When a Buddhist Monk Comes to Bible Study

About four months ago, I had a university student message me asking to study English with me. I invited him to come to my class on Saturdays. I left out the small detail that it’s a Bible study. He came to the class, and I gave him a Bible, so he would have the “class textbook”. I thought he would stop joining after he realized that the class was about God, but he came faithfully every week. After a few weeks, it was a holiday, and I only had two students show up to class. One of the two was the new student. The other student was my faithful disciple.

I said, “Since there are only two of you, I am going to change the lesson for today.” During Bible study, we typically study the book of John and the life of Jesus. I said to the new student, “We have been studying about a man named Jesus, but do you know who this man is?”

The student said, “No.” I proceeded to share the story of Jesus and ultimately the gospel message, starting with Adam and Eve in the garden. At the end of my on-the-spot gospel message, I asked if he believed and wanted to have Jesus take away his sins. He replied, “I don’t have enough information to believe.”

I asked him if he had any questions. He didn’t. I asked him if he understood my lesson. He did. I honestly felt a bit defeated, but it’s not my job to do what only the Holy Spirit can do. I had my disciple share his personal testimony and what God has done in his life. I didn’t push the issue further, but I did explain to him what to do if he ever did believe. I told him to continue coming to class even if he didn’t believe.

Praise God, he kept coming. The next week, he changed his Facebook profile picture to a photo of a Buddhist monk. I looked at it closely and realized that the monk in the photo was actually this student. The next week at Bible study, he was the first student to arrive, so I asked him, “Did you used to be a monk?”

“Yes,” he said, “In Battambang, every high schooler becomes a monk for a week.” Battambang is his home province and the neighbor of my province, Banteay Meanchey.

I thought to myself, “Ah ha! Now I can show him how bad Buddhism is, forcing him to be a monk!”

I asked him, “In Battambang, they make you become a monk?”

He replied, “They don’t make us. It’s an honor and privilege.”

His reply shocked me. There went any opportunity I thought I had. Then he continued, “Battambang is not like Banteay Meanchey.” 

I inquired, “What do you mean?” 

He said, “In Battambang, we are strong Buddhists. We really believe in Buddha, but in Banteay Meanchey, the people don’t really believe in Buddha anymore.”

This one sentence, from the lips of an unbeliever, put me on cloud nine. Even the unsaved could see that something was different in Banteay Meanchey. It was confirmation that the strongholds were being defeated and coming down!

This student continued to come faithfully for months. I never pushed salvation with him again, because I knew that I had already explained it clearly.

Four of my disciples had been studying with me for nearly a year and were all strong believers, but none of them had been baptized yet. I kept feeling a tug from the Holy Spirit to hold a baptism for my four disciples.

One of my disciples was about to go to China for a year to study abroad. I held a going away party for him at the local swimming pool, but I also had an ulterior motive.

At the pool, I had my pastor friend do a short lesson on baptism. At the end he asked, “Who would like to be baptized?” There were five students present: my four disciples and this new student. All five said they wanted to be baptized!

I was shocked! So was my pastor friend. He asked a second time, just to be sure. Once again, all five said they wanted to be baptized. In the water, before baptizing him, we asked, “Who is your Lord and Savior?”

He replied, “Jesus Christ.”


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