Sunday, May 26, 2013

Throwout the LifeLine (a story about choice)

*credits: jamsubzero of pD
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 the evening, briefly introduced a guest minister who was in
the service that evening. In the introduction, the pastor told the
congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood
friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the
church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the
service. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began
to speak,

"A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the
Pacific Coast when fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get
back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was
an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the
three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized." The old man
hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who
were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat
interested in his story. The aged minister continued with his story,
"Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating
decision of his life ... to which boy he would throw the other end of
the life line. He only had seconds to make the decision.

The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his
son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched
by the torrent of waves. "As the father yelled out, 'I love you, son!'
he threw out the life line to his son's friend. By the time the father
had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had
disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His
body was never recovered."

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew,
anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister's
mouth. "The father," he continued, "knew his son would step into
eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son's
friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he
sacrificed his son to save his son's friend. How great is the love of
God that He should do the same for us. Our heavenly Father sacrificed
His only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His
offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line He is throwing
out to you in this service." With that, the old man turned and sat
back down in his chair as silence filled the room.

The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief
sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the
appeal. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were
at the old man's side. "That was a nice story," politely stated one of
the boys, "but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to
give up his only son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a
Christian." "Well, you've got a point there," the old man replied,
glancing down at his worn Bible.

A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at
the boys and said, "It sure isn't very realistic, is it? But I'm
standing here today to tell you that THAT story gives me a glimpse of
what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me. You see
... I was that father and your pastor is my son's friend."


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