God’s power can rescue a preacher’s son who goes bad. I know, because that is what happened to me! My parents reared me in a Christian home, and carefully taught me the right way to go. The Bible was an open book in our home, and attendance at Sunday school and church was required. However, somehow I turned away from God’s call to my heart.
Growing into my teen-age years, I began acquiring bad habits. Drinking, smoking, stealing, and gambling all became a part of my life. Though I hardened my heart, I still had no doubt that God was real. He proved that to me one night in an unmistakable way. I had my mind made up to attend a dance that evening, but to get there I had to walk past the church where special revival services were being held. As I came near the church building, I could hear people inside singing. God laid it on my heart that I should go in, but I went on down the road. I looked up at the sky and told God, “If You want me to go to church tonight, let that star fall.” I raised my hand and pointed to a bright star. As I brought down my hand, that star fell! At that moment I knew God was real, and that He had heard my prayer. Fear struck my heart, and I turned around and started back toward the church. The devil wasn’t going to let me go that easily, though, and some friends drove by on their way to the dance. When they stopped and invited me to go with them, I didn’t have the courage to tell them no. I went to the dance.
God still dealt with me. I spent some time in the military. Then, after receiving my discharge, I rented an apartment in a neighboring city. Living by myself, I was my own boss at last. I could do my own thing and live like I wanted to. I made new friends. Evenings and weekends we spent having a good time—at least, that is what we called it. I would stay up all night, getting back early in the morning with just enough time to change clothes and go to work. Soon I became involved in stealing. At the plant where I was a shipping clerk, I could get things out the door without anyone’s noticing. Oh, how far I had drifted from my Christian training!
God’s power can rescue a preacher’s son who goes bad. I know, because that is what happened to me!
Thank God for His faithfulness. He brought me up short one day, and made me realize that I was taking a chance with eternity. One Friday afternoon, a friend and I decided to work on his car. A lightening storm was coming up, but we pushed the car under a tree to keep the rain off us, and raised the hood against a clothesline connected to the tree. I was squatting against the tree trying to stay dry when the mechanic with us said he needed a flashlight. The nearest store was a mile down the road, but I decided to go.
Just as I was almost back to the car, lightning hit. The current raced down the tree to the clothesline and across to the car. My friend was leaning on the car—where I had been just a short time earlier—and he fell to the ground, unconscious. In panic, we picked him up and rushed him to the other car. Heading for the hospital, I crouched in the back seat and gave him artificial respiration, trying to keep him alive.
The nightmare wasn’t over yet. We were driving fast through the pouring rain, and water was accumulating on the highway. Suddenly, the car went into a spin. As we slid around, the back door flew open and the man lying on the seat started to slide out. I reached to grab him, and then I was falling too. Somehow, I caught the handle of the door and managed to hold us both in as the car spun crazily in circles. When we were finally righted on the road, we went on to the hospital. But we were too late; my friend died.
As I went home that night, God talked to me. He asked, “If it had been you, where would your soul spend eternity?” I knew the answer. Something had to be done about my soul. The church people were away at a convention in Century, Florida, but as soon as they came back, I was in church. When the meeting was over, I prayed. I repented of all the sins I had committed, and I asked forgiveness for turning my back on God for so long. He didn’t reject me the way I had Him. He saved me! What peace and joy came into my heart.
The Lord gave me the wonderful second experience of sanctification, and later He baptized me with the Holy Ghost and fire. Since then, I have been living on the victory side. Sometimes it is on the mountain and sometimes in the valley, but it is triumph wherever! How thankful I am to be a child of the King.