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Was Anybody Saved?

My life has always revolved around the church.  Because my father was a pastor, we were always “at” church, but pastor’s families live “at the church” literally.  The home of my childhood and teen years was a pastorium right next door to First Baptist Church of Humboldt, TN.  Thus, we were the office of the church after the church office had closed and on weekends when people needed to get something in the church.

Not only were we tied to the church for folks to use the buildings, I was tied to the church because of a Godly father that wanted me to be personally committed to Jesus Christ.  In his life, I knew his dedication to our LORD. In the adults that were my SS teachers or Church Training leaders, RA leaders, or camp counselors, each person had a genuine passion to make sure that all of us that were children and teens there came to have a viable relationship with Jesus.

Part of our training were multiple outreach events to seek to bring our friends to a faith in Jesus.  Revivals, high attendance days, youth fellowships, VBS, camps, hayrides, and regular Sunday events were very clearly and unapologetically evangelistic.  And, when we saw a friend come to faith in Christ, it was a true celebration.  The impact on my life has been indelible. Every person needs Jesus.  And, each of us have family members and friends that are not “saved” and secure in Christ.

Recently, I found an old illustration that I heard an evangelist use many, many years ago which emphasized the responsibility each of us has to reach people that don’t know Christ.

A storm swept the ocean just off the coast of Scotland. Far out in the black trough of the angry waters a ship had gone to pieces. The life-boat set out from shore in the face of what seemed almost certain disaster, but it came back with all the ship’s crew except one. To have taken another in would have meant the sinking of the boat. As they came to shore the leader said, “There’s another man! We need volunteers for his rescue. These men are exhausted.” 

Among those stepping forward was a fine-looking young Scotchman in the very prime of his life. His white-haired mother came and put her arms about him and said, “Don’t go, John; years ago, your father perished in the storm at sea. You know that just last year your brother William went to sea and never came back, and I guess he, too, must have gone down. John, you are the only one left, and if you should perish what would I do? Don’t go, John; your mother begs you to stay.” 

He took her arms from about his neck and said, “Mother, I must go; a man is in peril and I would feel like a coward not to go. God will take care of us.” He printed a kiss on her cheek and sprang into the boat. Every minute the fury of the storm increased. The elements seemed to vie with each other to see which one could do the worst. Down into the trough and up over the waves they went. A whole hour they were gone, and finally in dim outline they were seen beating their way back. As they came within hailing distance someone from the shore cried, “Have you found the man?” And standing in the bow of the boat John shouted back, “Yes, we’ve saved him, and tell my dear old mother it’s brother William!   (William Edward Biederwolf, in Frozen Assets).