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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Don't Argue - Ask

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Is the person who has slept beside you 10, 20, or even 50 years saved - in relationship with Jesus and on their way to heaven? You might be surprised at the answer. I meet people every day who aren’t 100% sure their spouse is saved but think they probably are. Sometimes I meet people who argue theology with their spouse when their spouse expresses doubts about salvation. Never argue or preach. Believe what people tell you. Find out for sure if they are saved – you don’t want to be standing at a coffin one day wondering. If they aren’t saved, lead them to Jesus.

Last night was wonderful. Nancy’s sister and brother-in-law Sandra and Rick Mowery visited her in Atlanta, Georgia. When she found out they were headed to Branson, Missouri, she mentioned I was headed there as well. Rick contacted me. I was supposed to leave the morning they arrived but extended my trip so we could visit. Imagine – them living in North Carolina, me in Pennsylvania, and us coming together in Missouri for an evening of fellowship and evangelism. Don’t you love how God works things out?

Dinner was wonderful. We were in a busy tourist area and I confess to being disappointed that God didn’t open any evangelistic doors. We decided to return to my campground, sit on the dock, and talk.

Well – we talked all right – to other people. We led 2 people to Jesus. This story is about Karen. We were almost to the dock when we met her. She was from Joplin and active in church. When I asked where she was going in the next life, her answer was, “I hope heaven.”

“It sure beats any other alternative,” I quipped. “I hope you go as well. When you get there and God asks why He should let you in, what will you say?”

“I’d tell him that I hope I’ve been good enough to get in.”

“Karen!” her husband interrupted. “You know that’s not what our pastor says.” Karen stared at the ground. They’d had this argument before.

“What does your pastor say?” I asked.

“He says we get there because of Jesus – his grace,” he answered.

“You’re pastor’s right. Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior?”

“I have,” he said. “Karen and I have talked about this before. She knows the answer.” Again, Karen looked at the ground without bothering to answer.

“Karen,” I said. “I want you to know you are going to heaven. Do you believe in Jesus?” She nodded.

“Do you know you are a sinner in need of forgiveness?” I asked. Again, she nodded, looking at the ground.

“Karen, you may not have ever done the easiest part – inviting Jesus into your life. When you do that, the Holy Spirit enters your life and you’ll have the assurance of your salvation. May I lead you in that prayer?”

“Yes,” she said quietly. We prayed and affirmed her faith in Jesus and need of forgiveness. Then, she invited Jesus into her life. We all saw it – the look of light and hope come on  her face. She’d found the missing piece of the puzzle.

“She’s done things like this before,” her husband grumbled.

“She’s probably done parts of it but that last part, inviting Jesus in, makes all the difference.” I looked at Karen. “I’m guessing you haven’t done that part before.” Karen nodded her affirmation and smiled.

“Now your wife will be in heaven with you one day,” Rick said. “All of heaven is throwing a party.”

We’d began the conversation with discussing Hot Air Balloon Festivals so I said, “An angel party is better than a Hot Air Balloon Festival.” Everyone laughed.

This sweet couple had been married and going to church for 50 years. Somewhere along the line, hubby met Jesus and assumed his wife had as well. When she doubted her salvation, he argued, preached theology, and reassured her. What he didn’t do was believe her and lead her to Jesus.

Occasionally, I meet people who doubt their salvation even though they are saved. Maybe someone scared them when they were children or sin has blocked the voice and feeling of the Holy Spirit. Those people know the answer about what gets them into heaven because they remember inviting Jesus in. For those, it is important to walk them back to the event that caused the doubt and help them with either repentance or forgiveness.

That was not the case here. This woman was a good woman trying to work her way into heaven and falling woefully short. She needed to meet Jesus personally instead of being taught “about” Him.

Tonight, when you climb into bed, turn to your spouse, and ask, “Where are you going in the next life?” Listen and don’t argue. If they say heaven or hope they are going to heaven, follow up with, “When you get to heaven and God asks why He should let you in, how will you answer?” Listen without argument. If they say anything other than I’m going to heaven because of the blood of Jesus or because I’ve called on the name of Jesus as my Savior, simply quote scripture.

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. All who call on the name of Jesus will be saved.”

Ask them if you can lead them in a prayer so you will one day be in heaven together. Let them know you’ll tell them exactly what to pray. Chances are they’ll say yes. It they don’t, let it go. God will use the scripture to convict their heart.

If they say yes, pray, “Dear God, I believe in you. I believe in your son Jesus – that He died on a cross and rose from the dead for me. I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me. Come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for my salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Go to sleep knowing for sure that your spouse will one day be in heaven with you. Don’t ruin their amazing moment with more intellectual teaching. Just be quiet, hold them, and let them enjoy their Holy Spirit Moment. Trust that they now have the Holy Spirit working for them and be patient with their growth.

Follow the Journey

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