A Very
Short Story
. . . with Long Lasting Implications

   Glen leaned forward in his chair and said, "Okay, Doc, let's see if I understand.
You want me to get my son so angry that he'll stop being a Jesus freak?"

   "Correct!" Dr. Eric von Brome replied, adjusting his monocle.   His large mahogany desk kept Mr. Glen Wright and his wife, Janet, over an arm's length away from him as they sat there at ninety dollars an hour.
   Glen turned to his wife, "Well Honey, what do you think?"
   "I don't know?" she said, clutching the purse on her lap tighter with both hands.
"Doctor, are you sure this will work?"
   "Mrs. Wright, after studying pride, and its effect, for 29 years I find it to be one of the most powerful motivators known to the human race."
   "Doc, maybe you should explain the theory again.   Go ahead, tell her."
   "Very well."   Doctor von Brome stood up, clasping his hands behind his back as if standing at ease - a habit going back to his days in the German army.   Slightly tilting his head downward, he began to slowly walk around the office.   The Wrights followed him with their eyes, noticing his slight goose step.
   "From the conversation I had with your son, I discovered an underlining tendency toward resisting anything that imposes restrictions upon him.   It is part of a psychological profile very similar to that of his father . . ."
   Glen proudly smiled while Janet rolled her eyes.
   "But, Doctor," she said.   "Doesn't everyone resist being restricted?"
   The doctor stopped, meditatively rubbing his goatee for a moment.   "That could very well be!   I think I will bring that up at the next convention. . . ."
   "HONEY!" Glen interjected.   "You trying to tell him how to do his job?   Go ahead, Doc, don't mind her."
   "Very well, as I was saying, If you constantly remind him of the unreasonable restrictions placed upon him by his religious system, his pride will breed resentment and eventually the resulting anger will overwhelm any positive desires toward continuing in its participation."
   "Are you saying?" Janet asked, "That you want us to get him mad enough to quit by making him think he's become a slave of Jesus Christ?"
   "Correct!"   The doctor stopped and rubbed his chin again "Slave is a good word.   I must write that down . . ."
   Janet shook her head, lamenting the money they just wasted.
   "Honey, is this guy a genius or what?"
   "Sure," she said.   "He's a real Einstein . . ."

   The following night, Glen, carrying a brown paper bag, invited himself into his son's apartment and plopped himself on the couch.
   "So, Manny, how was your day?"
   "Great Dad.   How about you?"
   "Okay, I guess."   Glen faked a yawn, stretching his arms above his head.   "I could sure use a nice cold beer right about now.   How about if we each have one?"
   "Sorry, Dad, I don't drink any more."

   Glen snapped his fingers.   "Oh, that's right.   I forgot.   You can't drink anymore."
   Manny sat next to him.   "The truth is, I don't want to."
   "Does that mean you don't want to have a good time with your old man?"
   "I never said that."
   "Good!"   Glen quickly sat up.   "Let's watch a video!   In fact, I brought one along."   Glen reached into the bag and pulled out a tape with three X's on it.   "Bet you haven't seen this one yet."
   "You're right, and I don't intend to, either."
   "Oh, you mean they won't let you see stuff like this?"
   "Who's they?"
   "Your friends at that church.   I figured maybe they didn't allow you."
   "Dad, you make it sound like they're dictators, ruling over my life."
   "Well . . . you gotta admit . . . you've lost a lot freedom.   It's a shame you know.   A young, fun loving, free- spirited guy like you being forced to . . ."
   "Dad, I'm not being forced to do anything.   I have freedom in Christ.   Jesus said: ‘If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.   (John 8:31-32)   I do what Christ says because I love Him; He saved me, and freed me from sin."
   "Okay, if you want to deny being His SLAVE by using an excuse like ‘freedom in Christ’, that's your choice.   I, on the other hand, enjoy my freedom."
   Manny smiled.   "Dad, have you ever thought of going a whole month without drinking a beer?"
   Glen shrugged his shoulders.   "Not really, why do you ask?"
   "Oh, nothing . . . I guess when you're the beer's slave it's hard to stop."
   "Slave?   To a little beer now and then?   I'm no alcoholic!"
   "You don't have to be an alcoholic to be its slave."
   "You're crazy!"
   Manny sat up and looked his father right in the eyes.   "Then don't drink it for a month."
   Glen chuckled, waving it off with his hand.   "I could if I wanted to.   I just don't want to."
   "You mean you can't."
   Glen stopped chuckling.   "I said, I don't want to."
   "Then prove it - go a whole month."
   Glen stiffened his lower jaw.   "I'll say it one more time - I could, but I have no desire to!"
   "No desire?   You're a slave and don't even know it," Manny said.   "Jesus said: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.’   (John 8:34)   You're a willing servant to sin, Dad.   You're its slave."
   "All right, wise guy, I'll show you who's a slave.   First thing in January, I'm going a whole month without drinking even one beer!"
   "January?" Manny said.   "Why don't you start now?"
   "You living in a cave or something?   It's the holiday season.   The office Christmas party is this Friday.   And then there's that New Year's thing your mother wants to . . ."
   "Slave!" Manny said, propping his feet on the coffee table.
   "Wait-a-minute!" Glen said.   "Be reasonable.   People are gonna think I'm antisocial or something if they see me standing there empty-handed."

   "So what?"
   "SO WHAT?   You mean you wouldn't feel awkward and out of place?"
   "Nope," Manny said, with a big smile.   "The Bible says: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’   (Acts 5:29)   With my freedom in Christ, I can do what God says without having to fear what other people think.   Of course, if you're a slave to what they think, then I guess you . . ."
   Glen shook the coffee table with his fist, almost knocking Manny's feet off.   "LOOK SON!
I'M NOT A SLAVE to anyone or anything!   I said January and if that's not good enough then forget the whole thing!"

   Manny waited until his father settled down.   "Okay, Dad, I'm sorry.   January is fine . . . but could you also throw in swearing?"
   "How about dirty jokes?   Can you go that whole month without telling even one?"
   Glen shoved the video tape back in the bag, preparing to leave.
   "Dad, wait!   Please don't go.   I want to show you something."
   Manny grabbed his Bible, opening it to a certain verse.   "The Bible says: ‘Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?’ (Rom. 6:16)."
   Glen followed along, reading the verse for himself.   He then looked up at Manny, brows gathered, trying to understand it.
   "Dad, that means if you obey God and His righteous ways, you are, in essence, His servant.   But when you give into, and obey, your sinful desires then you're a servant to sin and in God's eyes that makes you worthy of death in Hell.   That's why the Bible also says:
‘every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.   Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.   (James 1:14-15)"

   "But Son, I try to be a good person and not sin as much as I can . . ."
   "That's being self-righteous.   And, be honest, as hard as you try you still can't overcome sin's power.   That's why I used social drinking, swearing, and telling dirty jokes as examples."
   "So are you claiming to be sinless because you've accepted Christ?"
   "No, I'm not sinless.   I still have a sin nature, but I sin less.   Through God's strength, I can overcome my sinful desires.   See, the Bible says: ‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God’ (John 1:12).   With this God-given power over sin the Bible says that, ‘sin shall not have dominion over you:’ (Rom. 6:14).   Therefore,
‘Being then made free from sin, ye become the servants of righteousness.’   (Rom. 6:18)
And that means sin can't condemn me to Hell anymore."

   Glen quietly listened.
   "Dad, if you don't repent and accept Christ as your Saviour, you will continue to be a slave to your sin nature and it'll just drag you down to Hell.   ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’   (Rom. 6:23)"

   Later that night, when Glen arrived home . . .
   "Well?   Did Einstein's plan work?" Janet asked, both hands placed on her hips.
   "Yes and no," Glen sheepishly answered.   "This Sunday we're going to Manny's church."

Dear Reader, Do you have freedom in Christ?   Or does sin have you captive, chained to you like an anchor, dragging you straight to Hell?   Does the following verse describe you?   "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."   (Rom. 6:17)   Here's the doctrine it refers to:

The Bible teaches that, "your iniquities [SINS] have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."   (Isa. 59:2)   "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Rom. 3:23).   And there is a price to pay for having sinned before God, and that price is death.   "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."   (Rom. 6:23)
"and without shedding of blood [DEATH] is no remission [FORGIVENESS]."   (Heb. 9:22)

Of course, this means that BAPTISM cannot pay for your sins since no one dies while getting baptized, nor can CONFIRMATION, COMMUNION, KEEPING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, CHURCH MEMBERSHIP, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, or GOOD DEEDS.   Anything other than death CANNOT and WILL NOT pay for any of your sins.   That's why:
"Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3).

He paid the price.   He died in our place and if we don't put our trust in His death to save us,
Jesus warned that: "ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he," (John 8:24).   And that means eternity in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15).   To claim what Christ has done on the cross for you, you must REPENT.   That means: change your mind, and agree with what you have just read from the Bible and place all your trust in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, to save you.   So "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [i.e. REPENT], and shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."   (Rom. 10:9)

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