It's a crisp autumn afternoon. Two friends, bundled up in scarves, jackets, and hipster hats, are sitting on the patio of your local neighborhood Starbucks, sipping lattes. They are deep in discussion.
I know what you are saying, man, but I'm just not buying your whole Jesus thing. I pay enough taxes to the federal government, I don't need your "church" diggin' into my pocket too.
What does money have to do with it? I didn't even mention...
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've been around enough of you "christians" to know that you want me to change how I look, change how I act and then shake me down for everything in my bank account.
I know you don't suck, too much, but you're the exception.
If you'd let me finish, I was going to say that Jesus doesn't want your money, man. I know this sounds corny, but it's true, He wants your heart. It's weird to say this out loud, but He's real. He changed my life. Even you can see that.
Yeah, you seem like you've gotten your shit... sorry, didn't mean to offend your revirginated ears, I mean stuff, together since you started your whole church gig. I don't know, man, the whole thing just seems wrong to me. I believe in a god, or something, I just don't know what that means for me.
(Blake's voice carries off a bit and he pauses.)
But, you do your thing, man! Just keep doin' your thang. Glad it works for you.
It can work for you too. Why is it such a stretch for you, if you say you believe in a god? Why not believe in a God that loves you, a God that died for you. If for no other reason than: what if you're wrong? I mean, if I'm wrong, then I lose nothing, but if you're wrong? Dude, I hate to say it, but you're going to hell. If I were you, I'd check it out, just in case.
Do you see what just happened there? Two friends pouring their hearts out to one another and Todd pulls the "What if you're wrong?" evangelistic argument. I mean, If I thought there was a chance that I might be wrong and that God might be a figure of my imagination, then sure, that would be a valid point.
I just don't think that when Peter wrote that we should "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15)," he intended that we get people to try Jesus "just in case."
I don't know. Maybe he did and I'm just missing it.
For me, though, Jesus is real. He's good to me and I'm not going to go around pretending that He might not be real, that there's a chance He really didn't die on the cross for my sins, just to get people to say a prayer. Paul made it pretty clear that saying the words only carry a portion of the full weight of salvation, you gotta believe the words too.
We have got to stop scaring people into saying they believe in Jesus. The greatest testimony of Jesus is YOU and it's ME; scare tactics just prove that maybe we're not being the testimony we're supposed to be.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
(Romans 10:8-10 ESV)