After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns,
the church's pastor slowly stood up...walked
over to the pulpit and before he gave his
sermon for evening...briefly introduced a guest minister,
who was in the service that evening.
In his introduction, the pastor told the congregation that
the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends.
That being said, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit
and began to speak..........
A father, his son and a friend of his son were sailing one day.
Suddenly a fast approaching storm prevented them
returning to shore to escape the monster waves pounding the boat.
Try as the father would...the boat capsized...hurling all
three into the churning water.
At this point of his sermon...the guest minister noticed
two teenage boys listening intently to his story.
The minister continued telling his story of how he
had grabbed a rescue line. The father knew he had a heart wrenching decision
to make to be able to save either of the teenage boys.
The father knew his own son was a Christian
he also knew his son's friend was not....
At that moment the father threw the lifeline to his son's friend
all the while yelling to his own son....I LOVE YOU..SON!!!
After pulling the friend to safety on the overturned boat...
he turned to see if he could find his son...
but he had disappeared into the dark waves below.
The guest minister noticed the teenaged boys on the edge of the pew
They were anxious to hear the rest of his story.
The preacher explained that in saving the friend
and letting his own son perish, that he knew his son
would step into eternity.
If he had let the friend perish instead...he knew
he would spend eternity in hell.
The minister explained it must have been the same for
God to let His Own Son, Jesus, perish for others to save them.
And so I offer you today, the same chance
to grab hold of God's lifeline so you will not perish.
The guest minister then sat down and the service concluded.
The two teenagers were quite motivated by the story.
They approached the guest minister and inquired
as to his logic. The old minister smiled and looked at the guest minister.
He turned to the teenagers and told them that maybe he
had taken a big chance that the friend's son would
one day become a Christian......then with a smile...
he turned and told the teenagers..."well,yes,it was
a big risk...but I am standing here today as
that father...and your regular pastor...is standing
next to me who was that friend of my son...so long ago.
Now we can all meet one day in eternity...
instead of just my son and I.