I am very glad to be able to share the gospel freely here in Thailand. Today two separate taxi drivers were very interested to hear the message of the gospel. I gave them both gospel tracts and a short gospel presentation. The last one was the most encouraging.
I began with some chit chat with Mr. Nattapon from Buri Ram (pictured) in his own dialect. He was very surprised to find out I could speak some Isaan and even moreso that I was a Christian, and teacher in the church. He then went on to share me a story about his friend who went to jail for drug addiction. While this friend was in jail, he promised that he change his religion if this Christian God would free him from drugs. Sure enough, God helped free him and he’s now a devoted Christian. Mr. Nattapon asked me, “How can I receive the same blessing? How can I be a Christian?”
“Mr. Nittapon, that is a good question. I will need a bit of your time to explain, would it be alright if I took a bit of your time?”
“Please, go ahead.”
“First, yes there is a God who created this whole world, me, and you, and loves us. That is – one God only. This God wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to give you eternal life and peace and joy and happiness in this life. But sir before this can happen I must explain to you the problem of sin. To us Christians sin means that we disobey the commandments of God. Some you are already familiar with – such as stealing, or lying…”
“Right, just like Buddhism.”
“But it is much more than that. God also commands that when we give offerings to idols, statues, or other God’s then it is also considered sin. For we are commanded to worship God alone.”
“I have heard of this problem of sin, and that there is some way for these sins to be cleansed… How is this possible?”
“This is the good news brother! Is that God loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus…, who is God, to die for our sins on the cross. But please don’t mistaken Jesus for a bad or evil man. Consider the analogy of going to the spirit house to give offerings. Now, sometimes people offer to the spirit house in order to cleanse their wrongdoings, like starting a new beginning, or to have a clean heart as we say in Thai. So there is a relationship between the offering and cleansing. Such is the same with Jesus. That Jesus, was an offering for our sins – to cleanse our sins. But in this case, Jesus was perfect and holy. He never committed a sin ever in his life. So he could be the perfect offering for our sins. Please take this booklet on how to have a relationship with God and read it carefully when you have time.”
“Thank you! Ahhh, I understand now! So this is what it means to be a Christian?”
“Brother, I want to also point out that it is not as simple as saying a few words. To be a Christian means that you have to be willing to repent. What does that mean? That means that you must be willing to forsake your old ways. To turn away from your old ways and let God into your heart to live a new life. I know this must be a lot for you to take it. Please ask any question that you wish.”
“Will I ever have to go back to the temple and give offerings if I become a Christian?”
“When Jesus came to die for our sins. It was once and for all. That means that we do not need to continually go back to the temple to receive cleansing. For Jesus has already cleansed us and we need not worry about going to heaven. Because our relationship with God is secure and we are guaranteed to go based on Jesus’ merit and not ours.
“This sounds good but… Is it real??“
“Look at me, I am not a farang (westerner). This is not a religion for white people, it is for all people. I used to have a life similar to your friend in jail. I used to steal and do all sorts of bad things. But Jesus came into my life and I have peace and security to be with him in heaven forever. I made this choice in my own. Nobody forced me and now my life is totally different. I hear from God and he gives me the strength because he lives in my heart. I couldn’t continue living my life in my own strength because I realized its not enough to get me through life. Please brother. Consider what I have said. May I pray for you?
[Remainder removed for brevity sake]