A middle-aged man approached our Bible table at the beach. Said his name was Ray and he’d noticed our PRAYER sign. “Would you pray for my mother? She’s dying of cancer.”
I asked, “Does she have a faith background?” “She was raised Catholic but she hasn’t been inside a church for years.”
We immediately gathered around him and prayed for his mother. When we finished he wiped his eyes. “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I’ve been so worried.”
I said, “Listen, we are nothing on our own. We simply approach God the Father through Jesus Christ and present our requests. It’s now in God’s hands. I think your mother is blessed to have a son who loves her as you do. May I ask you a personal question?” He nodded.
“If you were to die today, do you know where you’d go?”
“Truthfully, I don’t. I do believe in God, but that’s all.”
I invited him to sit with me on a nearby bench. “Ray, do you know why Jesus Christ came to earth?”
“To die for us?”
“That’s right! Jesus said, ‘I came to seek and to save the lost.’ The Bible tells us we are all lost because we are all sinners and deserve hell. Do you believe that’s true?”
He said, “I do—and I know I’m a sinner!”
“Would you like to know how to receive God’s forgiveness and be saved so you will know you’re going to heaven?” He nodded.
“Jesus has paid for your salvation already. All you need to do is receive that free gift and be willing to turn away from your sins and follow Him. Is this something you want to do?”
“Yes it is.”
As a strong wind picked up he prayed from his heart right on the beach promenade. Through tears he asked God to forgive his sins and to give him the power to turn away from future sin.
“Ray, you’ve not only received Jesus Christ’s forgiveness, you have also received the Holy Spirit’s power so that you will now have the desire and the ability to resist future sin. It’s your choice to exercise that power.” I invited him to church and suggested he get himself baptized as soon as possible.
Before he left I gave him a booklet by Bill Bright called Would You Like to Know God Personally? ( http://www.cru.org/training-and-growth/classics/would-you-like-to-know-god-personally/index.htm ) I suggested he go through it with his mother so that she too can have the assurance salvation.
He walked away happy, grateful and eager to share the good news with his mother.
- I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7
- For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
- Click to listen to John 3:16-18 put to music: