August 28, Tuesday

Portrait of patriarch Abraham
detail from a painting by 
GuercinoPinacoteca di Brera

Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Romans 4:3.

I met an elderly man as I was walking alone in the woods. He gladly accepted the tract I offered him with its Christian message. He said he was religious and involved in church work. He thought it right to do something for God and one’s faith. There was a ring of pride and righteousness from good works in his words. “But for our eternal salvation we can do nothing,” I objected. “It was all done by Christ’s atoning work on the cross. We have to rely on that by faith. Without Him no-one will be saved or get to heaven. Our own works don’t suffice for that.” The man’s face became increasingly unfriendly.

“Even a man like Alber Schweitzer, the jungle doctor of Lambarene, would be lost without Jesus Christ” I added. – “Anyone who has done as much good as he doesn’t need redemption. He has earned his place in heaven,” was his passionate reply, and he went off annoyed. Six months later I was standing in the town centre during the Christmas rush. A senior citizen approached me with a friendly greeting: “Do you recognize me? We met in the summer in the woods.” He seemed a different man.

In my hand I had a tract entitled “Born that man no more may die”. I showed him the title and, to test his reaction, asked,” Do you believe that the death of Jesus Christ and faith in Him is the only way to heaven?” – “Yes,” he answered convincingly, “I do believe that now.” We were able to say goodbye joyfully.

Image: By Guercino – Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain,