My evangelism partner and I witnessed today to a few Hispanic families in Greenville. One of our contacts was a Hispanic man from Mexico who has lived here for 10 years.
He goes to a Spanish Catholic church and believes that he needs to confess his sins to a priest in order to have his sins forgiven. I asked him if he reads his Bible, and he said that he does.
I asked him to show me where in the Bible it teaches what he believes about how his sins are forgiven. He said that there was such teaching in the Bible, but he was not able to find it during the time that we talked with him.
As I was probing him about this belief, Peter’s dealings with Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8) came to mind. Because the man to whom we witnessed was pressed for time, I briefly read to him in Spanish the pertinent verses from that account:
Hechos 8:20 Entonces Pedro le dijo: Tu dinero perezca contigo, porque has pensado que el don de Dios se obtiene con dinero. 21 No tienes tú parte ni suerte en este asunto, porque tu corazón no es recto delante de Dios. 22 Arrepiéntete, pues, de esta tu maldad, y ruega a Dios, si quizás te sea perdonado el pensamiento de tu corazón;
I then explained how Peter, the Christ-chosen leader of the apostolic company, confronted this man about his sinfulness but did not tell him to confess his sins to Peter himself or to any other man. Instead, Peter told him to repent (“Arrepiéntete, pues, de esta tu maldad”) and pray to God (y ruega a Dios).
If it had been necessary for Simon to confess his sins to Peter (or to some other man), the account would have recorded that Peter would have told him to do so. Peter, however, did not do so and told him rather to pray to God.
I thank God for giving me on the spot a passage from His Word that directly addressed this man’s need! I pray that he may yet take to heart what the Scripture teaches about this crucial subject and be saved.