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The Dialogue on Christianity

Chapter 9

John thought, one thing. He felt so close to this new relationship with Christ. He wouldn't say it, but he wished he could just reach out empty hands and take this salvation, no matter what it cost. He almost wished he could leave now. He had heard enough. He was anxious to wrestle with it. There was tension inside, but also hope.

Bryan: It was my intense feeling that God wouldn't have died for me, that He wouldn't accept me now that I saw myself as the sinner I really was. You have to remember that I felt really low about myself. I guess I thought it would be somewhat of a presumption for Him to invest His life in me.

John: I think I know the feeling.

Bryan: But Ben made something clear to me once more. He told me that every promise in the Bible was true and could be believed. And he showed me where Christ invited me to come to Him and where He said that He was forgiving to all who did. I simply thought it through. Maybe I should say I thought about it until it came through. Christ satisfied God's law, not I—not on your life, never! Everybody who ever came to Christ before me was a sinner, even though I felt I must have been the most hypocritical of them all. There are so many illustrations of such sinners coming to Christ I felt finally that I could be among them. It was at this point that I prayed very intently about this whole thing.

John: Did that help?

Bryan: Not at first. I prayed about this issue of repentance and faith several times. I was very serious about it. I didn't want to go through what had happened earlier when I was mistaken about it all.

John: I don't know, Bryan. All of this is rather long and involved with you. Yet you seem so sure and different from everyone else. Now you are praying again about the same thing you had originally prayed about at the church where you went forward. So what happened? Didn't you think about quitting?

Bryan: I thought about that a hundred times, but I just couldn't.

John: Why not?

Bryan: Because I couldn't be convinced that what I now understood was false or foolish. I knew it was true. I felt like the disciples when Jesus asked them if they would go away with all the rest who were leaving Jesus. Peter said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

So I didn't go away. I rested all my hopes on Christ. I repented and trusted Him. And, as I have seen it, God has received me into His family because of Christ. Just as my father-in-law accepted me into his family because of his beloved daughter whom I married, God has accepted me into His eternal family because of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ the Lord.

John: It's obvious that your life is different. As you said, true Christians have hearts that love to obey God. I can see that in you. I don't mean that everything you've said is obvious to me just yet. But so much is clearer now. I want to think about it all. I don't think I could keep from thinking about it if I tried.

The rain was still coming down in sheets as John left the house for his car. Bryan went upstairs to join his wife who was trying to sleep. She was curious though. They talked about John's questions and then prayed. They knew just what he was thinking.

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