By Missionary to Argentina Shawn Bateman

They Don't Know
More info for the Author

They Don't Know

Just recently I have developed a series of questions to ask people on the streets. The main purpose of these questions is that it gives me an opening to speak to different people. It is a way to practice my Spanish, and also to learn about culture. To learn and understand as much as possible and to identify with the people you’re seeking to reach is a effort that never ends. To understand them you must be able to speak the social language, not just their native language. You should be able to express fears, hopes, and beliefs in a way that they might express them.

So in order to grow in my cultural adaptation I have created a list of questions that helps me probe the mentality of the people among whom I live. It also affords a way of sharing the Gospel. The list started out with ten questions, and it continues to grow. Question number three on the list is “If I wanted to go to heaven what would I need to do?” Keep in mind that I am living in a “Christian country” where the name of Jesus is thrown around everywhere; His picture hangs in almost every place of business, and there are even places to go and pray in supermarkets and the postoffice!

I asked this question the other day to a young man who is 15 years old. My wife and I spoke to a college-age girl and asked her this question as well. Their answer? Both said “good works.” Their mentality is “If I can be good enough, if I can do enough good deeds, then God will let me into heaven.” To both of them I replied with another question, “If I can do enough good works to go to heaven on my own, then why did Jesus come to die?” You could see their minds working, and neither had an answer. The young man would start to give me an answer, and into about two sentences would look off, trying to search his way through to a reason only to realize his logic, and beliefs left him at a dead end.

They didn’t know. They know that Jesus came to save them, both acknowledged that, but how he came to save them they have no clue. They believe that salvation is something that they can accomplish, and maybe Jesus can help them. The true way of salvation is hidden to them. They follow their own thoughts about salvation, which have been formed by things they have heard from their family and culture, but not from the Bible.

Brining it Home :

These are two people in a city of over one million. How many more here do not know the way of salvation? My dear Christian friend, as you are reading this, may I ask you a question? What are you doing that others might know?

About the Author

Shawn and Emily Bateman have been missionaries to Rosario, Argentina since 2018. Find out more about the Batemans at and connect with them at

Shawn Bateman

Missionary to Argentina