Make it Plain Father
The simplicity of the Christian Faith, and that God is always willing to accept anyone who calls upon Him for salvation, is very clearly shown in the following incident.
After the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War, there lay in one of the hospitals a young man very sick; so much so his father had been sent for, who on his arrival went to the doctor who had the case in charge, to enquire in regard to the condition of his son.
“He cannot last long, may drop off at any hour,” he said.
He went into the room where his son was, who looked into his face and said, “Have you been talking to the doctor?” “Yes. What did he say, think I will recover?”
“No, he thinks not, you may go at any hour.”
The son in great agitation said, “I cannot die. I must not die; I am not prepared to die now. Do tell me how I can get ready, Father. Make it so plain that I can get hold of it.”
At once an incident in the school life of his son came to his mind. The boy had been rather wild at school and was expelled and sent home; the father had rebuked him, as he should have done, whereby the boy became very angry and abused his father with harsh language. After his anger had passed off he felt sorry for it and came and threw his arms about his neck, saying, “Father, forgive me. I am sorry I abused you so.” His father looked into his face and said, “I forgive you with all my heart,” and kissed him. His father in speaking of the incident said, “You remember about it?”
“Did you believe me when I said, ‘I forgive you’?”
“Certainly, I never doubted your word.”
“Did you feel happy again?”
“Yes, perfectly, and since that time I shall never forget how it relieved me when you looked upon me so kindly and said, ‘I forgive you with all my heart’.”
“Well, that is just the way to come to Jesus; tell Him you are sorry for your sins and ask Him to forgive you, and quicker than your father forgave you, He will forgive you. He says He will. Then you must take His word for it, just as you did mine.”
“Why, Father, is this the way to become a Christian?”
“I know of no other.”
He turned his head upon his pillow for rest. His father sank into a chair and wept for he could no longer control his emotions; he had done his best and now committed his boy to Christ. He soon felt his son’s hand reaching out to him and heard the word, “Father,” in such a tone of tenderness and joy that he knew the change had come.
“Father, dear, I do not want you to weep any more; you need not. I am perfectly happy now. Jesus has forgiven me. I know He has. I have asked Him, He said He would and I take His word for it as I did yours.”
The doctor soon came in and found him cheerful and happy; looked at him, felt his pulse, which he had been watching with anxiety and said, “Why, you look better.”
“I am better Doctor, and I am very happy. My father has told me how to become a Christian, and I feel that Christ is my Saviour now. I also believe that I shall recover, for God has heard my prayer. I want you to become a Christian, too, Doctor, my father can tell you how.”
There are a great many people who intend to become Christians sometime, but who never have brought themselves to a definite decision for the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, which one must do to be saved. With many this decision is made in revival meetings, by some when alone with God, with others on a sickbed, as in this story of the young soldier, who received and proved the sincerity of his faith, living many years a member of the Church of Christ. The beginning of the Christian life in reality is a very simple thing, asking God to save us in Jesus’ Name. Jesus says, “Ask, and ye shall receive,” John 16:24, it does not take long to ask, and Jesus Christ will become our Saviour and Friend. “Christ died for our sins.” I Corinthians 15:3
Who has not wished for a real friend, one of whose love and unfailing interest we could be certain? One who has power to help in time of need, always near, has promised to carry us safely through this life into the life beyond, such an One is the Lord Jesus Christ and you can have Him for your Friend if you will. He is willing.
Friend, reading these lines, if not a Christian, say quietly to God, “Heavenly Father, cleanse my heart from sin, and make me one of Thy children, I ask in Jesus’ Name.” He will. He says so. Begin the Christian life now, take this first step and by prayer, Bible study, and service for Him you will grow into a strong Christian. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20