There was a young man named Jeff Mutui, who lived a normal life. He was single and lived in New York City. He didn’t act like the rest of his peers. He didn’t drink and he didn’t go through girls like toilet paper. He was a successful man. He worked in the IT department for a major business in downtown New York City. He also volunteered in various soup kitchens and charity events. If you were looking from the outside in, Jeff, for all intents and purposes, was a stand-up citizen. Jeff, and the world, would make this statement all the time, “if there is a God, then I’m definitely one of his favorites.” Even though he made this statement all the time, deep down in his heart, he knew there was something missing. He did everything he could to fill that void. The good thing was that he didn’t turn to drugs, alcohol, or women to fill it. Instead, he turned to himself and his works.
One Sunday morning, Jeff went for a jog in Central Park, as was his custom. As he was running, there was a street evangelist preaching the Gospel. This young evangelist caught Jeff’s attention with the words he was saying. Jeff stopped running to listen to him. This is what the evangelist was saying.
“God doesn’t care about what you have done, or what you are doing. All He cares about is whether you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior. I want to read to you this story in Daniel chapter 5. The Bible tells us that Belteshazzar, King of Babylon and the son of Nebuchadnezzar, was holding a feast. During this feast he decided to use the cups that his father raided from the temple of God in Jerusalem. During this feast a hand appeared and wrote the following inscription on the wall. “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.” This puzzled the king and he sent for his magicians and enchanters to come and interpret what the writing meant. They came and they tried, but they couldn’t interpret. The queen heard of the commotion and she came to witness for herself what was going on. When she arrived, she told the king about Daniel and that he had the wisdom of the gods. So, they sent for Daniel and this is what he said. “This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” The world and religion lives under TEKEL. We have been told that if we behave right and do the right things, when we are weighed by God, our good will outweigh our bad and that will be more than enough to go to Heaven. But ladies and gentlemen, this is the only truth that will take you to heaven. You must believe in Jesus and what He did for you on the cross, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior.”
This statement shook Jeff to the core. Jeff sat down and began to think about that statement. He didn’t hear anything else the young evangelist said. All he did was ponder this statement made by the evangelist, “We have been told that if we behave right and do the right things, when we are weighed by God, our good will outweigh our bad and that will be more than enough to go to Heaven. But ladies and gentlemen, this is the only truth that will take you to heaven. You must believe in Jesus and what He did for you on the cross, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior.” Jeff expected his charitable deeds to be enough for the afterlife. Jeff stuck around for the evangelist to finish his teaching and ran after him to ask him some questions.
“Sir!” Jeff called out, “I liked your message.”
“Thank you!” answered the evangelist. “How can I help you?”
“I was listening to your message” Jeff said, “And you said some things that I have never thought about. The story that you read from the bible, do you think that if the king did a lot more charitable deeds to outweigh the bad that he did, do you think that he would have been okay?”
“No, I don’t think so,” the evangelist answered. “No matter how many charitable deeds he would have done, he still would have come up wanting. You see earlier in the story, when he took and used the vessels from God’s temple, he was saying that he is on the same level with God, because he believed that was true, and he thought that he could use things dedicated to God. Since he acted like he was on the same level with God, God decided to measure him with the same measuring stick he measures Himself. And we both know how that will turn out.”
“So, what about me? I don’t think that I’m on the same level with God, so if I continue doing my charitable deeds, shouldn’t they be good enough?” Jeff asked.
“Could I ask you a question?” the evangelist asked.
“Sure, go ahead!” Jeff exclaimed.
“If you are in a relationship and you trust someone completely, then they one day they go ahead and break that trust. What’s going to happen to your trust?” the evangelist asked.
“I would probably end that relationship, because a relationship is built on trust,” Jeff answered.
“From then on everything that person does you will always take it with a grain of salt because of what they did,” the evangelist said.
“That’s true,” Jeff said, “but I don’t see how that relates to God and I.”
“It has everything to do with God,” the evangelist said, “you see when we sinned we broke God’s trust and we were separated from God. God sees the intentions of our hearts and our intentions are never motivated by our love for God. Since His love is not our motivation, we cannot follow His ways, because He is the only one, who can cause you to walk in His ways. But God trusted Jesus and He knows that when Jesus comes into your heart, He can cause you to walk in His ways.”
“I don’t know about all that,” Jeff said.
“Let’s meet tomorrow for a cup of coffee and talk more about this,” the evangelist offered.
“I would like that,” Jeff said.
They planned for their meeting tomorrow and parted ways. As Jeff was returning to his apartment, he was really looking forward to this meeting, because the evangelist introduced him to a new way of thinking.