Here’s one from Lee! Enjoy! -anita
I had an interesting conversation with one of my grandsons the other day; a 16-year-old who lives in North Carolina and out to Denver for a month-long visit. We were discussing some of his questions about God, religion, Christianity, and Jesus—a conversation which he initiated (I’m convinced God provides opportunities like this for us and we need to seize them with love and enthusiasm).
He had somehow gotten the impression that all religions are pretty much alike and that they all talk pretty much about the same god (or gods…he brought up the many gods of Greek mythology as one example). While we were driving along, I responded as best I could (I know full well that Christians need to be ready at any moment to share the reasons for their faith, but it’s always more difficult for me when the other party in the discussion is someone close to me). While talking about the many religions followed by men (he had some exposure to several of the world’s main religions in one of his classes), I made the point that I believe all men seek after some religion in their lives (even humanism/atheism is a type of religion with the god-figure being the self). In my view, I think we all have an innate sense that there’s more to life & the world we live in than we can take credit for; that there is some other source of power that illuminates the universe we live in. At the same time, I told him, while we all seem to have a need to worship something/someone, we’re definitely not all worshipping the one, true God (the old myth that all paths lead to the one, same god).
I told him about works and their importance in all the main religions with which I’m familiar. That, somehow, if we work hard enough, we’ll be good enough to please our god, which is a key tenet of all those other religions. Of course, I told him that Christianity is significantly different from all those other religions in that sola fide (by faith alone) we are saved by God and not by our works. And yes, if we are believers (lovers of God), there will be good works that come out of our love for Him, but none of that is what saves us. In short, we don’t work our way to heaven.
As an aside, just this morning, I came across a passage in a devotional that puts this another way. The author of that devotional asks this: “The question is not whether we are going to be saved through works; the question is whose works. We are saved through the works of the one alone who alone fulfilled the terms of the covenant of works.” Clearly, the works of the one man, Jesus, are the works that matter.
My grandson also brought up the story of Adam & Eve, asked me if every person on earth came from those two people, and asked me if I believed that. Interestingly, his main concern was that in-breeding is viewed as very bad in genetics and how is that avoided if we all came from these two people (I suspect this topic came from something he encountered in his biology class). I told him emphatically, yes, I believe every single thing written in the Bible!
At any rate, I cherished the time with my grandson to talk about these things and I’m so glad that he felt comfortable enough to raise those questions with me. What an opportunity! I’ve since bought him a book written for young people who addresses many of the questions they have as they move through the early years of life. I know my grandson lives in a home where God is never worshipped and where religion of any stripe is never important, so this might be the one time/place where God chose me to help reach this young man. If I was able to plant any seed, I’m truly thankful. And I know God will be faithful to continue to work in my grandson’s heart to bring him home to Jesus! And, for that, I’m eternally thankful and in awe once again to experience God’s workings in our lives! Hallelujah, what a Savior!