"I have but one passion - it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can most be used in winning souls for Christ."

Friday, May 9, 2008

"And Thy House..."

Tonight, I have a story to share with you all. I'm not fully informed on all the details, so forgive me, but I write of what I witnessed tonight during visitation.

The part of the story I do not know began 8 months ago. A young Mexican man got saved in Denver, Colorado. He was originally from here in Jimenez. Somehow over the past 8 months, he's gotten in touch with our church and asked us to pray for his family who lives here in Jimenez. So we've been praying for them for several months. Well, finally we found out where they live. And tonight we went to visit them. The following is a true story, a firsthand account of the work of God...

So we get to the address and their little shop on the corner is open. We go inside and meet a young man, Marco Antonio Hernandez. He appears around 18 and not too excited to see us. I can't figure out if he just woke up from a siesta or if he's just had a really boring day. Pastor Jose Luis walks up and pulls a Pepsi out of the fridge to buy. As he is paying, he tells him that we've heard from his relative in Colorado (I'm not sure if this guy was his brother or cousin or what). He says that his brother has met Jesus Christ as His personal Savior and that he wanted us at Iglesia Bautista La Fe to come and tell his family about his new Lord. Boy did that open the doors. So we stand there as Pastor Jose Luis explains to him the gospel and his need for this same Savior who saved his relative. I watched and listened as this young man's face changed from one of disinterest to one of great hope and understanding. When Pastor Jose Luis asked him if he wanted to receive Jesus as his Savior, there was no hesitation and an excited, "Si!" So he prayed a prayer of salvation right there in his family's little store. Praise the Lord! One down...

We then walked out of the store and around to the house side of the building. After knocking and waiting for a few minutes, a man came out of the house. Pastor Jose Luis told him why we were here and as soon as he mentioned his son's name, the man lit up and invited us in saying, "Mi casa es tu casa!" So we began to talk once again. This man was much more familiar with the Bible than his relative in the store. He would quote some of the verses along with Pastor Jose Luis. Pastor was happy to hear his familiarity with the Bible and began to question him whether he believed everything the Bible teaches. The man answered, "Yes, of course." "So then you believe that when you die, you will go to one of two places - to heaven, in the presence of our Lord, or to hell, a place prepared for Satan and his demons. Let me ask you then, if you were to die tonight, which of those places do you think you would go?" The man's expression changed to an embarrassed look, like a child who had just been caught in a lie: "Well, I have really sinned a lot. 'For all have sinned...', right? So I guess that I would have to go to hell." "Oh, but you don't!" Pastor said, with hope. He went on to share the reason for which Jesus died on the cross. Moments later, he asked the man, "Would you like to receive Jesus as your Savior?" "Well, yes I would." So he prayed the prayer of salvation right there in his own living room. Praise the Lord! Two down...

Pastor Jose Luis stood up from the couch, looking to me like an enthusiastic child ready to "go outside and play" again, and said, "Well then, let's go find your wife!" So the man gave him directions to another store where she was working. We arrived at that store to find a very hard woman with an irritated look on her face. "Oh boy," I thought, "This one's not gonna be so easy..." Pastor Jose Luis began to explain to her that we had heard from her son in Colorado and his desire for his family to receive Jesus the way he had done. She eyed him carefully, like a salesman trying to sell a phony product: "Well, I don't have time right now, I'm really busy..." So Pastor says, "OK, well what he wanted us to tell you is very simple. Basically, it's about our Savior Jesus Christ..." He went on, undeterred. I stood a few feet behiind him, praying that God would soften this lady's heart and give her an understanding of her need. When somebody would come in, he would stop talking and move out of the way, so that she could go on with her work. It didn't take long for him to explain things to her. Her answer was, "Well, I'm a Catholic, so I already know about Jesus." "Oh good," Pastor went on, "the only thing we're here to do is to tell you about Jesus. We're not trying to change your religion and make you a Baptist or anything, we just want you to know that Jesus wants to save you from your sin and be your personal Savior." So he made things quite simple. It was masterful how he led her using things she already believed in to an understanding that she needed to act on what Christ had done for her. He said, "Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?" "Well, yes," she said, really thinking through her answer. "Do you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and rose again the third day?" "Yes." "Do you believe that you are a sinner and cannot make it to heaven through your own efforts?" "Yes." "Do you believe that God is holy and must judge sins?" "Yes." "Then the Bible says this: 'If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.' Do you want to do that right now and receive Jesus as your Savior?" She paused. I could see her thinking logically through these truths of Scripture and considering her answer carefully: "Well... yes I do." She prayed the sinner's prayer with Pastor Jose Luis and we left the store with a lady with a smile and a pleasant expression on her face. Praise the Lord! One more family won for His kingdom...

At the end of this day, I had one verse ringing in my head: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house..." I had never seen this before. I have seen a whole family saved at once (on a previous trip to Mexico, in fact), but never like this - at three different times, all unaware that their other family members had also accepted. There was no way that their decisions could have affected each other's. I can only imagine the conversation going on tonight, as each one of them realizes that the other's had also received the same Savior, the same day. Praise God for His promises and His mighty power...

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