A junior in High School named, John, walked up to Brandon — an evangelist from Kentucky, and stated that he was an atheist. Not just any atheist, but one dating a Christian girl who bought him a bible, prays for him daily, and told him that he needed to come down to the Answers In Genesis (AiG) booth to talk to us. Wow. Even though she is unequally yoked to this guy, God is using her in a big way.
John was really engaged and asked many good questions. So Brandon gave him two tracts to read: “Why Christianity” and “Big Problems With The Big Bang.” I looked over and Brandon was sitting next to him while he read both tracts in their entirety right at the booth. After reading them both, he had even more questions. Brandon then called me over and asked me to jump in. After hearing his story, I pulled up a chair and we formed a triangle in the middle of the booth. I opened my bible and asked John what his three biggest hang-ups were about the bible, or God.
First, he said that God was not loving, especially towards the Egyptians with the plagues and murdering the first born. I turned my bible to Ephesians 2 and asked him to read it while I answered a question from a customer at the booth. I shortly came back to John and asked him the synopsis of what he read. He said that we were sinners and walked according to the devil and this world and did what we wanted. But God who loved us had mercy and gave His Son, Jesus, to save us. So I asked him to read verse 4 again.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.”
Brandon and I were blown away that he understood that.
I asked him, “Do you know one of the most terrifying chapters in all the bible?”
“Romans chapter 9. Because God didn’t have to lift a finger to save any of us and He would still be God, still be holy, still be just, and still be righteous.”
“Do you know one of the most awesome amazing chapters of the entire bible?”
“Romans chapter 9. Because He did.”
I took one of my tracts and said, “Suppose I created this. I own it. Can I do anything I want with it?” He nodded. “Can I do this?” And I crumpled it up in my hand. He nodded. “Can I do this?” And I tore it up in little pieces and threw it in the trash. He nodded again. “So if God created everything and all of us in this world, then why is He called evil for judging His creation?” The light came on a bit.
So he asked, “So if God created hell for the devil and His angels, then why doesn’t He create a hell for people?”
I answered and said, “So, do you separate your garbage?” John looked puzzled. “Do you throw your building materials in a different can from your food or separate your dust from dryer lint?” He shook his head. “So, why should God separate His garbage?”
“But what about recyclables? I separate my pop cans from garbage,” John stated.
“Recycles are different. Recycles are the Christians. After you collect pop cans you go to Hy-Vee and put them in the machine to recycle. After you’re done, you get a slip of paper and take it inside where you give it to the customer service desk and they give you money. You are redeeming the useless empty cans for money which is useful. That’s what Jesus did. God redeemed useless people through the blood of Christ and made us useful. Redeemed garbage and made us valuable.” Throughout our conversation Brandon added to it, so I don’t want anyone to think that I kicked him out of the conversation.
John nodded the whole time I talked. He got up and asked if he could take stuff. We told him everything was free. He went to each table and took one of everything: DVD’s, tracts, books, etc. I walked over to the Animal Rescue League (ARL) booth and got him a bag. I gave him my card from GotQuestions.org and also my email if he had any questions. Brandon gave his.
This wasn’t the only conversation I had that day. We had many more, but this was the most memorable.