Nr.80 ended with: “In our home Bible studies I started teaching some things that really shocked some of the catholic people……………….!” (See richardandmarina.net)
In the first year or two I used the gospel of Mark in home Bible studies, but after a while I felt I needed something else. So I made up 10 topical Bible studies from the first 3 chapters of the gospel of John. Some of the topics were, “How do we know there is a God?” “What about the Bible?” “What about sin?” “The Lamb of God?” etc. After the study on sin people would feel pretty guilty, which was good of course, because now they wanted to know what the solution was. So with John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world”, I would explain the gospel.
The first surprise they got was the fact that we are not saved by doing good works, something all religions except true Christianity teach, though they differ in what those good works are. They all say, “Do something”, while the gospel says, “It is done.” Forgiveness is a gift of God. Eternal life is a gift, paid for by Jesus on the cross, where He cried out, “It is finished”, or “It is done.” Often I would get the reaction, “You mean to say we don’t need to do anything?” Answer: “No, except to acknowledge your sin and accept Jesus, God’s gift.”
The second surprise would be the fact that we can be sure of going to heaven. When I would ask people whether they would go to heaven when they died, the answer pretty well always was, “I hope so.” I would say, “Well, I know so, I am 100% sure that I am going to heaven when I die.” They would look at me in amazement and often say, “You think you are better than we?” I would answer, “No, it has nothing to do with being better; I know that I am just as sinful as anyone else, but I also know that Jesus died for my sin, and I have accepted Him and God has accepted me.”
The third surprise or shock came when I showed them some passages in the letter to the Hebrews……..! (Go to Musings)