Pastor Greg stood before the youth. "The past few weeks, we've been talking about sharing your faith. I'd like to take some time now to let you practice. We'll do a little role-play. Do I have any volunteers?"
Macy shifted in her seat, glancing at her friend beside her. I really should share my faith with my friends. Maybe this will be good practice. Macy lifted her hand into the air.
"Ok, Macy, why don't you play the part of the Christian, and..." Greg's eyes swept over the youth, looking for another volunteer. "And Gina, why don't you play the part of the non-Christian?"
Macy chuckled to herself. Lord, You have a sense of humor, don't You? "Well, here goes nothing," she said under her breath.
Pastor Greg pulled two empty chairs to the stage and motioned for the girls to sit down. "Ok, who wants to start?"
Gina dove right in. "Why should I believe in God anyway? My life is pretty good the way it is. I don't want to have to change anything just because I believe in a God that may or may not exist."
Pastor Greg raised his eyebrows, but kept silent.
Macy chuckled. "Well, just look at creation. Every time I see a sunset, I realize that there has to be a Creator. A Designer. An Artist. There's just no way something so beautiful could be an accident."
"Hmm," Gina replied. "I never thought about God being an artist before, but it makes sense. Even if God does exist, I still don't see why I should have to change anything to follow Him."
"Gina, if you follow Christ, it won't be something you'll have to change. You'll change because it becomes what you want. God changes your priorities to be more in line with His so it doesn't always seem like a big sacrifice."
"But what if I don't want Him to change me, Macy? What if I'm already good?"
"No one's good. The Bible says that no one is righteous. God has offered us a great gift. Not only does he not give us what we do deserve, but he gives us something even better that we don't deserve, and that's heaven, and the promise of salvation. He can't have anything bad in heaven. So even if you've just done one thing wrong, you aren't 'good enough.' But Jesus died on the cross to forgive us of all the bad things we've done, so we can have salvation through Him."
Gina paused before answering. "So what you're saying is that if I follow Christ, I have nothing to loose, right?"
"Well, I'm not going to tell you that life will always go your way. But you'll have God on your side. He'll never leave you even when life gets hard."
"Ok, so if I follow Him, I'll change because I want to change, not because I have to. And even though life will still throw it's curveballs, I'll have Someone who is always there supporting me."
"Well, yes. Are you ready to accept Him as your Savior?"
"Pray with me. Dear Jesus...."
Gina took a deep breath before concluding. "...Amen."
The two girls opened their eyes and looked at each other, then at Pastor Greg.
"Girls, that was great role-playing. I could really feel the emotion."
Macy smiled as she hugged her friend. With tears in her eyes and a hint of awe in her voice she replied, "We weren't acting."
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10 (NIV)
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