MONTEREY, CA—Local man Gary Pearman decided he was going to follow Jesus after reading the Savior's offer of abundant life and eternity in heaven.
Unfortunately, Pearman barely read the terms and conditions, quickly skimming them to get to the part where he gets to accept Jesus into his heart.
"This whole salvation thing looks great," he said as he flipped past page after page of Jesus telling His disciples they would be persecuted and killed for their faith. "I get all these amazing benefits, and I don't have to give up my sin, repent from any lifestyles that fly in the face of God's righteousness, or change my way of living at all."
"It's a good thing there are no terms of service or end-user license agreement, like if Jesus had told us we need to be prepared to give up everything to follow Him. That would have been awful."
After skimming all the passages in the New Testament that teach repentance and caution people against accepting Christ lightly, Pearman read Romans 10:13: "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved," a passage he took to be some kind of "spiritual Accept button."
"Well, that sounds easy," he said, disregarding all of Christ's teaching on the cost of discipleship, how narrow the gate to eternal life is, and how many will call him "Lord" but not actually know Christ. "There are no downsides to this deal whatsoever. Let's get this transaction done so I can go on living just like I did before I met Jesus."
At publishing time, Pearman expressed his shock that he was being persecuted, as though something strange were happening to him.