I said to him: “I’m guessing you may be a Christian” He replied: “Well I believe in God, but wouldn’t call myself a Christian”. I said that many profess a belief in God, but the issue was which God did they believe in, since we can all make Gods in our own heads that don’t truly exist. I may sincerely believe in a four-headed God living on the Moon, but if it’s not true it’s a waste of belief on my part. The Christian believes in God as revealed in Jesus Christ of the Bible. If you make up a belief in a God of your own making, from within your own mind, you’re on dangerous ground.
He pointed out to me how all the different religions claim to be the way to God. I replied that they believe different things, so can’t all be right, which he agreed with. I highlighted to him a fundamental difference between Christianity and all other religions: all other religious leaders said to their followers, in effect: “I am showing you the path to the God/Gods/Nirvana (or whatever)”. Uniquely, Jesus Christ in the Bible said it otherwise: “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life”. He declared He alone was the Way to God, and also, exclusively, that “no-one comes to the Father except by Me”.
I said to the guy: “Suppose you were on a journey, came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to go. There were two men by the roadside; one was dead, the other was alive. Which one would you ask for directions?” Obviously you’d choose the man who was alive. “This”, I explained, “illustrates another difference between Christianity and all other religions. The founders of all other religions are in their graves, as conceded by their followers. No-one disagrees that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius are all dead in their graves. Jesus is the only religious founder who rose from the dead and is alive today, as claimed by his followers”.
He thought he might go to Heaven when he died, but when I asked him what the pass mark was for entry into Heaven he said he had no idea. I said to him that surely God would let us know how to get to Heaven, otherwise he wouldn’t be a very kind God? I explained how Jesus was our substitute, who died on a cross in our place and took the punishment our sins deserve. We receive our pass mark from Jesus who got 100% due to his sinless life. When we become Christians his 100% is conferred on us as “born-again” believers. Theologians call this “imputed righteousness”.
We discussed repentance, which he seemed to understand, but by the end of our conversation I concluded that he was happy to sit on the fence and take his chance on Heaven. He agreed that was pretty accurate.
We shook hands, I wished him well and said I hoped we might meet up again in another environment.