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NO GOOD REASON, JUST AN EXCUSE


Some time ago I spoke to a man in the Air Force. He admitted to me that he did not know if he was going to heaven. So I pulled a 3x5 card from my pocket and said, "I would like you to list on that card whatever is keeping you from trusting Christ right now."


He mentioned two things: "My friends, I don’t know what they’ll say. And secondly, certain things I’m going to have to give up." I knew what he meant because when I walked into the room there was a Playboy magazine laying on the night stand.


I said, "Okay, now let’s talk about those two for a minute. First of all, you said your friends. Do you mean that you are going to go through life letting them make all your big decisions for you and you make your small ones?"


That really irritated him. He said, "I will not do that!"


I said, "If you say, ’I will not trust Christ because of my friends,’ that is exactly what you are saying. They can make all my big decisions, like where I will spend eternity, and I will make all my small ones."


He said, "I will not do that. If I do not go to heaven, I want it to be my choosing, not theirs."


So I said, "That’s not a good reason, is it?" he said, "No."


I continued, "Secondly, you said ’Certain things I will have to give up.’ Now we’ve already talked about the fact that God is not asking you to give up anything. God is asking you to receive something. Once you’ve received eternal life God will help you to put into your life what should be there and take out what should not be there." But he knew that if he trusted Christ and grew as a Christian certain things would have to go. So, although they were not an issue they became the issue.


So I took a 3x5 card and drew two circles on it. Inside one circle I wrote "heaven" and inside the other circle I wrote "women, parties, alcohol, magazines" (all the things he had mentioned). Then I said, "Now I just want to be sure I’m clear on what you are saying. If I understand you, you are saying, I will give up this circle (heaven) for this circle."


I will never forget it. He looked at me and said, "May I think for a minute?" He bowed his head to think, and I bowed my head to pray for him. A few minutes later he raised his head, he said, "I’m ready."


He trusted Christ, and tonight is one of the happiest people it is my privilege to know, because he realized something very simple. He did not have a good reason for not trusting Christ. He only had an excuse.

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