Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)
By Preacher Johnson
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“Brother Tom! How are you doing? This is Pastor Keith Turner.”
“I’m doing wonderful. All is well here. I’m glad you phoned. It’s so nice to hear from you. How is everyone back at First Baptist?”
“Everyone is doing well, in fact, I’m calling on behalf of the church. When was the last time you spoke here?”
“Good grief, it’s been almost thirty years. I was only eighteen, just before I left for Bible college.”
“Well, the reason I asked is because I was wondering if you would be willing to do a revival here. We usually have one in late July and I would like to officially ask you if you would be willing to come.”
“Oh I would love to preach a revival there! I’m sure the church here will be thrilled about their Pastor being able to go back to the church he was saved in and preach a revival. Tell everyone I’ll be there.”
“Great! Everyone will love to hear this. Maybe we could get your dad out here to hear you.”
“I would love to see him there. The only time he has heard me preach was my very first sermon back when I was sixteen years old.”
“Well, Brother, we’ll be praying for him and we’ll be talking to you later. Bye.”
“Bye, and God bless.”
Thomas Jamison slowly hung up the phone and immediately began to pray. “Dear Lord, please help me. Dad needs to be saved. Please Father, may he be saved.”
The weeks past and finally the revival had arrived. Since Tom’s dad only lived about four miles from the church, Tom spent the week with him. The services were scheduled for Sunday through Wednesday. Every day, Tom would ask, “Comin’ to church tonight?”
“Not tonight son.” Oscar Jamison answered every night. Then came Wednesday.
“Tonight is the last night Dad, any chance you might make it?”
“I know you like to be there early and stay late, so I’ll drive myself over. I’ll be there.”
Because he was expecting the same answer as before, Tom quietly confessed his unbelief to his Heavenly Father, at the same time thanking his earthly dad and telling him he would see them there.
With passion, heart, love, compassion, and a little fire and brimstone Tom preached salvation. Oscar showed no emotion. No sign of happiness, or sadness, he did not even look as if he was bored. It was almost like Oscar was asleep with his eyes open. Throughout the sermon Tom had the thought in the back of his mind, “I wonder if Dad has his hearing aid on?”
The invitation came and there was no movement from Oscar Jamison. Worse yet, there was no movement anywhere. Every service of the week people had responded to the calling of the Spirit of God. Christians repenting, sinners converting, the altar was always full, but tonight no one came.
Saturday afternoon Tom said his good-byes, hugged his dad, got in his car and drove the four hundred miles home. Not a word, from anyone was spoken about the Wednesday night service. The fearless Baptist preacher preached his heart out for his Father and to his father and he had nothing left in him to say.
When Sunday morning arrived the people of First Baptist Church had a pleasant surprise when Oscar Jamison walked through the door. He was cordial to everyone who greeted him but his reaction to the message was the same as the previous Wednesday, he just sat there emotionless.
The following Sunday was a repeat of the first. At first, the third Sunday appeared to be a repeat of the previous two until after the service was over. People were leaving as Pastor Turner stood by the door.
“Oscar, nice to have you with us again.”
“Pastor, could I speak to you in your office?”
As the two men sat down in the office Oscar buried his face in his hands and wept. The tears were so strong Pastor Turner could see them running down Oscar’s arms. Oscar lifted his face and through the tears said, “I have wasted my life. I need to be saved.”
Fifteen minutes later Pastor Turner handed Oscar the phone. “You need to call somebody.”
The hands of the seventy-five-year-old man shook as he dialed the number.
“Tom, this is dad. I have something to tell you.”
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