One of the highlights in my personal ministry this week was the privilege I had to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a Hindi man right here in Michigan.
Weeks earlier I had met a young man visiting our home church (Macomb Christian Church) who said he was a Christian but was struggling for direction in his life. We talked, prayed, and exchanged cell numbers. I got a text from him last Monday because he was looking for fellowship. We set up a time Thursday morning to meet at his house and have a little Bible study/devotional time. As I entered the house he showed me his father’s Hindi idols around the house, including a big shiny elephant by the stairs!
The young man was eager to read John 1 with me and consider the Christian understanding of Jesus’ character and sovereignty. I also shared with him some basic Bible study practices to read, observe, write down what God is saying to the audience and to you, and then how you can apply it to your life today.
As we finished up he let me know his Dad would be coming home in 15 minutes so I stayed to meet his Hindi father and let him get to know me. The father was interested in hearing about our heart to serve in France and of course, had good things to say about the teachings of Jesus.
I’ve learned in the past how Eastern cultures generally take the approach that there are many ways to God. They can be very open to new religious ideas yet hesitant to accept any exclusive truth claims. I also remembered the verse I had memorized in college, 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...”
I continued to speak with them both for over an hour about the exclusive claims of Christ that He is the only way to God(John 14:6) and how all the religions of the world are man’s attempt to get right with God by their own works. Christianity instead reveals how God reached down to rescue us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
The father had some questions about resurrection and needing a new birth in Christ. He wondered if this was the same as reincarnation as taught in Hinduism. It isn’t, but the idea is understandable given his background to make that conclusion. The biggest obstacle he had to accepting the claims of Jesus was being told as a young man that if he left Hinduism it was a sin! I felt that he was actually pretty close to understanding what I was proposing by placing his faith in Jesus. I expressed a desire to continue the conversation another time. He was definitely favorable. I also shared "God's phone number" (as I often do when I have an opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus. It is "3-3-3", which stands for Jeremiah 33:3. God says, "Call to me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things which you do not know." I encourage people who are searching for God or just searching for answers to respectfully call on Him. God promises in this verse to answer! I'm praying that by the time I call back the father will have prayed and God will have answered!!
He also invited me and our family to share a meal with his family. We hope to setup a time sometime soon and continue to pray for his salvation. Lord, may this be fertile ground for your word and may these seeds bear much fruit!