My Dad was in the Military for better than 30 years. He was a WWII Hero and stood guard over Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. He was in the battle of the Bulge, He had seen Normandy beaches and he had been in Germany at the end of the war. He was extra-ordinarily devoted to our nations military, so much so, I can’t remember a time He was not in uniform, except for church on Sundays. I have lived in many places from the Orient to as far as Burma, to the Mississippi River and as far north as Alaska to the South Pacific Islands of Figi. In later articles, I will endeavor to take you there personally and let you see everything I saw and to know the love of a dad, such as mine. You must ask yourself though, why would a God so wonderful, allow countries of the Orient to be so filled with poverty, sickness and death. These questions resounded in my head, like sonic booms─for years.
“Hi there young man!”the pastor stated as he stepped from his old 1942 Ford five- window pickup truck.The young boy had been riding a rickety old tricycle in the dirt filled front yard, on that hot and dusty Saturday morning.
“Hey Mister! Ain’t you that there preacher from the church up the road a piece?”the boy asked as he peered, rather squint-eyed at the tall man.
“Well I sure am, Son. Do you go to Sunday School there?”asked the pastor as he wiped the sweat from his brow raising the old straw hat he wore, higher in the air above his sparsely haired head.
“Naw sir, Momma don’t like all that there holler’n ‘n such. She said she gets enough of that right here at home,”the boys South Texas slang ringing in his ears.
“Mind yer mouth boy!”The boys Momma stated as she stood there on a front porch that looked pert’ner ready to fall. The rest of the house wasn’t much better, missing lots of paint and it was filled with withering boards.
“Mornin’ Ma’am, I’m Pastor Joe, from the church up the road,”stated the pastor as he reverently approached the woman who stood wringing her hands into a dingy apron.
“Life isn’t about how well you live or how poorly! Life is about how well you live with Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ never had a home and He never had a sure meal every day, He never was sure where he would lay His head that night! Still!! He walked a life of righteousness! Jesus Christ is God Almighty, HE is the Great, “I AM”, HE is the first and the last─the Alpha and the Omega. HE IS GOD!!”
The pastor shouted and then banged his hand on the podium, for emphasis. You could feel that bang in your chest and it resonated off the walls and then was split apart by all the overhead fans, whirring at full speed You could feel the tingle in the air as if the very ions of oxygen and hydrogen were rattling against each other from the BOOM.The pastor paused. He looked about the sanctuary and saw the boy and his mom and dad. Dad was evidently nursing a slight-hangover and the sounds from the pastor were annoying to him. A slight smile spread across the pastor’s mouth.He recalled the mom’s words from the conversation that they had had over a glass of water─during his house visit:
“Well pastor, no offense meant, but I don’t know if’ I can get ma man to come, but I’ll try none the less.”
“YOU can run from God, but you can’t hide! You can turn your back on God, but HE will never turn HIS back on you! God Almighty Chose YOU!”
BOOM with the hand again.
“And there is nothing HE won’t do to bring you home! HE─GOD chose you before the creation of the universe!! And NOW…HE is talking to YOU! He is talking to you in your heart, He is telling you, that you need HIM My Brethren!! God Almighty came here and was CRUCIFIED…on a Roman Cross…TO SAVE YOU!! Can I get an Amen?”
“Amen Brother”was quickly heard, every head was up and all the eyes were on the preacher.
“WHAT USE…IS YOUR LIFE HERE?”
“IF IT IS NOT FOR GOD? WHY…should you even be alive, if you are going to turn you back on a GOD…WHO WOULD DIE ON A ROMAN CROSS…JUST TO SAVE YOU? If you think you are here to carouse around like a Tom cat, getting drunk and acting the fool…YOU ARE WRONG!”
And there was another boom from the pulpit, a few heads were bowed, but it wasn’t in prayer. The folks were wide-awake now, looking like deer caught in the headlights.
“Jesus Christ said inMatthew 11:28-30“Come untome, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,and Iwill give you rest. Takemy yokeupon you, and learnof me; forI ammeek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Formy yokeis easy, andmy burdenis light.” Is there really anything that could ever be so wonderful, to anyone, to hear someone say that to them?”
In one of this pastor’s later sermons he said, “My Brothers an Sisters!! There is coming a day, when the Lord God Almighty is going to come in the air and in the clouds. Then everyone on earth will see and hear the Trumpet of God sound…and then our Lord will say “COME UP HITHER.”Praise Gods name!! And the dead in Christ shall rise first!! And then WE who are in Christ will rise and be instantly changed!! AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD!!!”
The pastor paused and took a drink of water. He looked at the congregation quietly as the words filtered into their minds and hearts.
“THE QUESTION IS”…Pause.“WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO BE? STILL HERE ON EARTH, LOST?”Pause. “LEFT BEHIND?”Pause.“FORGOTTEN?”
There was anotherBOOMfrom the pulpit that made you sort of jump in your seat.
“GOD FORBID! THAT YOU ARE LEFT BEHIND!!!”
And then came the call to the altar of the Lord and many responded. The best description for the call to the Lord is according to the Bible, God’s Holy Word: “There is NO room for error!! YOU are either SAVED TO JESUS CHRIST…OR YOU ARE DEAD in your SINS!!”