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By Bruce Tissell 

“I think you should know that I have always been a little strange” was how John (not his real name) started the conversation with me. John is the brother of one of the seminary students who live at the seminary. John was staying a few days with his brother and really wanted to talk to me. So I shut down my lap top and started to listen.

For thirty minutes John spent time telling me about growing up and his life as a young man. John grew up in the church but had drifted away from God and was struggling with the purpose of his life here on earth. He had also studied philosophy at college and wanted to debate philosophical questions.

After about 30 minutes of John jumping from one topic to another, and John telling me how the philosophers have always had great answers to the world’s problem but man did not want to obey the proposed philosophies, I asked, “Has there ever been a philosopher who has had an answer to all of the questions of life?”

John stopped a minute to think and replied, “None of the great philosophers of the past have had all of the answers but there is one who is alive today that has all of the answers.”

A little taken back by this response I then asked if this current philosopher had an answer to death or not. John responded no, but that he felt this other man knew everything else but no one wanted to listen to him.

“So does this mean that this current philosopher is claiming to be God, even though he cannot answer all of life’s questions?” I asked.

John hung his head and said, “Yes, I and others want to believe that he is god. Does that mean I have blasphemed so much that God will never forgive me?”

From here we talked about forgiveness and the need to not only know about God but to actually know God. We finished by reading the last few verses of Ecclesiastes that talk about the true purpose of man.

“Maybe I have lost my way. I am not sure if there is a way out of the mess I am in,” John finally said.

I assured John that there was a way out and that the first step was to actually get to know God and not just knowledge about God. Please pray for John as he searches for the true God.

Pray that I would have more opportunities to reach out to John.


Discussion Questions: 

On your social media or in the comments here, answer all or just one question. If you share it to social media, please share this link with your answer.

  • Can you relate to John’s struggle to believe? How?
  • What verses in the Bible tell us how to know God?
  • What is the difference between knowing God and having knowledge about God?


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