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Mister, I'll See You In Glory..................

Revival.....................................................

No One Witnessed To Me....................

You Can Know -- Born Again..............

What Is Really Important......................

March For Jesus.....................................

Amy Insisted We Try............................

It Is Never Too Late...............................

Who Would You Bring With You.......

God Provided The Way.........................

Study God's Word..................................

You Plus God Make A Majority...........

Liberated From Fear................................

Greatest Week Of My Life.....................

Sir, Do You Know Jesus........................

We Have Something To Celebrate.......

Mother Will Never Forget You.............

The Well Had Gone Dry........................

The Lord Quit For Me............................

I Was In Jail.............................................

Find Time For Your Children.................

I Was Destroying Myself......................

Nobody Told Me About Jesus............

I Saw The Flames Of Hell.......................

Super Star To Servant............................

Heaven Is Real........................................

All The Way............................................

Debbie......................................................

Love Makes A Difference.....................

I Was A Loner.........................................

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Section I - Chapters 1-4       Section II - Chapters 5-17       Section III - Chapters 18-25       Section IV - Chapters 26-30

EVANGELISM  FIRE -- Section I

TOP     1   

                            Chapter One                                       

 J. Fred Pinckard

                             MISTER, I'LL SEE YOU IN GLORY

 

      It was June, 1985.  My telephone rang.  I could tell the lady on the phone was crying.  It was Liz Carlton, a lady in my Sunday School Class.  She said, “Fred, my father-in-law is in the hospital dying of cancer and he is lost.” I said, “Liz, I’ll see him today or tomorrow.”  After I hung up the phone I thought, he may not be here tomorrow.  I told my wife, Amy, and we prayed

that God would do whatever He needed to do to save seventy-nine year old Carmack Carlton.

      Late that afternoon I drove from the farm to the hospital.  Liz’s husband, Friday, met me at the door.  He said, “Fred, I don’t believe he can stay awake to listen to you.”  I replied, “Friday, let me try.”  He agreed and introduced me to his dad.  I pulled a chair up next to his bed and began to share Jesus with him.   He was so weak, but as soon as I mentioned ‘Jesus’ his little eyes lit up and he listened to every word I said.  Just as soon as I gave him an opportunity, he asked Jesus to come into his heart, forgive his sins, and record his name in the Lamb’s Book Of Life.

       I didn’t linger with Carmack after he accepted the Lord for I knew he was tired and weak.  I just squeezed his hand and he squeezed mine back with all the strength he had, as if to say, thank you, thank you.  His son had moved over to the door to stop someone from coming into the room.  I walked over to the door and said, “Friday, you have a new brother in Christ.”  Well, you can imagine the joy that flooded his soul.  He said. “Fred, I’d like for you to meet Dad’s doctor, Dr. Coleman.”  Dr. Coleman said, “I know Mr. Pinckard.  His team was just in our church in a Lay-Led Revival.”  Dr. Coleman is a beautiful Christian who loves his patients.  He has a beautiful Christian family.

       I went back to see Carmack about two days later.  He had gained strength, and boy he wanted to talk about being saved!  They said everyone that came into that room he would tell how wonderful it was to be saved and on your way to heaven.  As quickly as I walked into the room, he said, “Where have you been?”  I have never met anyone so excited about being born again.  Man, that was just about all he wanted to talk about.  He told one of his daughters that he was sorry he didn’t get saved sooner.  He said, “I would have been a better father.”

       I visited Carmack again just two days before he died. As I started to walk out of the room, Carmack said, “I have something I want to share with you.”  He said “I lived a happy life, but I would not trade five minutes since I have been saved for all the rest.”  What a testimony to the transforming power of Jesus!

       In an earlier experience, I guess it was 1975, another couple from this same class had a fourteen-year-old daughter in the hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  I went to the hospital to visit this family.  Just as I parked my car a man came staggering up to me and I really thought he might be drinking.  But it was not alcohol – it was cancer that was causing him to stagger.  He said, “Mister, would you help me find my car?  I’ve got cancer, so a friend of mine from Crossville brought me down here to see my doctor and I can’t find his car.”  I told him I’d be glad to help him.  Then I added, “But after we find your car, I have something I want to share with you.”  He said, “That will be fine.”  So he took one row and I took another as we began to look for the car.  About that time his friend called from the other end of the parking lot and said he knew where the car was parked.

        I went back to where the man was standing, and in a few moments time I led him to the Lord.  I then went back to my car and got a tract to give him.  That done, I headed on up to the hospital.  I had walked about fifty yards from him when he hollered at me.  I looked back and he was still standing where he had been when I led him to the Lord.  As soon as he spoke, I could tell he was crying.  He was holding his right hand straight up in the air pointing toward heaven.  He said, “Mister, if I never see you again down here, I’ll see you in glory.”

       Before 1970 I would not have been able to share Jesus with either of these men.  I would like to share with you now what happened to change my life so I could.  I would like to also share with you the testimonies of other men and women in whose lives God has done far greater things than He has through my own.  Some of what you read here will be from testimonies given in Lay-Led Revivals during the past fifteen years.  The following one was shared in such a Lay-Led Revival:

 

************

 

       I’m Fred Pinckard, a chicken farmer from Cleveland, Tennessee.  In 1968 my wife came back from town one day and said, “Daddy. I just met a lady that used to go to Concord Baptist Church with us in Chattanooga.  She said they just had a revival that turned the church around.”  I asked, “What kind of revival did they have?”  She said, “They had a Lay-Led Revival.”  So I asked, “What is a Lay-Led Revival?”  She told me, “It is a revival where men like you share what the Lord has done in their lives and go out and witness to lost people.”

       She was so excited about that revival.  I went over and told my pastor and deacons about it.  My pastor said, “Would they come to our church?”  I said, “I don’t know.”  He said, “How about writing them and find out.”  This was in 1968.  About two years later that team was in our little church.

       We were running about one hundred in Sunday School at that time.  They wrote that we would not have to pay them anything to come but we would have to keep them in our homes and feed them while they were with us.  We had a hard time finding twenty people that wanted to take a stranger into their home, so Amy and I ended up with three of them in our home.  Donald Adcox from Hendersonville, North Carolina coordinated the revival.  In 1968 he was president of Baptist Laymen’s Witnessing Foundation of North Carolina.

       The team came in on Wednesday night.  One of the men shared his testimony in the church service.  It was a beautiful testimony.  At the close of the service that night they asked us to meet at the church at 9:30 a.m. the next morning.  They said, “We will share for thirty minutes together.  Then we will go visiting.  All you have to do is go with us, introduce us and pray for us.  We will do the talking.”

       My son, Philip, was seventeen years old at that time.  He and his mother and I, along with others from our church, met with the lay team at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.  After a beautiful sharing time we were paired up to go visiting.

Philip took the man he was paired with to witness to his grandfather.  His grandfather was eighty-three years old, a good moral man, but he had never committed his life to the Lord.  Philip didn’t want to go to heaven and his grandfather not be there.  He was really burdened for his grandfather.

       During the sharing time that afternoon, Neal Pyatt, a businessman from Asheville, North Carolina, got up and said, “Philip and I visited his grandfather this morning.  He didn’t accept the Lord, but I am claiming him (Mr. Renner) for the Lord.”  Then, the oldest deacon in our church got up with tears running down his cheeks and told about a son of his that was an alcoholic.  He said, “I’m afraid he is going to get killed driving to work every day from Dalton, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee, if he doesn’t make things right with the Lord.”  (Another man stood and claimed this son for the Lord.)

   By this time I began to think these men were making some wild claims.  For you see, I had poured whiskey out of a five- gallon jug when I was five years old.  And I had been drunk on home brew when I was seven.  I knew what alcohol could do.  But I didn’t know the commitment of this group of men.  Several of them went next door to the church and asked the lady if they could borrow her living room.  The got on their knees and prayed that God would do whatever he needed to do to save Morris (the son), and then they began visiting him.

  On Saturday afternoon I took a dentist to witness to my father-in-law, Philip’s grandfather.  He shared his personal testimony of how God used a man with a third grade education to change his life.  He shared how precious God’s word became to him and how there was now a compelling drive in his life to tell others about Jesus.  He quoted a few verses of scripture and then said, “Mr. Renner, may I pray for you?”  He then prayed a sinner’s prayer in my father-in-law’s name.  Philip’s grandfather was gloriously saved that day.  He was baptized, joined the church, and is alive and well today (1987) at ninety-nine years of age.

My mother-in-law died in 1962.  As far as I know, she had read the Bible to Mr. Renner every day.  My, how she could pray!  There was so much love and tenderness of Jesus in her prayers.  I am so sorry she didn’t live to see her husband saved, but I know she was rejoicing with the angels in heaven when he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.  God used the dentist to lead my father-in-law to the Lord, but he used my mother-in-law’s life to let her husband see Jesus every day and prepare him for this decision.

I had never been involved in anything like this revival.  We were really seeing the New Testament come alive.  It did not seem to matter which team member you were paired with.  They each just seemed to be the right one for the visit you were making.  God was not only doing a work in my life but in the life of every member of our church that was involved in visiting with these men.  Among the many things this revival taught me was that witnessing is better caught that taught.  It didn’t seem to matter if these men were educated or uneducated.  God took each of them and used them as an effective witness.  No two men witnessed exactly alike, yet the method they used seemed to fit their personality.  Basically, they shared their own personal testimony, then presented the plan of salvation plain and simple.  They used just enough scripture for a person to know exactly what to do to be saved.  Sometimes it might be only two or three verses, then again, it might be more.

Another thing that God has taught me over the ensuing years is that we really have to love the person we are witnessing to.  A lost person can tell just as soon as you speak if you really care.  If the lost person knows you really care, they will usually listen to whatever you have to say.  I watched these men.  They not only had love for one another and for us church members, but even more for those that were lost.  They simply went out under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and loved people into the kingdom of God.

 We had a heaven-sent revival.  Over thirty people were saved, but the alcoholic (Morris) was not one of them.  Wednesday night after the Sunday the revival ended, we just had a sharing time at our church.  The excited folks that had been involved in the revival began to get up and share what had happened in their lives.

 My wife, Amy, shared about a married couple in our community that was lost and how she had been burdened for them.  She and her prayer partner had taken a layman from Kentucky, Clarence Floyd, to witness to this couple.  She related how Clarence shared his testimony, presented the plan of salvation, and neither of then would accept the Lord.

 Clarence had said all he knew to say to them when he looked over to the side.  Standing next to the wall was their fourteen-year-old daughter with tears running down her cheeks.  God had really touched her.

 Clarence looked at her and said, “Honey, do you have something to say?”  She said, “I sure do.  Mother and Daddy, these people didn’t just happen to be here.  I’ve been praying that God would send somebody.  Do you have any idea what it is like to live in a home when the most precious thing in the world to you is Jesus, and not be able to talk to your mother and daddy about it?”  The daddy jumped up and ran out.  The mother was gloriously saved right there.

 The next morning at eight o’clock our phone rang.  It was that daddy on the other end of the line.  He said, “Fred, you can tell them over there at the church that I made it right with the Lord this morning at 2:00 a.m.”

 Remember that the Bible says, “. . . a little child shall lead them.”  

 

*** 

 

       Uncle Bert Starnes from Asheville, North Carolina had stayed in the home of one of our deacons.  That deacon stood and said, “Uncle Bert stayed in our home and he asked me if we had family devotions.”  I answered, “No.”  Uncle Bert then said, “If you have never heard your children pray, you have missed the greatest blessing in the world.”  Then, with tears running down his face, Roy said, “Now I have heard my children pray and it is the greatest blessing in the world.”

       Then a man got up that I didn’t know.  He said a few words and sat down.  In a few moments he got up again.  I had never met Morris, the alcoholic, but when he got up the second time I knew him.  I have never forgotten what he said.  “The old devil tried to keep me away from here tonight, but when I drove my car into the parking lot I could feel the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.”  Morris made things right with the Lord, joined the church and was baptized.  I was in that church two more years and every Sunday morning I walked out and hugged that old boy because to me he was a walking miracle!  Morris was later killed in a car wreck, but for the years till then he walked with the Lord. 

       On the Monday morning after the revival was over, we had about thirty thousand chicks hatching.  We were busy-busy-busy.  There were many things I needed to be doing at the office and back in the hatchery that day, but I didn’t have my mind on the hatchery.  I had seen the New Testament come alive and it had touched my life.  I just walked away from that business.  I went around the lake, crossed the dam, walked across the green fields and into the woods.  I sat on a stump.  Everything was so still and quiet, with nobody there but the Lord and me.  I said, “Lord, I’m tired of playing at being a Christian.  I’ll go where you want me to go and do what you want me to do.”

       The first thought the Lord put into my mind was, What about those devotions you were going to start in that chicken hatchery.  Many times I have sat in a church service on Sunday and determined in my heart that I was going to start devotions in my company.  When Monday morning came, the old devil would be sitting on my shoulder, saying, “How stupid can you be?  You start devotions and most of these people would walk out of here.”  I had several Japanese working for me.  Japanese do most of the chick sexing in this country.  Chick sexing is separating the boys from the girls when the chicks first hatch.   Some of these Japanese didn’t understand English and I was really concerned about their reactions.

       After I had this encounter with the Lord, I went back to the hatchery.  I called all the employees together and said, “Tomorrow morning at l0 a.m. we will have devotions.  I would like for all of you to be there the first day.  After that, you don’t have to come unless God leads you.  I explained they would only last for about ten minutes and everyone would be paid for the time.

       Well, they all showed up the first day but then I didn’t see any of the Japanese for about three weeks.  Then they began to come back, one at a time.  Pretty soon, all that understood English were coming.  I walked by where one of them was working one day and he reached out and got me by the arm, and stopped me.  He said, “You’ll never know what these devotions have meant to me.”  Tears were running down his cheeks.

       Time passed.  One day a business man here in Cleveland called me and said, “Fred, I was down at the airport in Atlanta.  I ran into a Japanese down there and when he found out I was from Cleveland, he said, ‘I know a man from Cleveland named Fred Pinckard.  He led my son to the Lord years ago and now my son is going around telling everyone about Jesus.’”  We had so many wonderful things happen as a result of those devotions.  God has used this to encourage other businessmen to start devotions in their companies.

 

*****

 

  I received a phone call one day from a lady and she said, “Mr. Pinckard, Carolyn Vinson’s twenty-two old brother has just been killed in a deer hunting accident.”  Then she said, “Carolyn is asking the question, ‘why-why’ and I believe God wants you to go talk to her.”  I got out of my old farm clothes, got my wife, and we drove over to Carolyn’s.  Carolyn was an attractive young lady, twenty-four years old, with two lovely children.  She welcomed us into her living room.

  I said, “Carolyn, let me ask you a question.  Was your brother a Christian?”  She said, “He sure was.”  I said, “Carolyn, if your brother was a Christian, we can stand on God’s Word.  God’s Word says, ‘My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give them eternal life.’  Again our Lord said, ‘verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.’”  I said, “Carolyn, let me share one more verse with you.  Our Lord was talking to Martha and He said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.’” I quoted each of these verses of scripture to Carolyn.

       I said, “Carolyn, let me tell you about a twenty-two year old that was staying in our home, dying of leukemia.  We would be walking across the yard and he (Donnie) would stop me and say, ‘Mr. Pinckard, isn’t Jesus wonderful?’  When it came time for Donnie to die, he called the doctors and the nurses in and asked them to cut off the oxygen and take the tubes away.  He said, ‘I don’t want a thing in this world attached to me when I go home to my Jesus.’  I said, Carolyn, he wrote a letter to be read at his funeral,” and I gave her that letter to read.

       Basically, what Donnie had said in the letter was, “I’m excited about going home to my Heavenly Father.”  Carolyn got her peace there that day, for she knew that her brother, too, had gone home to our dear Lord.

 

*****

 

       I don’t guess it was three weeks after that I heard on the radio that a good friend’s daughter had just been murdered.  I got my wife and we drove to the friend’s home.  We drove to a beautiful part of our city to a beautiful home.  I figured the place would be covered with people.  In fact, I felt foolish going because I thought there would be so many people there, but God had impressed me to go, so I didn’t have a choice.  There was nobody there but him and his wife!

       Our friend welcomed us into his lovely home.  When I was driving to my friend’s home, the old devil said, “What are you going to say in a situation like this?”  I thought, What can you say in a situation like this?  Then I remembered that the Bible says the Lord will give us the words to say if we are willing to go.

My friend shared with me that his daughter was a Christian.  I quoted the same scriptures to him that I had quoted to Carolyn.  I shared the same story about Donnie.  I shared many other things with my friend.  I was there for about an hour.  We had a revival there.  God just came into that room in such a beautiful way.  When I left, my friend hugged me as I have never been hugged before and said, “You will never know what this has meant to me.”

 

*** 

       It was a cold rainy night.  Our doorbell rang.  My wife answered the door and came back into the room, saying there was a young man at the door who needed help.  His car wouldn’t start.  It had flooded out on the highway.  My wife said, “Give him this coat when you go out there.  He’s wet and cold and has nothing on but a shirt.”  There she stood with one of my good coats.  I was more than glad to give it to him because I knew the Lord

had told her that was what we needed to do.  He was probably              about eighteen or twenty years of age.  We went out to the

hatchery to get the battery cables.  I began to share with him                  and learned that he was lost.  I said, “When we get your car

started, come back down here as I have something I want to              share.” 

       It was literally pouring rain.  We hooked the cables up and got the car started.  He was taking the cable off his car and I was taking it off mine.  As I was unhooking the cable, I thought, When you get this cable off, you will never see him again. He will hand you the other end of the battery cable and he will be gone.

       I turned to take the other end of the cable from him and he said, “Give me the cable, I’ll bring it back to the hatchery.”  I knew then that God was going to save him and He did.  In fact, the Holy Spirit took control the very moment Amy was impressed to give him the coat.

 

*****

 

       I was working in our front yard in my old farm clothes.  I had an old straw hat that was completely worn out, but it fit just right and I loved it.  It had turned brown inside and looked awful.  What I’m saying is, I really looked like a tramp.

       A beautiful young lady drove up in front of our house in a new Lincoln Mark IV.  She wanted to know where some land was located that was for sale in my end of the county.  She was in the real estate business.  I told her where the land was located and she was ready to drive away.

Quickly I said, “Precious, let me ask you a question.  Are you a Christian?”  She said, “No.”  I said, “Will you get out and sit on the cobblestone wall and give me five minutes of your time.”

       There was no reason for this beautiful lady to get out with this tramp, but she did, and in a few minutes time, she said, “How do I get this peace you are talking about?”  Shortly after that, she bowed her head and asked Jesus to come into her heart.

       There are lost people everywhere who need Jesus.

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 10    

                                                   Chapter Two                                                             

   Royal Ozier

                                                  REVIVAL

 

        I met Royal Ozier at a joint  meeting of the Home Mission Board and the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention in Memphis, Tennessee.  We met at Memphis State University.  About a year later we were in a Lay-Led Revival at First Baptist Church in Blytheville, Arkansas.  Amy and I stayed in Royal’s home.  How we grew to know and love this family!   Two months after the revival in his Church, Royal was helping us in lay-led revivals.  God has really used Royal in such a beautiful way.

   Royal had the same fears and doubts that you have if you have never witnessed to anyone.  I pray you will be able to see how God used him, fears and all, when he was willing to go and share Jesus with others.  I pray that this testimony will encourage you to become a witness for our dear Lord.  Royal shared the following testimony at an Evangelism Conference in l983:

 

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       If you have your Bibles, I want you to turn with me, please, to Isaiah 55:ll. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the things whereto I send it.”  This verse of scripture has meant so much to me in the last few years.

   Jim Gardner is my Sunday School teacher.  He is a lawyer.  He is a member of the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.  He invited several men from our church to attend a regional meeting of the Brotherhood Commission.  Jim came to me and said, “Royal, I believe the Lord would want you to go to Memphis and attend this meeting at Memphis State University.”

   I attended that meeting.  After listening to Fred Pinckard share what God was doing through Lay-Led Revivals around the county, I realized that we had to have a revival like that in our church.  I came back home and asked my pastor if we could have a Lay-Led Revival.  He agreed that we needed it.

   The revival was scheduled about one year later, April 4-8, l979.  My pastor asked me to serve as chairman of the Lay-Led Revival in our church.  The year passed so fast, I had trouble finding homes where the team members could stay.  Just to be on the safe side, I booked five rooms at the Ramada Inn.  There were twenty-six team members coming and we only had six people signed up to go visiting Thursday morning.

   The revival began on Wednesday night. The church was packed.  I could not believe my eyes.  They tell me we had a great service, but I was too worried and discouraged to enjoy it.  I was almost a defeated person.  Then something wonderful happened.

   Fred and Amy Pinckard stayed in our home.  When we walked into the living room after that Wednesday night service, Fred said, “Royal, what’s the problem?”  He could tell from the look on my face that I was hurting.  I shared everything with him.  I said, “I’ve done this and I’ve done that.”  Fred said, “Royal, I think I know what the problem is.  You have done too much.  What have you asked God to do?”  That hit me like you had put a hot poker to my heart.

   We just knelt in our living room that night, the four of us – Fred, Amy, my wife June and I.  I was so tired.  Fred prayed a very simple prayer.  I’ll never forget that prayer as long as I live.  He prayed, “Lord Jesus, you have heard my brother’s hurt and you have heard the problems.  There is nothing else we can do, but you brought us here this week, for revival.  Lord, we need at least twenty-six people to go visiting tomorrow.  My brother is hurting and he needs a good night’s sleep.  I pray that you will give him and June the best night’s sleep they have ever had.  Amen.”

   We went to bed.  My wife said, “Did you hear that prayer?”  I said, “Honey, I sure did, but there is one part of that prayer that will never be answered.  There is no way in the world I can go to sleep tonight.”  Folks, the next thing I can remember was the next morning and my wife was shaking me to get me awake.

   Thursday morning, twenty-six people showed up for visitation.  We matched the lay team one for one.  From that session forward, we never lacked for people to go visiting.  The Holy Spirit came down and just took control.   We had fifty-seven people saved in that revival.  We baptized over twenty-five people the first two weeks after the lay team left.  My Sunday School class increased from seven to eighteen.

   Thursday afternoon, things really began to happen.  People were being saved and our people were beginning to get excited.  I realized that I had never trusted God to perform the miracles that he could perform.  I had been trying to do too much myself.

   I took a paper and simply wrote the names of five people.  Four of the people on my list were lost and one was out of fellowship with the Lord.  I began to pray for them and I had Fred and others to pray for them.  I began claiming victory.  Before the month was over, I had the privilege of seeing four of these people baptized in our church.  Three of those men are now in my Sunday School Class.

   One Saturday afternoon, we had worked all week and I was really tired.  We would come to the Church at 9:30 a.m. and get home about 9:00 p.m., or later.  Fred knew that I had had a heart attack and late Saturday afternoon, he suggested we go to my home to rest for a while.  I thought that was a good idea.  I didn’t know how sneaky Fred was.

   When we got home……just the two of us in my living room……we were just talking and sharing with one another.  Fred said, “Royal, have you ever fully committed your life to the Lord?  Have you ever really given Him everything you have?  Your wife, your home, your family, your job, everything you have?”  I said, “Yes, Fred, I think I have.”  He said, “I have, too, but there is danger in that.  We do it one time and forget about it.  There has to be a moment by moment, day by day activity in our lives.”  He said, “You know, I really feel the need right now to recommit my life to the Lord and reconfirm my commitment to Him that I’ll go anywhere He wants me to go and do anything He wants me to do.”  We bowed our heads right there in my living room and Fred began to pray.  I can’t explain to you what happened, but I know that something wonderful happened in my life.

   Fred said something that really stirred my heart that afternoon.  He said, “Royal, if you want to go with us and work in lay revivals, there are three requirements that I think you should have.  First of all, you must know Jesus Christ personally.  You must have the assurance of your own salvation.  You must know that you have been born again and that you have eternal life.  There is no way you can share Jesus with others if you don’t personally know Him.  Secondly, you need to love your pastor, love your local church, and be active in your own church.  Thirdly, you must be involved in witnessing in your own hometown.”

   I knew I met the first two, but I did not meet the last one.  I had done everything in the church you could do, but I had failed in the most important task.  I never witnessed one on one.  I had never once in my life sat down with a person and shared the gospel and given them an invitation and prayed with them to receive Christ.  I knew if I were going to be serious about witnessing, the first place I needed to start was in my business.

   I had a young man who worked in the body shop who had really been on my heart.  He had really had a lot of problems in his life.  A couple of days after the lay led revival, I stopped him just as he came out of the body shop and said, “There is something I need to talk with you about.”  “What is it?”, he asked.  I said, “We had a lay led revival at our church and some beautiful things happened.  I would just like to come out and share them with you.”  He said, “I would like for you to.”  I said, “When could we do it?  What about tonight?”  He said, “That would be all right. Come by about eight o’clock.”

   Whew! I had all afternoon to think about it.  I got home, ate supper and my wife and I had prayer.  I got into the car.  I was scared to death.  I was shaking all over.  The closer I got to his house, the more my knees began to shake.  I could hardly hold the car in the road. I couldn’t go any farther.  I just pulled over to the side of the road.  I prayed and said, “Lord, if you want me to go over there, you are going to have to help me.  I’m scared to death.”  The Holy Spirit brought this verse of scripture to my mind.  “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love, and a sound mind.”  I said, “Lord, that is your word and it is true.  That means I don’t have to be afraid because I am going as your representative.  I am going with your Spirit’s anointing on me and I don’t have to be afraid.”  So I began to settle down.

   I got to his house knocked on the door.  He was waiting for me.  The Lord already had him prepared.  I began to share with him some of the marvelous things God had been doing.  I shared my own personal testimony with him.  I shared some scriptures with him.  I took a Four Spiritual Laws tract and shared it with him.  Then I said, “Would you like to be saved?”  His answer was, “More than anything else in the world.”

   We bowed our heads and I joined hands with him.  His little boy who had been patterning his life after Dad, came over and said, “Daddy, can I hold your hand too?”  He said, “Son, you sure can.”  His little boy had been putting his shoes by daddy and saying, “Daddy,I want to be just like you.”  We bowed our heads again and he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  He gave his son a real example to follow that day.

   Two days later, my phone rang and it was his wife on the phone.  She said, “Mr Ozier, I don’t know how I will ever be able to thank you.  We had already filed papers for a divorce and our home was breaking up.”  She continued, “Now God is putting it back together again.  I had been praying for five years that God would send someone.  Your coming and what God did was the answer to that prayer.”

   A few days later, a young man came by my office.  He had heard what God did in our Lay-Led Revival and what God was doing in my life.  He said, “Can I come in and talk to you?”  I said, “You surely can.”  I thought he had come to discuss some kind of business.  He said, “I need help, I’m hurting.”  He said, “I’m thirty-five years old.  I have tried everything there is to try.  I have made a million dollars.  My life is a wreck and I don’t know where to turn next.”  I said, “I don’t have any answers for you, but I know somebody who does.  I know somebody who can solve any problem you have.”  I began to share with that young man. I began to share the scripture with him, and it was ‘sharper than a two-edged sword’ that day, because it pierced right through his heart.  Before he left my office, we knelt in front of a couch there in my office and he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.  His life was really changed.  He is in church today serving the Lord.

 

*** 

 

We were in a Lay-Led Revival in Florida.  The pastor asked me to go visit a man.  He said, “I don’t want to alarm you, but he may not be receptive.”  We went to his home.  He came to the door but he would not let us in.  We stood there and talked to him through the door.  He finally began to open up and talk to me.  He said, “What in the world is a Ford dealer in Arkansas doing in Florida working in a revival meeting?”  That was all I needed.  I told him why I was there, what had happened in my life.

He began to be a little bit interested but he was so bitter.  He said, “Let me tell you what I think of the church.”  Folks, after a few minutes of talking to that man, I understood why he didn’t like the church.  It looked like a hopeless situation.  We were getting ready to leave and I was almost in the car.  He was so bitter.  He had so much hate bottled up inside of him.

Then he said, “Mr. Ozier, I want to tell you something before you leave.  He said, “I’m not through talking yet.”  He said, “I’ve had religion up to here.”  I said, “Tom, I don’t blame you.  I have too.”  I said, “If religion was all I had to offer you, I would have stayed at home in Arkansas, but I didn’t come here to talk to you about religion.”  He said, “If you didn’t come here to talk about religion, what did you come to talk about?”  I said, “I came to talk to you about Jesus and there is a great difference between Jesus and religion.”  He said, “But I don’t understand.”  I said, “Do you have a few minutes, Tom, so we can just go in and sit down where I can talk to you about my Savior?”   He said, “Yes, I do.”

We went into his living room and after about thirty minutes, I looked through the door into the kitchen and I saw his wife kneeling at the kitchen table praying.  Tom was about fifty years old and he had been raised a Catholic.  He was so confused about the gospel, but in about thirty minutes time, I took this blessed Bible and shared with him the scripture.  I shared my testimony and many other things with him.

Then I said, “Tom, could I do something for you?  I know you’re confused.  I know these things are going through your mind and I haven’t done a very good job of presenting the gospel.  But I would like to just kneel here by your chair and pray with you.”  He said, “I wish you would.”  I knelt and prayed and just as soon as I started praying, I could feel the Spirit of God moving in that room and in my life.  I didn’t have to wonder what to pray for or how to pray.  It seems like the words just came.  I began to intercede for Tom.  I said, “Lord, just please send the Holy Spirit right here right now.  Open up this man’s eyes so he can see the beauty of the gospel.  Let him see Jesus lifted up high, that He can come into his life and show him what the gospel is all about.”

As I concluded that prayer, I said, “Tom, would you like to be saved?”  He said, “Oh, yes, I would like to be saved.”  I said, “Would you like to pray the sinners prayer and receive Christ into your heart?”  He said, “Oh, I would like to, Mr.Ozier, but I don’t know how to pray.”  I said, “That’s all right, we will pray together.”  As we began to pray, he began to ask God to come into his life and he added, “Oh, Jesus, please forgive me.”  He said, “I know I have not lived a good life.”  Boy, before you knew it, he began to just roll the words out himself.  It was such a happy experience.  His wife came in and she hugged his neck.  It was so beautiful that day, just to be present when Tom was saved. 

***

 

  We were in Missouri in a Lay-Led Revival.  There was a young man about fifteen years old who came to see the pastor and said, “Would somebody please go to see my Grandpa and Grandma?”  Fred asked me to make that visit.  Grandma was at home, but Grandpa was fishing.  We made an appointment to go back that night.  When we went back, we went in and sat down. They had very little of this world’s goods.  I realized in talking to these people that they had never heard the gospel.  They had been to church twice in their lives, once at a wedding and once at a funeral.  I knew I needed to be real tender and to love them with all the love I could muster.  They needed somebody to love them into the Kingdom.

   I tried as best I could to love that couple.  We talked fishing.  I found out that she liked to quilt and we talked about quilting and this sort of thing.  I shared with her that when I was a little boy, I watched my mother quilt.  I spent about two hours with this couple presenting the plan of salvation in the tender love of Jesus.  I reached the point where they both said they would like to be saved.  I said, “Well, let’s go over to this little love seat.”   I noticed that they were reluctant to do so, but I didn’t have any idea why.  I got them on the love seat, and I said, “I cannot think of anything more beautiful than for Grandma and Grandpa to join hands and both pray at the same time and both of you go into the Kingdom together.”  So they did.  They bowed their heads and accepted Jesus.  They got up and he looked at her and she looked at him.  They hugged each other.  They were so happy, they cried and I cried.

   The next day at church, this same young man came running up to me and said, “Oh, let me hug your neck. Let me just thank you.  I want you to tell me exactly what happened.”  I began to tell him.  He was crying like you would not believe.  I said, “What’s wrong, Son?”  He said, “You don’t understand, Mr. Ozier.  My Grandma and Grandpa raised me.  They have not talked to each other for ten years.  I have to relay all communications to them.  When Grandma wants to say something to Grandpa, she goes through me, and then he goes through me.  When they get mad at each other, they fuss through me.  It is just terrible to live in a home like that.”

   “I knew something beautiful had happened this morning because Grandma got up this morning, put on a clean dress and cooked Grandpa’s breakfast for the first time in ten years.”  Folks, I want to tell you the answer to every problem we have in our home, in our work, anywhere, is Jesus.

 

***** 

 

   I was asked by a friend of mine to visit his mother at the nursing home.  I walked into her room, sat down in a chair, and began to share with her some of the beautiful things God had been doing in my life both at home and in some of the lay revivals I have attended.  We had a wonderful fellowship together just sharing with one another.  When I got ready to leave, I took her by the hand and had a word of prayer with her.  When I closed the prayer, I kissed her on the cheek and left the room.

  Now, the lady across the hall had been watching me all the time I was in that room.  As I started down the hall, she called me.  I went to the door of her room and she said, “Mister, I don’t have anybody to pray with me.”  I sat down and shared with her many of the same things I had shared with the other lady.  Then I took her by the hand and prayed with her.  After we prayed, I turned loose of her hand but she would not let go of my hand.  She looked up at me and said, “Mister, didn’t you forget something?”  I thought well, I have shared with her, prayed with her, what did I forget?  Then, it dawned on me.  I kissed her on the cheek very tenderly and she let go of my hand.  

*** 

 

   I went to Elizabethton, Tennessee on my first Lay-Led Revival as a team member.  On the airplane on the way over there, I prayed that God would let me see one person saved.  Two little teenage girls ran over to the church after school was out and wanted someone to go with them to a girls’ home.  This was a home for troubled girls.  These two girls had a little friend there who needed help.  This little girl, their friend Debbie, had never known the love of a mother and father.  Her mother had given her away when she was three or four years old.  She had been in all kinds of trouble.  Drugs, alcohol, jail – she had seen it all.  When I got there, she was cursing.  She told me to put my Bible in my pocket and leave.  She said there was no sense in me witnessing to her.

   I said, “Just let me share a few things with you.”  Why the Lord led me to share my Christian life and Christian home with a little girl who had that kind of bitterness, I don’t know, but I did.  As I shared, I began to see the Holy Spirit begin to mellow her.  Her attitude began to change from bitterness and hate-of-mother to one of sweetness and gentleness.  Oh how she hated her mother.  Finally, when it was all over and I asked her if she would like to become a Christian, she said, “I sure would, but I don’t know how.”  I said, “Precious, if you will bow your head, I’ll help you through the sinner’s prayer.”  We prayed and she accepted the Lord into her life.  After she had been born again, I felt I should pray for her mother and her family.  I prayed for her mother and she broke down and started crying.  Half-way through that prayer, I could hear her saying,  “Lord, help me to love my mother again.  Help me to love her again.”

  When we got through, she stood up and hugged my neck.  She nearly wrung my neck off.  She said, “Oh, God must be good, because if he sent you all the way from Arkansas to tell me about Jesus, He must love me a whole lot.”  I said, “He surely does, Honey.”  She hugged my neck again and said, “Will I ever hear from you again?”  I said, “yes, Precious, I am going home and buy a Bible and write you a letter.”

   She said, “You know, I just thought of something.  My mother is supposed to be here tonight.”  I said, “Would you please let me know the results of that visit?”  I added, “Would you do me one more favor?  When you see your mother coming, run and hug her neck.  Then tell her you love her because you now love Jesus.”  She said, “I will.”        

    There was another side that touched me.  I looked around and all those little girls who were in trouble were peeking out the windows looking at Debbie.  I have a question for you tonight.   How many Debbies are in your community, your city, that desperately need Jesus?  I have heard from Debbie.  She is getting out of the home and is being reunited with her mother.  They are going to start a new life together.  She is seventeen.  You see what God can do?  Jesus is not just the best answer to our problem.  He is the only answer to our problems.  He can take an impossible situation and turn it into a beautiful experience.  I thank God for those two little teenagers there in Elizabethton who were burdened for their friend, Debbie.

 

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19  

                            Chapter Three

     Robert Vass                                                               

NO ONE WITNESSED TO ME 

         

        We were in a Lay-Led Revival in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in April of l973.  This was a city-wide crusade.  Kendall Hatton, pastor of the Southern Baptist Church there in White Sulphur Springs, had gotten every church there to be a part of this revival with the exception of two churches.  There were Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, black churches and white churches united in this effort.  The revival services were held in a junior high school auditorium at night.  Then we would go out from different churches each day and witness to the lost.

        The day we met to go out from the White Sulphur Springs Baptist Church, a beautiful young lady in her early twenties stood with tears running down her cheeks and said, “Even though my husband is only thirty years of age, he is an alcoholic.  I want you to pray for him.”  That picture has flashed back in my mind so many times since that day Linda Vass stood there weeping for her lost husband.   

        Shortly after Robert Vass was saved, he and Linda were with us in a Lay-Led Revival in Florida.  They stayed in our home on their way to Florida and what a blessing they were.  Robert’s testimony will tell you how God used them in Florida.

        Since that revival, Robert has worked with us in many Lay-Led Revivals.  I can’t begin to tell you how many people Robert has led to the Lord by simply sharing with them what the Lord did for him and what He can do for them.  He has not taken a drink of alcohol since he was saved.  He has been chairman of the deacons in his church six times.  He takes all the vacation time he can get to work with us in Lay-Led Revivals.  He has called me almost every month since he has been saved to give a report on what the Lord is doing in his life.  Nearly every time he calls, he tells about someone he has led to the Lord.  Robert shared part of the following testimony in a Lay-Led Revival and part of it in an Evangelism Conference.

         

************

        One verse of scripture I would like to share with you tonight that means a whole lot in my life, is Acts 16:31.  “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house.”

        My father was killed when I was thirteen months old, so I didn’t know my dad.  Mom raised my older brother and me the best she could.  When I was twelve or fourteen years old, I took a switch away from Mom, and from that day on, she never tried to discipline me.  She would tell me right from wrong, but I went ahead and did what I wanted to do.  I started stealing cigarettes and beer when I was fourteen years of age.  From beer, I went to something stronger.

        I was not encouraged to go to church.  I was never taken to church as far as I know.  My only church background was that when I was fifteen years old, I liked a little blond-haired girl and she attended a Methodist church.  I started going to that church, but when I found out she didn’t like me, that was the end of that.

        My drinking continued.  I volunteered for the service so I would only have to serve two years instead of three.  Just about every day I was in the service, I drank.  I had met a girl about two years before I went into the service.  We were going together. We were in love.  I asked her to marry me and she did.  We went through service and we had one child.

        When I came out of the service, I drew unemployment.  I did the things I like to do—drinking, running around, going to car races, hunting, fishing.  I would take my wedding band and when I got low on money, I would pawn it to get me a fifth of whiskey when I was in the service.  I have been gone as long as four days at a time and my wife didn’t know where I was or who I was with.  I didn’t honor those wedding vows.  I did a lot of gambling.  That was just about the way I was living when I came out of the service.

        I got a job at Hercules, and I drank every day of my life.  I would take off on a weekend.  I had a fast car and sometimes I would drag race.  Several of my friends had four-wheel drive vehicles.  Fifteen or twenty of us would go up to this place in the mountains and party for the whole weekend.  That was what I liked to do.

        My wife had accepted Christ when she was twelve years old.  She served the Lord in her church until she met me.  She loved me so she followed me to beer joints.  She never told me about Christ.  I guess she knew I would not listen.  Every few months she would take our boy and go to Sunday School and church.  That didn’t bother me because I’d go to the beer joints at one o’clock and drink beer with people that had been in church at twelve o’clock.  I thought if they’ve got what you call Christianity, I don’t want it.  I’ve got the same thing they have got.  I’m just as good as they are.  I don’t’ have to go down to that church.  I don’t have to get dressed up.  So that was what my life was.

        January of l973, there was a layman, Dr. Finley Baird came to the White Sulphur Springs Baptist Church.  He was going to be sharing in that church over the weekend.  Word got around that he used to drive a race car and I’m a race car fan.  There were about seventy-five kids on the street where I lived and they were talking about this man.  I thought it would be kind of nice to go listen to him talk about stock car racing, but if I’ve got to go to Church, forget it.

        There was a precious woman who lived next door to us.  Her husband was a deacon in the White Sulphur Springs Baptist Church.  She invited and encouraged my wife to go to this revival.  My wife went on Friday night.  Linda came home on Friday night and said, “You should go up there and hear what that man has got to say.”  I said, “Did he talk about stock car racing?  I don’t want to hear a word he has got to say.”  Well, she went back on Saturday night.  She came back even more excited.  She said, “I wish you would just go and listen to this man.”

        I said, “Linda, shut up.  I don’t want to listen to a word you’ve got to say.”  I wouldn’t listen to a preacher on the radio.  I wouldn’t watch one on TV.  I wouldn’t let one in my door if I knew he was a preacher.  I went to work on Sunday morning and came home on Sunday afternoon.  My wife was sitting on the couch.  When I walked in the door, I noticed she had a different look on her face.  My nickname is Bubbles.  She looked at me and said, “Bubbles I have something to tell you.”  I said, “What’s that?”  She said, “I rededicated my life to the Lord today.  I ant to follow Jesus Christ all the way.  I want to put Him first in my life.”  I said, “You tell that bunch of so and so’s up there at that Baptist Church I don’t want them down here bugging me.  Do you understand?”  She started crying.  I said, “If you don’t tell them to keep away from my door, I’ll tell them when they get here.”  She said, “I’m sure they won’t be down here bugging you.”

        From that day on, my wife started going to Church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.  When she was at the house, she was always reading the Bible.  She was going around the house either singing or humming a hymn.  She had bought me a gun cabinet for Christmas, and I could see her in the kitchen through the glass of that gun cabinet as I sat there watching TV.  She would be reading the Bible.  I said to myself, “What can she find so interesting in that Bible?”

        I got the Bible out to see what it said about adultery, drinking, stealing, cheating.  I closed it up and said, “Man, I don’t want a thing to do with this book.”  But yet that Bible was consuming her.  She changed.  It was like living with a different woman.  We had been married for about twelve years at that time.  It was like having a new wife around the house.  I would try to pick an argument out of her and she would come back with something nice and kind and loving to me.  She would not argue with me anymore.  I couldn’t understand that.

        I became jealous of her going to church.  One Wednesday night I said, “Linda, if you walk out this door to go to that church, I’ll whip you within an inch of your life.”  I’m sorry to say that I have hit my wife.  God has forgiven me and she has too.  Linda looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Robert, I love you more than I have ever loved you in my life, but I have to go to church.  When I made that commitment to the Lord, I meant business.  I have no choice.  I have to go.”  God spoke to me at that very moment and said, “You lay a hand on her and I’ll strike you dead.”  I stepped aside and said, “You go ahead.”

        She came home from prayer meeting one Wednesday night and I said, “Who are you all praying for?”  She said, “You are one of them.  When we have a prayer meeting, we pray for you.”  I said, “I don’t need your prayers.”  And I cursed her for praying, but deep down inside, I wanted her prayers.  You see, I was being brought under conviction and I was fighting it.

        She came back from church one day and said, “We’re going to have a Lay-Led Revival.”  I said, “What in the world is a ‘Lay-Led Revival”?  She said, “There’s a group of lay people, men and women that come at their own expense and go out with us and share Jesus with people.  We are going to have fifty to one hundred people coming to town.”  The first words ha came out of my mouth were “My God, that’s one for each home.”  I knew one of those dudes would be coming to see me.

        I tried to get a vacation so I could be out of town.  There were no vacation dates open.  I kept right on drinking.  I came home drunk one night and said, “Linda, I tell you one thing, if I ever join the church it will not be in the town of White Sulphur Springs.  I won’t do like the rest of those hypocrites in this town.  I’ll go over to Rupert, West Virginia where I was born and raised.  I’ll join the church over there where my friends are.”  I never had a friend over there at Rupert, West Virginia that belonged to the church.  That was just drunk-talk.  She never said anything.  I went on to bed.

        Two days later was payday.  I went over and picked up my check and started drinking.  I went on home and called a friend of mine and said, “What are you going to be doing today?”  He aid, “I’m going down to Alderson, West Virginia and pick up a hog at the slaughter house.  Do you want to go?”  I said, “Yeah, I’ll call the plant and tell them I’m sick and I’ll meet you in half an hour.”  I called the plant and told them I was sick.  I was supposed to work three to eleven p.m. that day.  Just as I hung the phone up, Linda came and said, “The preacher wants to see you.”  So, I set my beer down on the table and walked in the living room.  Linda’s pastor, Kendall Hatton, was there with another preacher, Herb Slaughter.  I had met Kendall but not the other preacher.

        Kendall said, “What are you getting ready to do, Bubbles?”  I said, “I’m getting ready to go to work.  I don’t have time to talk to you.”  I lied to the man.  Herb Slaughter said, “Give us five minutes.”  I said, “All right five minutes is all you have got.”  He said, “Robert, what do you like to do?”  I said, “I like to drink and hunt, drink and fish, drink and go to the stock car races, drink and run around with my friends and have a good time, that’s what I like to do.” 

        He said, “Bubbles, you might be the type of person to say if you ever join the church, it won’t be in a town of hypocrites.  If I ever join the church, I’ll be the best Christian that ever walked in a church.”  I looked at Herb and grinned a little bit and said, “Yeah, I believe I said those things a few nights ago.”  He said, “Bubbles, you can’t do it.  You have got to turn your life over to Christ and let Him do it.”  I said, “I would like to talk to you a little bit longer, but I’ve got to go to work.”  They said, “Can we have prayer?” and I said, “Yes.”  They prayed and then left.  I looked at Linda and said, “How come you told that preacher what I said the other night?”  She said, “I’ve never met that preacher before.”  I said, “How did he know what I said?”  She said, “The Lord told him.”  I said, “The Lord –- bull.”

        I got in the car and stopped at the next store and got a fifth of whiskey.  Had me a glass of ice and fixed me a drink.  When I hit the Interstate #64, I put that road runner on one hundred and forty miles per hour.  I drove it just as fast coming back home.

        A few days later, that Lay-Led Revival started on Sunday Morning.  This was April, l973.  A friend of mine and I got off from work at 3:00 p.m. that Sunday.  We drank and played poker until 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  I came home.  I took a shower, called the plant and said, “I’ll be one hour late.”  I got to work.  Boy, did I have a terrible hang over.  I felt so bad.  I couldn’t wait until 3:00 p.m.  I said, “What made e sick will make me well.”  I wanted some more to drink.  I got off at 3:00 p.m., stopped at a place and drank beer until 6:00 p.m.  I got home about 6:45 p.m.  Linda said, “Since you are here, you can watch Dale.  I’m going to the revival.”  I said, “You go ahead.”

        She left and I took my clothes off and put on a pair of Bermuda shorts, sat down and started to watch TV.  That didn’t appeal to me.  I felt so bad I was just miserable.  I went in and laid down across the bed and picked up an old dirty book I had and started reading it.  That didn’t help.  I just felt so bad, I didn’t know what to do.

        I heard a knock on the door.  I got up and looked around the corner and there was my next door neighbor, who is a deacon in the White Sulphur Springs Baptist Church, with a man I didn’t know.  The old devil said, “All right, get your answers ready.  They are going to come in here and try to run a bunch of religion down your throat.”

        I invited them in just out of courtesy to my next door neighbor.  He introduced this man.  His name was John Gould from Liverpool, England.  He had taken his income tax return money and paid his way to the United States to help in Lay Revivals for one month.  White Sulphur was his last stop.  He had to leave the next day.

        John shared with me that he was saved at an early age.  He asked me, “What do you like t do in life?”  Once again, I said, “Drink and hunt, drink and fish, drink and go to stock car races, drink and have a good time;” about the same thing I had told Herb and Kendall.  He said, “Bubbles, you might be the type that would be jealous of your wife going to church.”  I said, “No, it doesn’t bother me.”  I lied to the man.  He said, “You might watch hypocrites and let them keep you out of church.”  I said, “No, let them do their own thing.”  But I lied.  I knew them and I judged them.

        These Englishmen have different sayings.  He said, “We just got through with a fortnight revival.  Bubbles, do you know what a fortnight is?”  I said, “No”.  He said, “A fortnight is two weeks.  We say a fortnight even though you say two weeks.  Bubbles, I want to ask you another question, When you drink, do you get with Mary?”  I looked at him and said, “What did you say?”  He said, “When you drink, do you get with Mary?”  I sat back in my chair and I got to thinking, What bar maid named Mary did I know.  I didn’t know any girl named Mary at that time.  I had a blank look on my face and Bob said, “I believe he means, when you drink do you get happy?”  I let out a big sigh of relief and said, “Yeah, I get happy.”  I thought the man knew something I didn’t know.  They call it getting with merry over there. 

He said, “Robert, if you died right now, where would you go?”  I said real brave-like, “I’d go to  hell.”  He said, “Do you want to go to hell?”  I said, “No, I don’t think anybody in their right mind would want to die and go to hell.”  I sounded brave, but deep down inside, I was so scared of dying it was pitiful.   He went through the plan of salvation.  He told me exactly who Jesus Christ was.  Then he said, “Robert, would you like to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior?”  I was so nervous I couldn’t hold my cigarette, so I laid it down.  He handed me a tract with the sinners’  prayer on it.  He said, “Read that silently.”  I read it.  Then he said, “Will you bow your head and pray that prayer and really mean it?”  I said, “Yes sir, I will.”

 I asked God to forgive my sins and asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and be Lord and Master.  I meant it with all my heart.  It was like someone took the weight of the whole world off my chest.  I never laughed, I never cried, but I knew I was saved.  Each of the men prayed, thanking God for saving me.  John Gould still had hold of my hand when Linda walked in the door.  He put his arm around Linda and said, “Oh, Linda, Bubbles has accepted the Lord.”  The very moment he put his arm around Linda, I would have knocked him through the door, but he was hanging onto my right hand.  That’s how fast the old devil got back into my life.  The men left.

Linda sat down and said, “There were fourteen hundred people there tonight.”  I said, “So?”  She said, “There were over one hundred people who came forward to make a decision for Christ.”  She said, “How long have they been here?”  I said, “Two hours.”  She said, “You act like you are mad.”  I said, “No, I’m not mad.”  She said, “We can’t even talk.”  I said, “We don’t have anything to talk about

        I got up and went on in and lay down on the bed.  The devil started talking to me. “You can’t be a Christian.  You like to drink too much, smoke too much, and you curse too much.  Your friends are going to laugh at you and besides, you are scared to death of Church.”  That was true.  I was scared to death of church.  I had been in one bar room brawl after another.  I have scars on the back of my head where I’ve been hit with lead pipes.  I’ve had knives and guns pulled on me and I was not scared in those beer joints, but I was of a church.  So I struggled with all of this.

        It’s funny that we can be married to someone for a long time and not be able to communicate.  I came home on Wednesday night and I finally broke down in front of Linda.  I said, “Linda, I’m scared to death of church.”  It hurt my pride to tell her that.  She said, “I’ve known that for a long time, Bubbles.”  I said, “You have?”  She said, “Yes, I have known that.  I could tell you were scared.”  She read some verses from John.  I got up and went in and lay down on the bed.  She came in and said, “Do you want me to pray for you?”  I had too much pride to say yes.  I said, “You can if you want to.”  I had never heard my wife pray.

        She got n her knees by the bed and took my hand.  She prayed that God would give me the strength and courage I needed now that I had accepted Him.  She prayed that God would take care of all my hang-ups and fears.  I can’t tell you what that prayer did for me.

        I got up and put my clothes back on.  I went into the kitchen and helped her make forty-eight sandwiches.  The church was to feed the laymen the next day.  We really had a good time.  We got to bed about 3:00 a.m. We got up the next morning and Linda said, “Will you go tonight?”  I said, “Maybe.”  The phone rang and they said, “We need a man to work from three to eleven.”  I said, “I’m your man.”  I got out of going that night.

        I came in from Friday afternoon and she asked me again if I would go to the revival with her.  I said, “I don’t have but one black suit and it’s dirty.”  She said, “I had it cleaned.”   I said, “I don’t have a wide tie like they wear today.  All of mine are those little narrow ones.”  She said, “I bought you one today.”  “Well, I don’t have a shirt to wear with it”.  I said.  She said, “I got you one.”  I said, “Linda, you sing in the choir and I’m scared to go by myself.”  She said, “I won’t sing in the choir tonight.”  She didn’t press me.  She went on to the revival.  Boy, she came home that night so excited about what God had done.  She told me about all the people that had been saved.

        I got up Saturday morning and I ordered four tires for that road runner.  I had Mag wheels and I wanted to change them myself.  I had told Linda I was going to that revival Saturday night.  Boy it was a beautiful day and I felt so good.  I went out to change the tires.  I pulled them off.  Those tires were just as slick as glass.  There were sunken places as big as a quarter and the tubes were sticking through.  The same tires I had driven on at one hundred and forty mile per hour about five days before.  Linda looked at those tires and said, “The Lord has been riding with you.”  I said, “Somebody has.”  She said it was the Lord.  I changed the tires.  

        The closer it got to seven o’clock, the scareder I got.  I could no t have said my name if someone had asked me to.  I knew I had to make a public profession of faith and be baptized, but I was so scared.  They said there were fourteen hundred people in the service that night.  I thought all fourteen hundred people stopped talking when I walked in and said, “Here is old Bubbles Vass, this building is going to fall down.”  I didn’t look to the right or to the left.  I saw two empty chairs and headed straight to them and sat down.

        As I sat there I started watching the laymen.  I saw these men that had not seen each other for some time come up and hug each other around the neck.  I thought to myself, if one of those men come back here and hugs me, I’m going to hit him for it is not natural for a man to hug a man.  I could see love and I saw joy in their faces.  They were so happy.

        The services started.  A lady doctor from Princeton, West Virginia, Dr. Jane Duremdes got up and shared how Christ had been so real in her life.  How He had helped her in so many ways.  Then a Black Angus bull farmer from Kentucky got up and shared many beautiful things God was doing in his life.  I looked at my watch and it was ten minutes until nine.  I knew they gave the invitation about nine o’clock.  I said, “I’m going to watch these people tonight when they make a public profession of faith.”  I didn’t know what you did.  I thought you had to go down and answer lots of questions and man, I didn’t have any answers.  I didn’t know any scriptures so I thought, “I’ll

Watch tonight and go forward tomorrow night.”  Then I said, “No, I’ll not go tomorrow night because there will be too many people here.  I will wait and go with my wife to her Church on Wednesday night.”  I had heard my wife say not too many Christians come to church on Sunday night or on Wednesday night.  I had often wondered why, because if God is good enough to love on Sunday morning, He should be good enough to love on Sunday and Wednesday nights.

        When the bull farmer gave the invitation that night, he shared this story.  The devil called all his little imps together and said, “We are getting too many Christians in the world, so what are we going to do?”  One little imp said, “We’ll burn all the churches.”  “That won’t help.  They’ll go out into the fields and parks and worship.”  Another said, “We’ll burn all the Bibles.”  The devil said, “That won’t do any good.  They have memorized so much scripture they can preach without the Bible.”    Satan himself spoke up and said, “I’ll tell you what to do.  We will go out through the whole world and tell t them to put it off until tomorrow – put it off until tomorrow”.  That was exactly what I was thinking.  Oh, that really struck me.

        They stood up and started singing “Amazing Grace.”  The invitation was to come forward if you wanted to receive Christ or if you had already received Christ and wanted to make that decision public, or if you needed to rededicate your life to the Lord.  Whatever you need to do, come forward at this very moment.

        I looked at Linda and said, “I want to go.”  She said, “Go”.  I leaned forward but could not move I was so scared.  For the second time in my life, I called on the Lord.  I said, “Lord give me the strength and the courage to make this public.”  The Lord walked me out first of all those.  I could only say, “Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Jesus.” 

        I have drunk so much alcohol in my life, and as a young person, I went to marijuana.  I have drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana trying to get kicks out of life.  All the alcohol and marijuana I have used could never compare to the joy I had when I made that public profession.  

        They took us in a back room and shared with us some more, gave us a Bible and prayed with us.  I hugged a man and have been hugging them ever since.

        I went back to that revival on Sunday night and I said, “Lord, I would love to go out and tell people about Jesus.”  They gave in invitation that night to commit your life totally to the Lord.  I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I made that commitment.  I said, “Lord, I really want to follow you and tell others about you.”

        I joined the White Sulphur Springs Baptist Church.  My son and I were baptized at the same time.  I went to work that night and when I came home I was working on my car.  I said, “I’ m going to quit smoking, it’s just not right.  I look at it this way – Now Jesus lives inside of me.  Every time I take a draw on a cigarette, it’s like I crowd Him out.  He never smoked, so I don’t think I need to smoke either.”      

        At 3:00 p.m. the following Monday, I had an opportunity to tell somebody about Jesus.  My mother came down to the house.  She said, “Bubbles, you have got to do this and Bubbles, you have got to do that,” I said, “Mom, I know what I’ve got to do.  I’ve got to share Jesus Christ with you.  I didn’t know any scriptures but I knew how to use that little tract.  I said, “Mom, I know if I should die right now, I would go to heaven.  I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Mom, if you should die, I don’t know where you would go.  What is your relationship with Jesus?’  She said, “I accepted Christ when your Dad was shot and killed.  I have been baptized but I strayed away.”  I said, “Mom, would you like to recommit your life to Jesus?  Give Him everything?”  She bowed her head and prayed the prayer.  She also came and made her decision public.  She became a member of our church.

        I was telling people about Jesus, but right after Mom prayed that prayer, I let a cigarette.  I poured the alcohol out the night I was saved, but I was smoking more than ever before.  One day I was standing over at the plant where I work, witnessing to a group of men I ran around with and drank with before I was saved.  They said, “You have really changed.  We will have you straightened out when we get these cigarettes out of your life.”  I walked back and handed that pack of cigarettes to my friend, John Fox.

        I said, “Lord, if you want me to stop smoking, you will have to stop me.  I can’t.”  I replaced that pack of cigarettes with a little Bible.  Every time I wanted a cigarette, I’d reach and get that little Bible.  There were times when I almost pulled that Bible out and lit, but praise God, I never did light another cigarette.  Every time I reached to that pocket, I touched God’s Word.

        I shared Acts 16:31 with you earlier.  I not only saw my mother come back to the Lord, I led my brother to the Lord, two uncles, two aunts, and one brother-in-law.  Those friends I was talking about – I had the privilege of leading seven of them to the Lord.  I don’t take credit for any of this.  I don’t have any power.  Christ has done it all.

        Five months after I was saved, my pastor, Kendall Hatton, asked me if I would go with the Lay Team to First Baptist Church, Wewahitchka, Florida, September 19-23, 1973.  I said, “Sure, I’ll go.”  I asked for a week’s vacation.  The old devil came to me and said, “You are going down there to tell people about Jesus, aren’t you?”  I said, “Yes.”  He said, “You don’t know how to tell people about Jesus.  How much scripture do you know?”  I said, “I don’t know much scripture.”  He said, “That’s right, you don’t.”  I said, “Well maybe I’d better not go.”  He said, “That’s right, you’d better not.”

        I told Linda I wasn’t going to that revival.  I said, “The Lord doesn’t want me there.”  Linda said, “The Lord will have you there if He wants you there.”  I told Kendall.  He said, “If the Lord wants you to go, you’ll go.”

        Well, on Tuesday, September 18, 1973 we drove to Cleveland, Tennessee and spent the night with Fred and Amy Pinckard.  We saw so much of the love of Jesus in that home.  The next day, we drove on to the revival in Florida.  The first day we went out, I led the town drunk to the Lord.  I saw twelve people saved in that revival.  But, oh, how the revival touched me.  I fell in love all over again with Jesus, to see Him, through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, reach down and save men and let us be present when it happened.  Linda and I will never forget that revival.

        Another time, we had just come back from a Lay Revival in Greenville, South Carolina where I had led my brother to the Lord.  I went down to the service station to get some tires put on my car.  Dean Reynolds, a man from my church, was with me.  A man walked in.  I could smell alcohol on his breath.  His name was Marvin Osborn.  A man pulled in driving a Firebird and it was sitting there idling when Marvin said, “I used to be a mechanic and could tune one of these cares where it would spin a wheel in fourth gear.”  He said, “They will really run.”

        I said, “Marvin, I used to have a car that would spin a wheel in fourth gear, but I got rid of it.”  He said, “What did you do, wreck it?”  I said, “No, man, I got saved and God changed me and I traded it off.  Let me tell you about Jesus.”  He said, “Oh, I know about God.”  I said, “That’s wonderful.  I know President Ford.”  Boy, that really lit him up!  He said, “You do?’  I said, “Yeah, I see him on TV and in the paper, but I don’t know him personally.”  I said, “Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savior?”  He dropped his head and said, “No.”  I shared my testimony with him.  This was the first time I could remember leaving that little testament at home.  I reached for it and it wasn’t there.  I thought, “God, give me the scripture I need.”  God always comes through!  We started sharing scriptures with Marvin.  There was not a man in that station but Marvin, Dean Reynolds and myself.  About that time, there came one of the hardest rainstorms you have ever seen.  There were about nine people who pulled into the gas pumps at the same time.  All of them got out of their cars and came into that station.  The telephone started ringing.  I said, “Dean, answer the phone.”  Dean answered the phone and came running back.  He didn’t want to miss anything.

        I said, “Marvin, I don’t want to embarrass you, but I’m going to bow my head and extend my hand.  When I start praying, if you want Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you reach out ant take my hand.”  As I started praying, he reached out and took my hand and I led him in a sinner’s prayer.  Tears just rolled down his face.  He just wept!  Marvin said, “I never thought I would do anything like this when I pulled into this station.  Oh, it is good to run into young men like you and your buddy over there that tell people about Jesus.  I’ve been a pretty rough man in my life.”

        About that time his wife walked in.  I stepped up to her and said, “Precious, do you belong to that good looking man over there?”  She said, “I sure do!”  I said, “Do you know that just happened to him?”  She said, “I don’t.”  I said, “He just gave his life to Jesus Christ.  He has been saved”

        I said, “Sweetheart, do you know Jesus?”  Tears came in her eyes and she said, “I accepted Him years ago but I have strayed away.”  I said, “Sweetheart, Marvin is going to need help right now.  He is going to need a Christian wife to go along with him and to strengthen him.  You could be that strength to him.  Would you like to recommit your life to Christ?”  She said, “I sure would!”  All those people were standing in that station.  That didn’t bother her.  She bowed her head and prayed a prayer with me.  She recommitted her life to Christ.  Then we shared some more scripture with her.

        About that time our pastor came into the station.  He had been looking for us.  He wanted to know what happened in the Lay Revival in Greenville, South Carolina where we had just been.  I said, “Marvin tell the pastor what just happened to you.”  He said, “Man, we have been saved!”

        When we got in the car to leave, Marvin stood there waving at us with tears just flowing down his face.  I said to Dean, “Isn’t it great that he saw Jesus and you and me?”

 

        My pastor got a letter addressed to White Sulphur Springs Baptist Church from a man that said he was an alcoholic and needed help.  The pastor gave the letter to me and I asked Dean Reynolds to go with me to visit this man.  Dean was a member of our church that God had delivered from a drinking problem just as I had been.

        We went to share Jesus with Charles Gibson.  This was on New Years Eve.   We prayed that this might be the night Charles would give his heart and life to Jesus.  This man didn’t know the pastor’s name, so he had addressed his letter to the church.  Charles took us up to his room.  Dean and I shared with him that we had been where he was and we knew what God could do.  We each shared our testimony with him.  We shared scripture with him.  Then that important moment came when Charles Gibson gave his heart and life to Jesus.  He came that very night to our church and made a public profession of faith.  He was baptized the following Sunday.

*** 

        Duke Bowman, a state trooper that works with this lay team, had witnessed to a young man named Clark.  Clark lived over in the next county.  Duke shared his testimony and some scripture with Clark, even talked to him about the rapture, but Clark didn’t accept the Lord.  But what Duke shared lit a spark in Clark’s heart.  He went out and bought a Bible.  He went to some of the Christian people at the plant where he worked and said, “Man, I need to be saved.”  They couldn’t tell him how.  People that had been in church, in Sunday school, professing to be Christians, couldn’t tell Clark how to be saved.

        Dave Patterson heard about Clark.  He came to our church for a fellowship dinner and said, “Let’s go see Clark.”  I said, “Praise the Lord, let’s go!”  We had to drive about forty miles.  We found Clark at home and God had him ready.  He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, and with tears in his eyes, he said, “Come back tomorrow night and share with my wife, Nancy.  I said, we’ll be glad to.”

        We drove that forty miles again Thursday night to share with Nancy.  Clark was really glad to see us.  He welcomed us in and just stood in the background as I sat down to share with his wife.  I reached the point and said to Nancy, “Would you like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”  She said, “I sure would.”  We bowed our heads and I led here in the sinners’ prayer.  I looked up at Clark and you could see the joy on his face, and I knew he really wanted to come over and hug her.  So I stood up and said, “Clark, why don’t you come over and sit with your wife?”  He hugged her and said, “Our marriage is going to be great now.”

        They joined a church there where they lived and were baptized.  They were baptized in a river in January, and folds, it gets cold in West Virginia in January!  But Clark didn’t want to wait until warm weather to be baptized.

        One of the men shared tonight about building his own home.  I started on my home last fall and haven’t finished that thing yet!  I have been asked to go more and share more since I started that home.  That home is sitting up there right now.  We haven’t moved in it and I don’t know if we will ever move in it.  I had rather go tell someone about Jesus that to be up there driving nails so we can get moved in.  You know, it’s funny.  No more than I make, we are still paying rent and house payments at the same time, and still giving all my tithe.  God is a great mathematician.  Boy, He can take it all and stretch it and stretch it and stretch it!

        In closing, I pray that if you have never been saved, that you will not be as rebellious as I was.  I pray that you will accept Jesus at this very moment.  If you are a Christian, then begin to share our dear Lord with others.  There are people out there you can reach that no one else can.  God bless you as you go!

*****

  

        To the many young people that read this book who are involved in drugs and alcohol, I simply say to you that the same Jesus that saved Robert can save you.  I have received permission from Campus Crusade For Christ to print the prayer that Robert prayed from the little tract, The Four Spiritual Laws.

        Praying this prayer will not do any good unless you really mean it.  If you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and really let Him be Lord of your life, He can deliver you from anything.  Then find a caring church where God’s Word is preached.  Join that church and follow our Lord in believers baptism, then begin to tell people about Jesus.  Telling people about Jesus will keep you in God’s Word and on your knees, and it will protect you from Satan.  Don’t put it off until tomorrow.  There may not be a tomorrow.  Accept Jesus today and let him transform your life.  Pray the following prayer, as Robert did, and mean it with all your heart, mind and soul.

 

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I Need You.  Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins.   I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Take control of the throne of my life.  Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”  

              

This prayer reprinted by permission.

Copyright Campus Crusade for Christ, Inc., 1965

All rights reserved.  

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34   

                                      Chapter Four                     

 Bob Lambert

                                              

                           BORN AGAIN – YOU CAN KNOW

 

        Bob Lambert loves the Lord and seeks to walk with Him daily.  He has hidden much of God’s Word in his heart.  He searched a long time before he really got things settled with the Lord, but from that day forward, his one goal has been to share Jesus with others.  He has been a part of this lay team since we were in his church in l974.  He and his wife have really been a blessing to this team.  They are both gifted Bible teachers and counselors.  God has sent many hurting people knocking on their door that needed spiritual help.

                Bob shared the first testimony in a Lay-Led Revival at Westwood Baptist Church, Cleveland, Tennessee in March of 1985, and the second testimony at Bayne Memorial Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia in March of 1977. 

*****

        For many years I didn’t know the Lord, even though I was a church member.  It was not anyone’s fault but my own.  I had "I " problems and you know "I " problems will keep you from hearing the Lord.  I tried to come to the Lord a lot of times on my own terms but nothing ever happened.  Then one night, eleven years ago, I came on His terms and He did exactly what He said He would do.

        You know, a lay team had come to my church about that time -- some of the same group that is here tonight -- Brother Fred and some of the others.  I had an opportunity to see something in them that spoke to my heart.  So I got serious with the Lord.  That was in March, 1974.  In April, they were going to Panama City, Florida for a Lay-Led Revival.  Brother Fred invited me to go with them.  I thought about it, prayed about it and felt led to go.

        I was in the business of selling farm equipment.  A big man walked into my place about a week before we were to go to Panama City.  He had moved to our area from Kentucky.  He began to tell me all the things he wanted to buy that I sold.  Then he said, “But I’ve got a little problem.  I don’t have any money.”  Then he explained to me he was selling his farm in Kentucky and he hadn’t gotten all that worked out.  He said he didn’t have any ‘arrangements’ made in Athens.

        I said, “Do you want me to go to the bank with you to help make arrangements about this equipment?”  He said, “I would be glad if you would.”  So we set a time.  I believe it was to be the next Monday afternoon at one o’clock.

        Monday afternoon, I picked him up and we headed for the bank.  On the way to the bank he began to tell me, “Boy, we had a lot of excitement around our house this week.  My boy wants to study for the ministry.  He had a physical examination a few days ago and had a positive reaction to the TB test.  As it turned out, the reaction was from a cleaning compound we used in the dairy and not a TB reaction.”

        Well, we made our arrangements at the bank.  Going back to his house, I said, “So you are a --------,” and I called the name of the denomination he had mentioned.  He said, “No, I am nothing.”  I said, “You don’t go to church?”  That is easier than asking, “You are lost?”  At least it was then.  He said, “No, I’m not anything.”

        I hadn’t been saved but about a month and that was all I could think to say to him.  On the way home, we didn’t have very far to go, I didn’t know how to talk to the fellow, but I knew what the Lord had done in my life and I just told him.  When got to his house he said he was waiting on a phone call about his truck and needed to go.  He got out of the car and went into the house.  

        I drove over to a little county store and got my lunch....a Coke and some cheese crackers.  Back in my car, I drove away from the store to eat my lunch.  The Lord seemed to say to me then, “Are you going to Panama City?”  I thought that was strange for I had been talking to the Lord about it for nearly a month.

 I said, “Well Lord, I thought that is what you wanted me to do.”  He said, “What are you going to do down there?”  I said, “I’m going down there to witness to lost people.”  You know what He said? “Why did you leave that lost man back there?”

        I didn’t have much choice; I had to go back.  When I drove up in his yard, I didn’t know what I was going to say to that fellow.  I bowed my head and prayed that the Lord would give me what I needed to say.  I looked up and he was on the porch looking at me.  He invited me in and said, “Did you forget something?”  I said, “Yes, I have something else I want to say to you.”

        He welcomed me in.  He was a great big old fellow and he had a great big chair and a small one.  I knew which one was for me!  I sat, then said, “If I knew your house was going to burn down and I didn’t tell you about it, you wouldn’t think much of me, would you?”  He said, “No, I wouldn’t.”  I said, “Sir, I know something worse that’s going to happen to you and I need to talk to you about it.”  He said, “All right,” and he settled down to listen.  I shared some scripture verses with him. Then, I said to my friend, “How long can you hold your breath?”  He said, “About a minute, I guess.”  “What would happen to you then if you couldn’t get your breath?”  He said, “Well, I would die.”

At that point we just worked right on in to the scriptures and the fact that every man is going to die.  The Bible says there will be a time appointed unto man once to die and after this, the judgement.  I had marked a small testament that I had begun to carry in my pocket so I could move from verse to verse in presenting the way to God directly from God’s Own Word.  As I shared with him, he was very attentive.  I finally said, “Would you like to know the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior and have your sins forgiven here today?  Do you believe He can save you right here, right now?”  He said, “I sure do.”  Then that big man got on his knees and opened his heart to the Lord!

        I went back to see him after he was saved.  His son met me out front and said, “I don’t know what you did to my daddy, but you got him shook up!  He has the preacher coming over here once a week, teaching him the Bible.”  I praise the Lord for what He did in that man’s life.

        My wife and I were going to Knoxville, Tennessee to make arrangements about some tickets for a group of people we were going to take to India on a mission trip.  I had been fooling around for about six weeks with some folks in another state who didn’t seem to know what airplanes were going to India.  I couldn’t seem to get anything out of them and it was time for us to have it worked out.  I had to try somewhere else.

        I looked in the Knoxville telephone directory and found several travel agencies listed.  I just picked one and I called that agency.  I got a girl there who was as sharp as a tack.  You could tell she knew what was going on.  She answered my questions.  I told her that I would try to come to Knoxville on Tuesday.  I was not able to go Tuesday, but I told my wife I had to go Wednesday.   She said, “I’ll go with you.”

        Wednesday morning, my wife and I drove from Athens, Tennessee to Knoxville.  There were about seven desks in the office with ladies behind them, just as busy as they could be selling travel tickets.  I was directed to Denise King.  She was a very attractive, very intelligent girl.  She had the first desk.  My wife and I sat down there at her desk and we began to work out details.  She knew exactly what we needed.  She was a professional.  She also had a little accent.  I said, “Denise, what is your nationality?”  She said, “I am from Australia.  I came here a few years ago.  I married a boy and moved here to this country.”

        We talked a little more and I said, “Denise, do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?”  She looked at me kind of funny and said, “I’m a member of the Church of England.”  Now, we had been to England and worked some in the Church of England, so I was familiar with what they believed.  She said, “I guess you would say I’m a Christian who has not been born again.”

        I said, “Denise, a man came into my office one day.  He told me who he was and what he was selling. Then he said, ‘I hear you are a Christian.’ I just took that to be a sales pitch.  We talked a little bit and I said, ‘What Church are you in?’  He said, ‘I’m in the Episcopal church over in Nashville.  I travel all over the Eastern United States, but I make it my business to be back in that church every Sunday.  I’ve been singing in the choir for years and years and years'.”

        “I said, ‘I’ve got some friends who are in the Episcopal church.  As a matter of fact, there is another farm equipment salesman who comes by here who knows a lot about the church, but I’m afraid he doesn’t know the Lord.’  He said, ‘You know, I may be just like your friend.  I just finished reading the book Born Again, by Chuck Colson, and I saw myself in a lot of places in that book.  I wonder if we could talk about it sometime?’  ‘Sure,’ I replied, ‘How about now?’  He hesitated as he glanced at his watch, then said, ‘Well, it’s about your lunch time and I don’t want to interfere.  I’ll just come back later.’  I assured him lunch was not big deal for me and we could go across the hall to a private room and talk while Ann, my secretary, had her lunch.  He agreed.”

        “As we walked into the little conference room I said to him, ‘I don’t know Abraham Lincoln, but I know a lot of things about him that probably his closest friends didn’t know.  Yet, the advantage they had over me is they knew him and I didn’t.’  He jumped right on that and said, ‘I love history and I know all about Lincoln.’  I said, ‘Well, I’m not talking about Lincoln—I’m talking about knowing him.  We want to talk about Jesus and there is a lot of difference in knowing about Jesus Christ and knowing Him'.”

        “We proceeded from there.  He began to tell me all the reasons why he couldn’t do this and he couldn’t do that.  He said he had a very bad problem with cursing.  He often gave his customers a fifth of whiskey to keep their favor.  He didn’t know how he could handle these and other things. I said, ‘I’m not talking about what you can and can’t do. I’m talking about a relationship between you and the Lord Jesus Christ.'"

 “I always carried a little testament in my pocket, so I took it out.  In fact, it was so worn and stained and small that he later referred to it as that ‘little worn-out Bible.’  To each argument, it seemed the Lord would direct me to just the appropriate scripture.  Finally I said, ‘Brother, you don’t have a promise that you will get back on the highway down there.  You may die before you can get back to that highway.  I’m talking about right now.  Are you willing right now to turn your heart and life and soul over to the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Savior?'"

 “He said, ‘I don’t guess a man will ever get ready, will he?’  I said, ‘No, you will never get ready.  You just come to a place where you will.’  He said, “I will.'" 

 Denise, he got down on his knees right there in that room, tears just streaming down his face, and he asked the Lord to forgive his sins, to save him, to come and live in his life.  Then he got up from there and walked into the office where my secretary was, put his arm around her and said, “Bob just helped me to be born again.”  When I looked back at Denise, she had great big glasses on that sat on her cheeks and the water was brimming in the bottom of those glasses.  My wife was sitting there with me and she thought we had better take Denise to lunch so we would have a private place.  You know, Denise didn’t know anybody else was in that room.  God was dealing with her.  I said, “What about you, Denise, would you like to have Him?”  She said, “I surely would.”  There in that busy place, Denise came to surrender her life to the Lord.  I mean she really did.  She is one of those who walks in it.

 We left there.  My wife was jumping up and down.  Well, I was too!  Then I said to Footy, y wife), “You know, there was some reason why I didn’t come here on Tuesday, but I forgot to ask her what it might have been.”  I had gotten held up all day Tuesday, remember?

I talked with Denise on the phone a few days later.  She said, “You know,  when you all left, I had to tell someone.  Last year the girl who sat at the desk next to me handled some business for me that I was too busy to handle.  A Baptist preacher was going to take some missionaries down to Guatemala and he wanted me to handle the trip and I couldn’t.  I turned it over to her.  While she was taking care of his need for those tickets, he told her about Jesus Christ and she was saved.  I have seen her life just so changed.  She doesn’t work in this office anymore.  When you left, I knew I had to tell someone and I thought about her.  I went to a phone to call her and just as I started to dial, she walked in the door.  I embraced her and told her what happened.”  I spoke again and said, Denise, we were coming Tuesday.” She said, “I don’t work on Tuesdays.”

        See how God worked all of that out?  What I’m saying to you is that God puts it all together.  If you take a spider web and put it close enough to your eye, you can see only one cross road.  That’s about the way we live.  But let me tell you something, that web has thousands of little crossroads.  There are little crossroads that God is putting together in everything that He does in our lives.

        When we go in the name and the power of the Lord Jesus Christ…..not lifting up self…..not trying to prove anything…..not in our own wisdom as Paul said…..but in the demonstration of the Spirit  and power, it is all in His hands.  Sometimes we are not going to see anything happen except that seed is planted, but sometimes we are going to see a flower open and we get to see it blossom and bloom.

        I wish I had more time to tell what has happened in Denise’s life.  But I want to encourage you with that.  Go!  Just go!  Just go and tell what God has done in your life!  Tell some personal experiences---your own private miracles.  Nobody can refute that.  Nobody can tell you that you are off base or that your theology is wrong when you tell them what Jesus Christ has done in your life, and I promise you that you will see fruit.

        God bless you as you go!

*****

 

We were in a Lay-Led Revival in a church in Albany, Georgia, March 2-6, 1977.  Bob Lambert shared the following testimony in that revival:

 

        There is a prayer that changed my life.  I am going to share that prayer with you tonight.  I’m going to ask you before this week is over to let the Lord bring you to the place where, if you haven’t prayed that prayer, you will pray it and really mean it.  It will change your life as well.

        I heard a pastor, at a time when I was really searching, say if you want something to really happen in your life, you pray this prayer, “ Lord, do anything you need to do in my life in order to do everything you want to do through my life”. When we heard that, some said, “I can’t pray that prayer”, but I was hungry and I prayed it and God changed me.  I promise you, if you have never done that, you do it and He will change your life, if you mean business.”

        I would like to share two verses of scripture with you from Colossians 2:9: “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” and Colossians 2:10: “And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.”  I doubt if there is a one of us here tonight who does not want to be complete.

        Now, I want to share with you something from my own life that I hope will be meaningful to you.  When I was about twelve years old, some of the young men were going fishing.  They invited me to go.  I was a little tag-along and I didn’t think my mother would let me go, but she said she would.  We got our fishing tackle together for this all-night fishing trip.  We got in an old army truck and drove as far as we could down a ridge through the woods on an old logging road over in Alabama where my home was.  Coming to the end of this road, we got out and walked down a hill  into a swampy marshy area with a lot of undergrowth.  A lot of cane was growing like you have here.  We came to the banks of a large creek.

        We baited our hooks, set the poles and began to catch fish.  We built a big fire and had the radio playing.  We had spread a blanket on the ground and everything was going great.  This little boy was really having a good time with the big boys.

        We fished there until sometime in the early hours of the night.  Then it began to sprinkle rain.  I didn’t want to acknowledge the rain and the others seemed not to, so we pretended it wasn’t raining and went on with our fishing.  Finally, the rain was heavy enough that one of the boys spread this old blanket up on some vines and we got under it.  We sat there thinking the rain would soon stop.  Then a big drop of rain came down the side of my face.  I wiped it off and another drop ran down the other side of my face.  This pattern continued.  It is a miserable thing to have rain running down your face like that and you have to keep trying to wipe it off.  

        We came to our senses and decided the thing to do was to leave.  We started out in the dark to our truck.  We walked into the night single file.  I was the last one in line.  It was as dark as it could be.  We came to a log that crossed the trail we were trying to follow.  I was so small, I had to climb over it.  I climbed over this log and followed along in single file for a long time, I would say for at least an hour.  Finally, I had to climb over another log and when I did, I recognized it as the same log we had crossed before.  We were back in this same place!

        The fellow in front of me stopped and began a little hushed conversation with the others.  I realized something was wrong.  Then one said something about being lost.  As I thought of that, something just went through me.  LOST!  Here we were and it was dark.  For the first time I could hear those owls hooting down there in that swamp.  I had had a lot of security in those fellows and now, here they were lost!  There was no security there anymore!  At that moment, fishing wasn’t any fun anymore.

        You know, I didn’t realize it then, but I look back now and I see that we didn’t just get lost when we crossed that log the second time.  We had been lost all the time we were fishing, ever since it got dark.  We were just as lost then as we could be, but we didn’t know it.

        We had been having fun, but it was not fun anymore.  We began to redouble our efforts to try to find our way out.  Again, we started off in single file through the swamp.  We probably walked two hours this time.  We never did cross that same log again, and we finally came to some higher ground.  If you are out in the woods in the dark at night, you can’t tell which way the higher ground goes.  So, we wandered around at the base of the hill for a while and then began to detect the way up and we knew we were climbing.  All this time, it had been raining.  We were soaking wet.  It was a miserable time.  The fishing trip was not fun anymore.

        We got up on top of the ridge, but we couldn’t find the truck.  In failure, we sat down under the blanket again and there we stayed all the rest of the night.  We sat there until light came, and there, within sight, was the truck.  It had not moved.  It was exactly where we left it.  We had tried hard to find it, but until the light came, we didn’t see the truck.

        Do you see what I’m saying?  I’m saying this to you because most of my life I had been fishing.  Even after I began looking, for five months I stumbled around trying to find high ground, but I never found it until the Light came.  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”

        I joined the Church when I was twelve years old, but I was not saved.  I grew up and married a fine lady while I was in college.  We both graduated from Auburn University.  We started our family.  I began a business there in Alabama.

        I had heard my wife and children say many times we would never want to leave there where we lived in Alabama.  A few years ago, we started to take our family on a trip to Northern Canada.  We got to the airport in New York.  Because of a traffic delay, we were about ten minutes late to get on our flight.  The plane had not left but they would not let us on.  There were no more reservations in Canada for two weeks and no way to get to Canada that day.  We had four children at that time.  I had spent a lot on this trip.  I was frustrated.  I was a self-willed person.  I considered myself a self-made person.  Material things were my God.  I wouldn’t have confessed that to you because I didn’t recognize it, and I can assure you I would have been very offended if you had told me that a few years ago.  I look back now, though, and see that truly that is the way it was.

        In determination not to be defeated, I asked my children if they would like to go to Hawaii.  Their comment was, after they got over the initial shock, “Well, Daddy, we just have winter clothes.”  I said, “I know we do, but we just won’t wear them all.”  We went to Hawaii and had a wonderful time.

        I share that with you just to say one thing.  My wife and children came to me several times and said, “You know we could really enjoy living here.”  I passed that off because I knew we were not going to be living in Hawaii, but I didn’t have any concept that a supernatural God had changed our destination five thousand miles from where I intended to go, in order to prepare my family for a move that I didn’t know we were going to make, to a place I had never heard of.

        Immediately after coming back from this trip, this business I had, began to come apart.  People began to leave.  One thing and another began to happen.  My security was shaken.  I became desperate.  Instead of being an asset, it became a liability.  I began to look around.  At the same time, a lot of things happened that I see now and know were not just a coincidence.  The company I represented offered me the state of Tennessee to represent them in.  Never had they offered two states to one individual before.  They had said to me, “You own an airplane, you can fly to Tennessee.  You can establish a business and go there one day a week.  You won’t have to move.” Everything sounded very good.

        I looked at the potential in Tennessee and it looked really good.  I established my business in Athens, Tennessee.  I went there to spend my day-a-week, but my day became a week, and then two weeks.  My wife came to visit about a month before school started five years ago, and she said, “Listen, if you are going to be here so much, maybe we ought to move here.”  Well, that was just a joke to me.  But we looked around a little bit and within a month, we lived there.”

        The day after we arrived, we went to town to buy some furniture.  I didn’t know one furniture store from another.  We walked by several but finally we turned into one. There, in about ten minutes time, the proprietor had invited my wife and me to bring our family and spend Labor Day with him and some friends over at a lake cottage that he had.  Now in my lifetime, I had been to a lot of lake parties and I didn’t know what we were being invited to.  This looked like a pretty good man.  And there was one catch.  He said, “Come to church tomorrow and I will tell you how to get there.” I would have been in church anyway.  I was a church going man.  I was a regular member of a church.  I was a deacon, and a tither.  To my knowledge, I had been about everything you can be in a church except the preacher.

        We went to this lake party and had a good time.  We picnicked, water-skied and boated.  He must have had thirty people there; one other family like us, total strangers in that community.  Now I never invited strangers to my holidays.  Those were my private times, where I kicked off my shoes.  But, here was a man who had never seen me before, but invited me to come and spend a holiday with him.

        That day while we were there, no one ever said anything to me about Christ.  I can assure you I was on my best behavior that day.  It was a year later before I knew that this man had commented to another man, about me, and said, “I believe he is lost.”  I didn’t know that God’s Holy Spirit would discern this and tell this man, but He did.  Nobody said anything to me about Christ that day, but I said to my wife when we got home, “We have been with some people today who have something I don’t have.  Whatever it is, I need it.”  Really, as I thought about it, it was what I had been looking for all my life.  

        There was a time in my life when I sought real peace, happiness and joy.  As I saw it, this would come from my material possessions, my ability to accumulate that wealth that would allow me to have that peace and happiness.  I never suspected that I could find it in a relationship with Christ, but I saw it was real in these people.  

        I had reached the point in my life where I had about decided that it was not real, so I watched these people, thinking that maybe I was seeing a mask.  But they reached out to us in a great deal of love.  They invited us into their homes.  They came to see us.  They had took us places with them.  Everything was on a very high plane.  There was not any hanky-panky in their lives at all.  I didn’t see perfection, but I saw complete honesty.  I saw people who had nothing to hide.  They were not ashamed.  They were what they were, and I needed that!  

        One day we were talking about salvation.  I was in my Sunday School Class.  That same man was there.  I said, “I hope I’m saved.”  He said, “You hope you are saved?”  I said, “I surely do.”  He said, “You don‘t know it?”  My reply was, “No, and furthermore I don’t believe a man can now that.”  What he didn’t say was like screaming in my ear.  I went home and told my wife, “I know the difference.”

        I went and bought a Bible.  Now I had lots of Bibles.  I had been raised with Bibles.  I bought a Living Bible, which I thought would help me understand, and it did.  I seldom use the Living Bible as a study Bible, but it helped me to understand some things then.  There was a verse that I thought I had heard somewhere way back, “You will find me when you search for me with all your heart”.

        I began to search.  I didn’t know who it was, but now I know God’s Holy Spirit began to reveal to me the truth.  I went to the Bible, not to find what was wrong, but to find the truth, if there is a truth.  As I sought the truth, God began to reveal it to me.  I can’t tell you that as soon as He did, I reached out to get some of it.  I was a selfish man and even though I had a gentle nature usually, yet I was clinging to the material things that would make my life and my family’s life what I thought we wanted to be.  

        There came a period of about six months in my life during this search that was a miserable time. I was blaming everybody and everything for it.  I don’t know how my wife stayed with me during this time.  I was miserable.  

        Then God began to deal with me.  He had me to a point where I could listen.  He said to me one day, “Take an inventory of yourself.”  How many times had God spoken to me before?  I don’t know.  Many times, I’ve walked into my house as my children looked at TV.  I would speak to them and go on in.  Their mother would say to them, “Is your daddy home?”  They would not know whether dad was home, because they had me tuned out.  Well, I had had God tuned out, but now I was ready to tune in.  He said for me to take that inventory and I did.

        I was so delighted because there were things there now that I could not have claimed at one time.  I had worked so hard to clean up my life even before this.  I could proudly say, “Lord, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t curse, I’m faithful to my wife, I go to church, I give to the church, I try to be a good neighbor, a good friend, and a good parent.”  I know my attitude said, “Lord, why don’t you give me a good pat on the back?”

        He said, “What about that big house you are going to have?”  I thought about the spiral staircase I was going to put in that house.  I hadn’t thought about that in my inventory.  I said, “Lord, what’s wrong with a big house?”  He said, “What about all that travel you are going to do?”  I thought about Treetops in Africa where I wanted to go.  I thought about a big old brown bear I wanted to kill in Alaska.  There were many other places I thought about that I wanted to go.

                Defiantly, I said, “What’s wrong with travel?”  “What about all the material things, the security you are laying up for your children?” He seemed to say.  I was very defensive by then and I said, “What’s wrong with that?”  So gently He seemed to say, “Nothing my son, if I give them to you, but I told you in my word, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you’.  I know your need for food, clothing and shelter.  I know every hair on your head.  You don’t know that.  I take care of the lilies, I take care of the sparrows.  I can take care of you when you are ready.  But you have your hands so full of what you can get for yourself that you don’t have a hand, to take what I have for you.”

        Well, you know, I thought He was saying to me, “You take all you have accumulated and you go out and sell it and you give the money to the poor.  You dress in sackcloth and ashes for a while and then you go off to the jungles somewhere to be a missionary, a preacher, or something like that.”  I didn’t want to be a preacher.  I didn’t want to be a missionary.  I really didn’t want to give up anything I had.  I just wanted some more!  I was still selfish.  So, in my mind, I just walked away.

        For about three days I stayed away.  During this time, God revealed to me….in my mind’s eye….thousands of polished marble tombstones that I had seen down through my life, each bearing a name and date.  Each one represented a person who one day was flesh and blood like I am, who had the same needs and wants and cares and desires that I have.  But to not one of them are the material things they accumulated in the world important today.  He seemed to ask me, “What is going to be important to you one hundred years from today?”  I thought about my wife, my children, who I can’t hold onto.  I thought about my little business and the things I had accumulated, and I realized I couldn’t hold on to them.

        On Friday night, I believe it was, I got down on my knees beside my bed and said, “Lord, I’ve been playing church a long time, but I’m not playing anymore.  I’m as serious as I know how to be with You tonight.  For the first time in my life I am willing for you to be first in my life, ahead of my wife, my five children, my business, these cars, the house, all the security I have.  I’m willing, Lord, to do whatever you ask me to do with this life.  I’ll go where You want me to go, anytime, and do anything You want me to do.  Just give me the strength to do it.”

        I continued, “Lord, I’ve already cleaned up my life the best I know how.  I know I can’t do any better with it.  You are going to have to add something to what I’m able to do.”  Then, almost as an afterthought, I said, “Lord, maybe I’m a fool.  I may be the biggest fool in McMinn County, but if I’m a fool, I’m a fool.  I’m casting my lot with You!”  Then, it was as if I said, “Lord, I don’t know what difference this is going to make.  Tomorrow I know I’ve got to get up and go to work.  I’ve got to get up and put on my clothes, drive the car down the road, and those things.  I don’t see what difference You are going to make in it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you just took a sheet of paper and for a whole month, gave me a schedule of what we are going to do.”  Then, as quickly as the thought came, He said, “That’s not faith.”  So I said, “Lord, I’m not coming in my great understanding.  There’s a lot I don’t understand.  But you said to come in simple faith, and that’s the way I am coming.”

        Folks, I can tell you I got in that bed, and that night, for the first time in five months I slept more soundly than I could ever remember.  When I awoke the next morning, there was a pink haze filling the room and I couldn’t remember where I was.  I had been so soundly asleep that I didn’t know the room I was in!  After about a minute’s time I realized I was in my own room, my own bed.  Then there came to me a certain realization – you have been born again!  Your name is in the Lamb’s Book Of Life!  You are My child!

        I don’t know how to express it, but I can tell you this.  Not one second since that time nearly four years ago (twelve today) has there been the slightest question in my mind but that when God calls me home, if it’s before we leave this place tonight, I’m going home to be with Him.  Not because of my worthiness.  Not because of all the cleaning up I did.  But because I came face to face with the Savior on His terms.  I had reached out to God through my good life, through my education, through good morals and a clean righteous life.  Never did I reach Him.  But as He reached down to me through His son, Jesus Christ, I came to have a personal relationship with Him that has not changed a moment, and never will throughout all eternity.  I praise Him for that!

        Five years ago I would not have considered sharing my faith with a group like this.  Tonight though, it is my greatest pleasure, in the hope that there may be someone here who doesn’t know Christ as their own personal Savior.

        There have been many things that have happened in my life that I wish I had time to share with you tonight.  To mention one or two, there was a young girl from Chile who came to stay in our home for six weeks.  We prayed before she came that God would send us a little lost girl.  About a week before she was to arrive, we got a call from New Jersey saying there was another girl that was in a bad situation up there that needed to come and stay three months.  She would leave the day before my daughter was going to marry, and my wife didn’t know if she could handle this last-minute change.  We did consent, though.

        The girl, Maria, got to our home, unable to communicate in English.  My daughter was taking Spanish and they could speak a few words together, but she could not talk with anyone else in the family.  As we went into our family devotion time, we read the Bible and prayed but she only came and sat.  She couldn’t understand a word we were saying, but God’s Spirit began to work in her little life.  We got her a Spanish Bible.  As she began to read it, she finally came to the point where, as we prayed, she would pray in Spanish.  Little by little, as the Spirit began to work in her life, He brought her to the point where one day she came to accept Christ as her personal Savior.

        We had prayed that she would be saved and go back to Chile to be a missionary among her people.  The first thing she began to talk about after she was saved was her own family.  She thought her grandmother knew Christ but her mother and father did not.  She wanted to go back and tell them.  That is being a missionary to one’s own family.

        If Maria had come to our home five years earlier she would have met some church people but she wouldn’t have seen Christ here.  She may have never been saved.  But, by the grace of God, she came in His time and He drew her to Himself.

        I remember a few months after I was saved I needed to go to Alabama on business.  I went to the airport late one afternoon and got in the airplane at just about six o’clock.  Darkness would come about seven, which meant I would be flying part of the way in the night.  I got in the airplane really needing to go because the next day I was going to a Lay-Led Revival in West Virginia.  The airplane wouldn’t start.  The engine wouldn’t even turn over--I tried it!  I had flown it just recently.  By this time it was too late for a mechanic to be at the airport, but I went to the hangar and one was still there.  He went down and told me what was wrong.  He said, “Come back tomorrow and we will work on it.  It will take about three days.”  I said, “I can’t wait three days.  I need the airplane to use again tomorrow.”  He said, Come in the morning and we will see what we can do.”

        I turned and went home.  Normally, I would have had a temper fit.  I didn’t have one then, because I knew that somehow God didn’t want me to go to Alabama that night.  My wife was working in the yard when I got home.  It was dusk dark.  I told her the problem.  We went into the house.  We did a few things.  Somebody came over who needed us to share and pray with them.  I said, “Maybe that’s why the Lord kept me at home.”

        I went into the kitchen.  I heard my wife from the other end of the house call me with a very urgent tone of voice.  I knew she really meant business.  I dropped what I was doing and ran to meet her.  She had our little two year old boy in her arms.  His face was already red from no breath.  She said, “He can’t breathe.”  I took the little fellow.  I patted his back.  I didn’t know what to do.  I held him upside down.  Nothing happened.  We were moving on into the kitchen where we had a tile floor.  Instinctively, I reached into his throat.  The second time a penny fell onto the floor.  The little fellow cried, but he had caught his breath.  My wife fell on her knees and said, “Thank you, God, for keeping my husband home tonight to save out little boy.  Surely he would have died.  Thank you, thank you.”

        I want to tell you something else about this little fellow.  We almost missed it with the first three of our children.  Including a foster child, we have four away from home now.  We have two left at home.

        This little fellow now is six.  Shortly after the little girl from Chile left, July l0, l977, we were in a restaurant having a meal with a friend who owned the restaurant.  This little fellow, then five, leaned up and whispered in his mother’s ear.  She told me later he said, “Mama, how do you ask Jesus to come into your heart?”  She whispered back and told him.  He said, “Mama, I just did that.”  Two or three days later, he brought it up again and she went through it again to be sure he understood.  He is as confident today and I am that Christ is in his heart, without a shadow of a doubt.  You can ask him.  Any stranger can ask him where Jesus is and he knows he is saved.  

        Last night as I knelt with him to pray, he said, “God save my friend who is lost.”  You see, he is concerned about others being saved.  

        I played church a long time, folks, and nothing happened around my house; but today, things are happening because Christ is the head of my house.  It didn’t happen until I invited Christ in and gave Him complete control.  

        There may be someone here tonight like I was—you are fishing.  Maybe you are having a lot of fun at it.  Maybe you have stumbled over that log the second time and you are floundering around out in the dark.  My friend, you are not going to find the way out until you find the Light, and the Light is Christ.  He is here tonight--in all of His majesty, glory, and beauty.  He wants to come into your heart in all of His fullness and He wants you to become the light in the darkness to someone.

        That is the invitation to you tonight.

 

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