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A Conversation About the Gospel

by Marilyn Adamson, director of EveryStudent.com and StartingwithGod.com

Friday night, I was on a flight sitting next to a gentleman I’ll call Jack. I encouraged him to ask for ice for his sore knee. And we just started talking.

This is a very successful guy. He told me the name of their family-owned business and I recognized it right away. I knew he traveled a lot. But I was pretty amazed to hear he’s been to 110 countries. He’s only about 40 years old, so that’s a LOT of travel in a short career.

Probably somewhat tied to that, Jack also went through a very rough divorce about a year ago, and is still struggling with life.

On top of that, he’s been cocaine addicted since 17 years old. Four months ago, Jack went to a hardware store and bought a rope so he could kill himself. After buying the rope, he wisely, instead, checked himself into a rehab facility. For the first time in over 20 years, he’s clean. But he’s still not ok. He has no peace, joy, no sense of belonging.

Normally I turn my phone off at the beginning of a flight to save battery. But early into our conversation, I knew God had plans. So, just before taking off, I turned on my phone, put it on airplane mode, and was ready with the Every Student app, just in case.

We talked for quite a while. Mostly, I was asking questions and listening (and trying to talk softly, for everyone’s sake). We covered a lot of subjects.

Eventually, it seemed right to tell Jack how he could have a relationship with God…the one who created him, who loves him. I told Jack that none of us were meant to go through this life without God.

I handed him my phone, showing him this article, and asked him to read it:

He read it very slowly, very carefully. He spent a long time on it.

(A couple of nights earlier I was with a dear friend who shares the gospel with people all the time. I was reminded by him of the importance of asking people if they want to receive Christ. It was helpful for this conversation with Jack.)

When Jack was done reading, I asked him, “Did you ask Jesus into your life, as it talked about?”

He said, “No.”

I asked him, “What are your hesitations?” He said, “I don’t think I have time in my life right now to commit to God. I don’t think I would be able to spend the time and focus on it that it deserves.”

I said, “This is not about committing to religious efforts. This is about having a relationship with God. This is God offering you a relationship with himself, freely. Jesus is simply standing at the door of your life, knocking. What does he ask of you? Open the door! He wants a relationship with you.”

I could tell that sunk in. He looked stunned. Then he said, “Wow. I’ve never heard of the possibility of having a relationship with God.” So we talked about that some more, what that means.

Then I asked him, “Is there any reason now that you wouldn’t want to ask Jesus into your life right now?” He said no. So I handed my phone back to him to the same page with the gospel presentation and the prayer to receive Christ, and he prayed.

About four times he said to me, “You have no idea how important this conversation is right now in my life.”

I also brought up on the app this article about a friend who dealt with heroin addiction:

He read that one too and said, “Wow. Just change the names and a few details in this article–that’s me. That’s what my life has been like.” We talked about some of the points in it…how the Word of God and the Holy Spirit work together to change a person’s life over time.

When we landed and I had cell/wifi again, I handed him my phone so he could type in his name and email address, to sign up for The Spiritual Starter Kit. He entered it again for the Gospel of John series.

I also knew his town, having grown up near there. So I was able to recommend a church to him as well.

That flight was about 2 hours long. You might not always have that kind of time with someone. Either way, you know how to help move them toward God! Just love, listen, point them to God, maybe via EveryStudent.com.

God will lead you!