Vince was a Satanist. He claimed to be a high priest in the church of Satan. The thing is that Vince knew Scripture better than most Christians. When they tried to argue with him he would turn the conversation around and use his mastery of the Bible against them.
I will never forget the first time I met Vince. I was at a mall coming out of a movie theater when I saw a large group of black clad teenagers arguing with three college students holding Bibles. Vince was leading the attack on the poorly trained Christian witnesses. They were trying hard to convince these teenaqgers of Christ but Vince was shredding their arguments easily.
For a few minutes I stood behind the three Christians and just listened. Finally, I just kind of jumped in to verbally spar with Vince a bit. The college students seemed relieved to have some back up (even if they didn’t know me from Adam!) I had encountered Bible-quoting Satanists before and knew the arguments that most of them would use to counter Christianity. Vince used the same lines of argument most in-the-know Satanists did.
As we discussed Jesus, the Bible, religion and salvation I could see a twinkle in his eyes. He really seemed to enjoy the debate.
After several minutes we said goodbye (actually a mall cop told us we had to “break it up” because a small crowd was forming in the middle of the mall to enjoy the spirited discussion) and I told him that I hoped we would be able to meet up again sometime to talk some more. He agreed.
Every once in awhile I saw Vince with his pack at the mall. We would talk and discuss and debate and then say goodbye. This happened for several months.
The thing was, I could see that Vince was wearing down. He was running out of arguments against Jesus. He had plenty of arguments against organized religion and I never differed with his assessments. But when it came to Jesus he was having a tough time debating his claims, his significance and his love.
Whenever I would see Vince I would tell him that I was still praying for him to become a Christian. At first he would respond sarcastically. But at the end he said that it was a definite possibility.
The last time I saw Vince was in a Denny’s. I came in late one night with a group of my college friends and saw him and a bunch of his friends in the corner booth in the smoking section (back when they used to have smoking sections in restaurants.) “Hey Greg!” he yelled excitedly. “Hi Vince!” I yelled back. He motioned for me to come over. I obliged. “Tell my friends your speech,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes. He was asking me to witness to his Satanist friends. I did.
That was the last time I saw Vince. I don’t know if he ever trusted in Jesus Christ as his Savior. If I were a betting man I would say he probably did. It was obvious to me that he was on a trajectory to transformation. My prayer is that in the glory of heaven around the throne of Jesus, Vince and I can reminisce about those times we discussed his objections to the message of Christ and laugh about it.
Never underestimate the power of the gospel. Never miss the opportunity to share the good news, especially to those you think will never believe. Because, through prayer and persistence, they just may.