Works based religion is disillusioning. Rene grew up in a denomination that gave no assurance of eternal salvation. “How many works are enough? Does my good outweigh my bad?” Eventually, with the hopelessness of this false teaching, she gave up on church. “What’s the use?”
Years passed and the hardships of life began to take their toll. Among other challenges, Rene’s daughter, a severe asthmatic, was critically ill. Rene began to search for answers. A gentleman handing out tracts came by her home and invited her to a Baptist church. Rene remembered that her sister, Darlene, attended a Baptist church and wondered if it might be the same one. After not having spoken to Darlene for 10 years, she called her. Darlene invited Rene to join her at Westside Baptist in Eugene, Oregon.
After attending a few weeks, Pastor Nathan introduced them to the four-lesson Bible study, The Exchange, so Rene and Darlene began to do it together. On lesson three when Rene learned that Jesus made possible a great exchange – our sinful record for His righteous record – she finally understood what salvation was all about. She completed the 4th lesson and made that Great Exchange with Jesus. Her immediate question was, “What’s next?” So Darlene and Rene did Living the Exchange (a discipleship Bible study) together.
This past week after demonstrating the great exchange that took place on the cross I sat down beside Rene. She said, “That’s the part that helped me understand!” Up until that point I had no idea that I was seated beside someone who had been saved and discipled through Exchange material. How fulfilling! Our mission is not just to see people saved. Our earnest prayer is that believers will lead people to Christ, disciple them and then train them to lead others to Christ. Darlene did just that!