A gutsy move

A nonbeliever doctor friend of mine lost his wife to cancer recently. We play doubles tennis a few times a week, and one of our regular players is a curmudgeon German gentleman named Eric. Eric can be blunt and humorously cantankerous at times, but possesses an attractive air of sincere personal humility. During a change of sides on the court this morning, we were discussing a memorial gathering for the doctor’s deceased wife, and Eric asked the doc (an apparently committed atheist) if his wife was Christian or believed in God. Wow! Gutsy move, I thought. Eric was uncharacteristically gracious and Doc responded in kind. No, his wife decided against faith in a discussion with her high school biology teacher many years ago. Like the doctor’s wife, Eric’s wife had also died after a long bout with cancer some years ago. Eric continued with a brief and moving discourse regarding God’s assurance through a vision of Eric’s wife’s heavenly home. My respect for Eric and his bold courage and compassion grew greatly during that exchange.

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit does the work of salvation. We don’t save. (Titus 3:5, John 3:5) Our responsibility is to be ready at all times to give explanation for the hope that lies within us. We are not necessarily called to evangelize (although some are so gifted), but ALL Christians are called upon to share their faith when the moment arises. Speak the truth in love, let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1Peter 3:15)

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

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