On January 30, 2013, I had an unexpected meeting and exchange with an ‘agnostic’. He had overheard my wife and I asking the waitress directions by bus to a destination in Gatineau, Quebec.
He and his wife generously offered us a ride to downtown Ottawa. During our short ride with them, I let out, as I usually do, that I was a Catholic and Christian. Immediately he countered that he was an ‘agnostic’. To those who don’t know what an agnostic is, “Agnostics claim either that it is not possible to have absolute or certain knowledge of God or God’s; or alternatively that while individual certainty may be possible, they personally have no knowledge” (cf: www.diffen.com )
I told him that I had spent four years studying Theology at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, to obtain a Master of Pastoral Theology. I mentioned that Saint Paul’s was a very ‘liberal’ Catholic university. To illustrate this I told him of one lecture where the professor, a priest said very emphatically that there was no Hell.
This prompted Frank, the agnostic, to say to me: “What kind of a loving god would send people to Hell?” I promptly replied: “God sends no one to Hell. Those who go to Hell go there because they stubbornly refuse God’s offer of salvation through His only Son Jesus Christ. In John 3:16 God tells us: “For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” I continued: “These people who go to Hell, have made their ‘free choice’, they have ‘refused’ God’s offer of love and mercy through Jesus Christ. Thus their alternative is ‘Hell’.
Also during this brief ten minute ride to downtown Ottawa, I was able to witness of my faith in Jesus Christ to him. As I proceeded he was getting nervous and soon asked me to terminate the discussion. However before the discussion ended I was able to share with him the essence of my faith. I told him how in 1975 I made a ‘personal encounter’ with Jesus Christ as my ‘personal Saviour’ in a Kathryn Kuhlman Miracle Service, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
I said to him: “I walked out of that Miracle Service a new man. I was referring to John 3:3-7 when Jesus explained being ‘born again’ to Nicodemus. “Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born again? Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again.”
To end my testimony I said to Frank: “I believe so firmly in Jesus Christ that if I was confronted by someone who held a gun at my forehead and said: ‘Deny your belief in Jesus Christ or you die!’, I would answer: “Shoot!” This was the end of my testimony to Frank.
As I end this sharing of my encounter with Frank, the agnostic, I will refer you to a talk I gave in 2002 at a Conference titled: “Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear.” At Saint Paul University. During the talk I spoke in a special way about Hell, as I explained about the scripture which speaks about our choice of the ‘Two Roads’, the Broad Road leading to damnation in Hell and the Narrow Road leading to Heaven. (cf: Matthew 7:13-14)
“Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go thereat. How narrow is the gate that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it.”
I spoke about Hell in such a way that it showed just how loving and merciful our God is Through Jesus Christ, in doing everything possible to keep us from going to Hell. At the end of our life on this earth, if we end up in Hell it will be because of our own free choice.
Please go now to www.striveforheavennow.ca and look up page ‘Perfect Love’ and you will learn of God’s awesome love for each one of us, including the ‘agnostics’.
Donald Andre Bruneau,
January 31, 2013.