The Adventures of Billy and Bobby
Book 3, Chapter 9
by Greg Wright
Having started for home, Daniel and Bobby walked quickly. The sun was beginning to set, and Reggie's house was not in a safe neighborhood.
"Daniel, can't you walk any faster!" Bobby pleaded.
"We wouldn't have to be in such a hurry if you hadn't talked all night. One would have thought that you and Reggie were best friends. Did you have to take so long?"
"Daniel, don't you realize what happened there tonight? When we came, Reggie and I were enemies. When we left, Reggie and I were friends. That's a miracle. But an even greater miracle occurred. When we came here, Reggie was lost and on his way to hell. Now, Reggie is a new Christian and on his way to heaven. Wasn't that worth the wait?"
"So you think Reggie's a Christian, now. You think that just because he repeated some words you gave him and said some kind of magic prayer that he's a changed man. You are amazingly naive. Reggie's not going to change. Mark my word, Monday morning he'll be the same Reggie we know and despise."
"Daniel, that's not my responsibility. My job is to share the gospel. Completing the transforming work of the gospel in the life of a person is God's job. It's up to God and Reggie how fast this happens. But, when Reggie asked Jesus to come into his heart, I believe that Jesus really did move in. Scripture is very clear that Jesus will not cast out anyone who comes to him."
"And, by the way, it's not the prayer that saves him. Anyone can pray to receive Jesus and not mean it. But God knows our hearts. I believe Reggie's prayer was real."
"Okay," Daniel continued, "even if Jesus did move in, as you describe it, I don't see how that could make a difference in a guy like Reggie. He's not only a bully, he's a leader of bullies. I would bet he's even in some kind of gang."
"Well, you're right about his gang affiliation. And, they're not going to let him go easily. But I believe that God will complete his work in Reggie in his own time. It's probably like when my parents first moved to the house where we live, now."
"You're house is pretty cool, I've always liked it."
"I like it too, but it used to be pretty ugly and run down. When my parents bought it, it took all the money they had. Then, it took them two years to save up enough money to really fix it up."
"So you think Reggie's going to be like an old house that God is going to take through some kind of home improvement program."
"Yes, but so am I. In fact, I'm very grateful that God isn't finished working, even, on me, yet. This is called sanctification. God's work in the Christian is to set him apart and make him like Jesus. God is the master carpenter, and as I yield myself to him, he fixes me up. A year ago I would not have been able to love a guy like Reggie..."
"Love! Yuck! Now, I've really had enough. It was bad enough that you referred to him as a friend but love? Come on!"
"Well, I'll tell you this much. If Reggie were to die right now, he would go to heaven. But, what about you, Daniel?"
"Oh no, not that again, I've already been through this with Billy. Besides, I don't see what the hurry is. I'm still young."
"Daniel, you're taking a big risk. Let me tell you about something that happened before you moved here. In this very place last year, a boy our age was killed by a drunk driver when the driver swerved and ran off the road. Daniel, none of us know how much time we've got."
"Hey, I'm really scared," Daniel mocked. "Besides, if God is willing to take a guy like Reggie, he would probably, easily, take me to heaven, too."
"Daniel, what you are saying is very dangerous. You seem to think that because you are usually the victim, not the villain, that because you are not one of the trouble makers, that you are somehow on your way to heaven."
"Okay, so I am not perfect. But, who is? Certainly, this Reggie fellow isn't perfect."
"But there's one difference, Daniel. He knows that he's not perfect and he's not trusting in his own works. He has placed all his hope on Jesus Christ, his death, burial, resurrection, word, and offer of heaven as a free gift."
"You, Daniel, would rather spit out the free gift of Jesus and trust in your own righteousness. You're just like the Pharisees and teachers of the law in the New Testament. They were good, religious people. But, Jesus told them that the tax collectors and prostitutes would enter heaven before they would."
"That's not fair!"
"If God was trying to be fair, Jesus would not have died on the cross for us. Fairness has nothing to do with it. I tell you, plainly, that unless you can humble yourself before God, the way Reggie did, you will see drug dealers, bullies, gangsters, and anyone else who is willing to come to Jesus Christ, enter into heaven, while you scream, burn, and sizzle in the Hell that was created for the devil and his angels."
"Enough!" Daniel yelled. "All my life I've been made miserable by people like Reggie. If God was really fair, he wouldn't let people like Reggie into heaven. And, if he really cared, he would keep people like that away from me!"
"It has nothing to do with being fair, Daniel. Every one of us deserves Hell. God would be completely justified in sending all of us there. But instead, God has chosen to save anyone who would believe on his son, Jesus Christ."
"Further, as for what Reggie and every other bully in your life has done to you, it has already been paid for. When Jesus died on the cross, it was enough to pay for every sin ever committed, for anyone who would come to Jesus. Jesus, himself, chose to pay for Reggie's sins. What else would you do to Jesus? Did he not suffer enough? God is satisfied that Reggie’s sins are paid for through the suffering Jesus endured. Would you dare require more? Would you drive another thorn into his head? Would you require that another nail be driven into his hands and feet? Perhaps a few more lashes with the whip on his back would satisfy you."
"No, no, no, I don't want Jesus to suffer more, I want Reggie to suffer!"
"But God chose to let Jesus suffer for Reggie. And if you don't forgive Reggie, then you are basically saying, that the sufferings of Jesus Christ were enough for God, the creator of the universe, but they are not enough for you."
"And Daniel, if you don't come to Jesus, if you don't lay aside your confidence in your own righteousness and trust Jesus as your savior, all that Jesus did for you will be in vain."
"Hey, Bobby, take it easy; you're all worked up. Don't worry about me, Bobby. I'll be alright. Just focus on saving bullies and druggies. Besides, we're at your house; this is where we split."
Bobby shrugged his shoulders and shook his head as Daniel walked across the street towards his home.
Suddenly, a car slammed on its breaks and screeched to an abrupt stop, barely missing Daniel.
Bobby, relieved to find Daniel still standing, called across the street. "You be careful, Daniel, be very, very careful."