go as well. I said yes. So as we were walking, I asked about where that Church was in the town center. I said I was interested in seeing it because I’m a Christian and I wanted to see what kind of Church it was. After we saw the Church, she asked me if (as a Christian) I “have to go to Church every week”. I said that well, I don’t have to, but I do go, and I want to go every week. She asked me how long I’d been a Christian and I said, “Well since the age of 37, but it’s a long story” and I proceeded to essentially tell her about my journey and my testimony. I told her how Christ has transformed my life. I asked her if she’d ever heard of the term “born again”. She said she had but didn’t really know what it meant. So, I went on to explain how it truly feels like I have a new life. My life before Christ does not at all resemble my life after becoming a Christian. I explained how the Bible used to be a boring book to me and how now it has come alive and I love reading it because it is God’s word.
She asked whether I had restrictions on my lifestyle because of being a Christian. I told that no, there’s no restrictions, but the reason Christians want to live a holy life is that first of all, God has really changed their hearts and they no longer want to do the things they used to do before. Secondly, they just want to please God, because they love Him. I explained how living a holy life does not save us, but that once we are saved, then the transformation in our lives happens after that. As we were talking, it became clear to me that she really didn’t know much about Christianity – so I asked her whether she really knew about Christianity. She said no, not really. So I started off by telling her about God’s law. I asked her if she’d ever heard of the ten commandments and she said no. So I started to name them off and she was familiar with them as I named them. So, I said, those are God’s laws and all human beings have broken them. Then I explained that God has a penalty that a person has to pay for their breaking of God’s laws, which I explained to her is sin. Then I asked her if she’d ever heard of Jesus. She said yes. I asked her if she knew why He came to earth. She said no. I explained that He was God who came down and became man to pay the penalty for man’s sins. He did this because God knew that humans could not keep His law, so Jesus came to pay the penalty for all those laws we’ve all broken. I went on to say that if we believe in Him, He will forgive us and give us the free gift of eternal life in heaven with Him. I asked her if she’d ever heard of hell. She said yes. I told her that if people don’t have their sins paid for by Jesus, they go to hell to pay for their own sins. Then I realized that I hadn’t even mentioned the death and resurrection of Jesus to her. So, I asked her if she’s ever seen the symbol of the cross (she said yes) and whether she knew what that meant. She said she really didn’t know what it meant. So, I explained how Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect life and was ultimately killed for claiming to be God. But that was the plan all along that Jesus was killed by men, but that He had to die in order to pay the penalty for our sins. So He was killed on a cross, but then He rose again and was alive 3 days later. I’m not quite sure if she understood all that. It’s a lot to digest if you haven’t really heard the story before. I told her that this is the part that makes some people get hung up because they don’t think that a miracle like a resurrection can happen. But this is the God that made the whole universe, so for Him, resurrection or anything else He wants to make happen in His universe is no problem for Him. She agreed that if a God could create a universe, He’s very powerful and that would be easily possible for Him. I asked her if she believed there is a God. She said that yes, she thinks there is a creator, because there had to be something to start all this. I asked her if her family had any religion. She said no. She did indicate that someone in her family line was of the Islamic faith. Well, at this point, it seemed like she was starting to try to change the subject a little so, I decided not to press it any further. I’ll just pray for her. One encouraging thing was that when I was sharing my journey and testimony, I explained how I went to a new believer’s class and she seemed interested in that and asked where did I go to this class, at a Church? I told her yes. She had relayed that for the size of Shanghai, she was only aware of about 10 churches in the town (I think she said that or maybe it was 20). Who knows, maybe this conversation piqued her interest enough to go to one of those Churches and see if they have a class maybe something like Alpha… Like Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Cor 3:6). I pray that God will draw her to Himself (John 6:44,65). I thank God for giving me the opportunity to speak for Him – as imperfectly as I did! Amen.