One of my favorite stories my Dad told is about a dear friend of his. I love it because it is so full of hope:For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I once had a very good friend; we grew up together. He was really my brother’s buddy but I loved him just like an older brother. He was the most blasphemous, womanizing, boozing, absolutely degenerate human being I have ever met in my entire life—and I’ve met about every kind there is. He made his money in oil and he could buy anything he wanted, and he did. Every time I’d witness to him he would say, “You don’t really believe this Jesus stuff, do you?” And with that he’d really zing me. I witnessed to him until I was purple in the face. Man, he roasted me every chance he got. You would say, “It’s impossible—God’s never going to do anything with that kind of man.”
Well, I met him in Singapore a few years ago and while we were chatting, I began telling him about the Lord. Oh, he wouldn’t have anything to do with it. He didn’t need any of this stuff, and he went on and on about it. A few months later he came back to the United States and he contracted a rare disease—an inflammation of the lining of the heart. And suddenly, this great brute of a man was reduced to a shadow of himself: All of his money couldn’t help him, all his women were memories, all his strength was gone. Everything he had ever leaned on all of his life had disintegrated and disappeared.
I made a special trip to the hospital to see him, and he was lying in bed—frail and hopelessly sick. When I came into the room he recognized me and said, “Help me up,” so I gently pulled him up in the bed. He put his head down, and said, “I’m dying.”
“Did the doctor tell you that?” I asked.
“Are you sure you’re going to die?”
“Yes,” he said, “Everything’s in order.” His lip trembled. He was a courageous man.
“It isn’t,” I said.
“What? What do you mean?”
“It isn’t in order, Jack. It’s not in order with God. But I’ve got some wonderful news for you! What I’ve been telling you all these years is still true. The Lord Jesus is here tonight and he wants to save you. Why don’t you trust Christ?” And then I witnessed to him.
Afterwards, I took him by that great, massive paw of his and I said, “Jackie, do you want Jesus?” The tears rolled down his hardened face and he said, “Yes, I need him.” And we prayed together. That night, in just a moment of time, Jesus Christ came into that room, and into that man’s life, and into his soul and he was born again. Don’t ever give up on people.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home,
Ye who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling—
Calling, “O sinner, come home!"