My previous article, I wrote on “Rethinking How We Measure Evangelism in America Today.” Well this is a follow-up article with a real life story that just happened a few days ago. A young man moved in his spiritual journey toward knowing God and Jesus as Lord and Savior.

These are the words of the young military soldier sitting next to me on the flight from San Antonio, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia, “I have never read the Bible before.” Dustin was probably in his mid-twenties and had grown up in Joplin, Missouri. We talked about the 2011 Joplin tornado that was a catastrophic EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, late in the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011. Dustin had family and friends that were affected by the tornado.

I shared how Southern Baptist churches from across the country have teams trained and are certified to serve as disaster relief recovery teams, in chain saw, water purification, meal preparation, washer and shower trailers, and demudding and debriding. He was very thankful. I also mentioned how Southern Baptist had started new church in Joplin, he was very interested.

Our conversations shifted to belief in God and other religious beliefs. I shared about my degree in the study of world religions. Then I asked Dustin if he had ever read the Bible, that is when responded, “I have never read the Bible before.” Then our conversation moved into the reliability of the Holy Scriptures. I was able to share how I studied “Textual Criticism” as part of my Masters of Divinity in Biblical Languages work and the science of preserving the manuscripts.

Dustin said he had heard there were two sections to the Bible. So we talked about the difference between the Old and New Testament, the former foretelling of the coming Messiah (Hebrew) and how the New Testament was a fulfillment of the Christ (Greek). We talked about the categories of the books in the Old Testament, the writings of Moses beginning with creation, the exodus of Israel and the Law, and the difference between the Major and Minor Prophets and wisdom writings.

The young soldier wanted to know about the books of the New Testament, so we talked about the four Gospels, the Apostle Paul, as one of the most intelligent men during his time, a hater of Jesus, and how he believed in Jesus and God using him to pen the majority of the New Testament books.

This led to us discussing the difference between Islam and Christianity. Our conversation eventually came to who was Jesus. We talked about Jesus’ two natures, fully God and fully man and how his two natures were totally separate and how the Man Jesus had to die for our sins. The crucifixion led to resurrection of Jesus Christ and how He conquered sin, death and the devil and made the only way for people to get to God, and the assurance of God forgiveness and eternal life.

After sharing my life story with Dustin, I asked if he had ever asked God to forgive his sin and had he trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior. He said, that he had never done that before and probably needed to make that decision. He was not ready at the moment to pray to Jesus. So I gave him my Christian Workers New Testament to read. He thanked me twice for giving him the New Testament and we parted ways. I am praying for Dustin that he will get the place where he hears God’s Spirit leading, prodding him to place his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

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