Can a groundhog become a new creature?

I talked to an ant the other day while I checked out some of Terry’s plants in her flower garden. This particular ant got my attention because he was moving such a large piece of paper through the grass. I recognized the paper as one of the Gospel tracts I typically carry to give out to people when I have opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus Christ. It is amazing how big of a load a tiny ant can tote.

I got down on all-fours in front of the ant and started a conversation with it. “Hey, Ant! That looks like one of my Gospel tracts you are hauling around. What are you going to do with a Gospel tract.” I particularly like that Gospel tract because it is so clear about how to personally receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

“I’m going to take it to that groundhog up on the bank. His name is Grump. I am tired of him digging out my home-holes!” he replied without stopping.

“So, what makes you think that this Gospel tract is going to make Grump the Groundhog stop digging out your holes?” I asked with a chuckle.

The ant dropped his load, and glared right at me with both antennae.

“Great time of time! This grass scent must be allergizing your thinking. Don’t you see right here where it says, ‘If any man be found in Christ he is become a new creature.’ I believe that Jesus Christ can make changes in someone’s life. Besides, I figure if Grump becomes a new creature my problems are solved. Maybe he will become an ant like me!”

“Now, do you really think that Grump will want to become an ant?”

I asked sarcastically. “Unfortunately, most of the people I talk to do not want to become Christians. For one thing, they do not like the idea of being changed by Christ. They like their sinful actions too much.”

“Well, how do you figure I am going to find out unless I give him this tract and give him the opportunity to become a new creature in Christ?” the ant countered.

This little ant was starting to irritate me. “Oh, leave the guy alone,” I said sternly. “He probably does not want to be bothered by the likes of you. Such religious talk brings conviction, and, like a lot of people, conviction that come from God through the Christian witnessing of others feels very uncomfortable.”

The hard-headed ant raised up on his back legs. “Now there’s a great response from someone who says he is a preacher. That is the same kind of junky attitude so many others have. ‘Don’t bother people about Heaven or hell.’ Then you try to make us feel guilty for talking to people about experiencing spiritual change for eternal benefit?”

That stopped me cold. I know it is a fact that Christians are shamed into thinking that Christianity should be kept private. We are told not to try to impose Christianity on others.

But, the truth of the matter is that we should be proactive in talking to others about becoming Christians. We should give them opportunity to experience the goodness of God’s salvation, and to know the difference that life in Christ makes.

We should prioritize the truth about what Christ did for all on the Cross, where he died for our sins, and then later rose from the grave. Because of Christ doing for us what we could not do for ourselves, that is why it is true, as affirmed by the Bible, that a person becomes a “new creature” when the receive Christ as personal Lord and Savior. With that thought, I could see clearly the ant’s point.

“You know,” said the ant interrupting my thoughts, “that if Grump becomes an ant like me that you will not have to worry about him tearing up Terry’s flower garden anymore.”

That was an inspiring thought. “Hey, Ant! That is pretty good thinking. You want me to give you lift over to Grump’s hole.”

“No, thank.” he replied. “Better yet, why don’t you get busy yourself, and give a Gospel invitation to someone, and get them to get changed into a new creature, too.”

“Like an ant?” I chuckled.

“That would be great!” he said with zeal and enthusiasm.

A few days have gone by since my conversation with the ant. By the way, I have not seen that groundhog recently. Hmm—-I wonder if—-surely not!

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By Rev. Ron Branch

The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.