For a decade or more, my husband and I led a Bible study in an apartment complex community room every Tuesday night. The gathering was part of our weekly life, much like going to the grocery store. We did this because a resident in the complex requested we come there because she said the residents needed hope. When we learned of this, the timing was perfect since we were new in the community and trying to build relationships and reputation to birth a church. Establishing small groups was part of that strategy, so this invitation fit the mission. The years in the apartment complex yielded a harvest of Christ-followers, some precious friends, and vivid memories.This story is about one particular night Clark showed The Nativity Story film to the residents in that room. This movie is a cinematically beautiful one with music riveting its viewers to the story throughout the film.
At the conclusion, Clark presented the Gospel. The room was hushed as each was hanging on his every word. It was clear the Spirit was working after the dramatic depiction of Jesus’ birth in the movie. I thought surely no one would resist the palpable presence of the Spirit and prayed that no one would. Clark led in a prayer to give anyone a chance to ask Jesus into their heart. Immediately after, since the room was quiet, it was easy to hear a very old gentleman talking to his wife. He shared that now they knew for the first time how to get to heaven. Everyone at their table called Clark and me over as the man and his wife signed their commitment card, which stated they’d prayed to receive Christ. All around understood the significance of what had occurred.This lifelong Catholic couple was in their 90’s. He’d been a high school teacher in the community for his adult life. But for those few moments in this community room, he recognized that stability didn’t come from longevity or even a significant career. He realized that his need for stability, for certainty, would not come from anything he had done. It all came clear to him that salvation in Jesus was the only way to heaven.From that point on, this couple came to Bible study faithfully. Within a few months, the husband died. Did it matter that we’d been obedient to that complex when invited? Yes. Did it matter that this dear, aged couple know the One who saved their soul? Yes. Do spiritual destinations matter? Yes. Where you choose to go could have a direct impact on someone’s destination for eternity.
Jesus answered, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except by me. John 14:6