This post is by my good friend Ed Preston. Be nice and I might persuade him to write more. Although to be honest it took long enough to get this one…
Last week my housemate moved out. I was pretty gutted as I was looking forward to spending the year with a good friend of mine, Andy and I just click and I was sure we were going to have a fun filled year.
He didn’t leave because we’d fallen out or anything like that, he’d been working in a job he hated waiting for his girlfriend to realise how much he loved her so they could get married. After quite sometime of waiting and trying to convince her he loved her I think he was worn out and something had to give, so when he was offered a much better job in Ambleside he snapped it up. I was (and still am) sad about all this crap stuff that happened to my friend, but I was more upset by the direction our conversation headed in the few days prior to him leaving.
I met Andy about a year and a half ago and I had the great pleasure of going through Mark’s gospel with him and seeing him put his faith in Christ for the first time. That was incredible. I’ve studied with Andy, prayed with him, had countless conversations with him and in ever one of those things I’ve tried to help him understand the gospel better and to love Jesus more. Despite all that the day he moved out ended in a heated debate over Romans 3:9-20 which to paraphrase says ‘Everyone is a terrible sinner and there is nothing you can do about it’
I love sharing the gospel with people; honestly it’s one of my favourite things to do. I’m experienced in apologetics (which I also love) but all the CU lunch bars, and chats over coffee and all the other evangelistic stuff I’ve done had not prepared me for the emotional bashing it was to hear Andy say he did not believe what I was saying. I felt sick. (Don’t all of these short sentences make me sound like Rob Bell? maybe he’s not so bad after all)
As he left I couldn’t help but thin of Jesus’ words in Luke 14:26
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.”
I’ve never found it harder to speak the gospel before. Its never grieved me more to see someone reject it. Its never hurt so much to say that those who reject Christ stand condemned before a holy judge.
But God is still good and the Gospel is still true.