After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the pastor once again slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and gave a very brief introduction of his childhood friend. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit to speak, “A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast,” he began, “when a 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.” 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. He continued, “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life…. to which boy would he throw the other end of the line. He only had seconds to make the decision.
The father knew his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son’s friend wasn’t. The agony of his decision couldn’t be matched by even the torrent of waves. “As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son!’ he threw the line to his son’s friend. By the time he pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beyond the raging swells into the black of night. His son’s body was never recovered.” By this time, the two teenagers were listening very attentively, waiting for the next words to come out of the old man’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. Oh, how great is the love of God that He should do the same for us!” With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was an awesome story,” said one of the boys, “but I don’t think it was very logical for a father to give up his 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 logical, is it? But I’m here today to tell you the fact THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me.” “You see, boys…. I was the son’s friend.”
Romans 10:13 tell us that “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Suppose you were rushed to the hospital, where a physician examines you and informs you that you are critically ill. He says you’ll die unless you have proper treatment. He then prescribes medicine and says, “If you will take this, I can assure you with absolute certainty that you will get well.” Now, what should you do? Should you just lie there on your sickbed and believe that the doctor has diagnosed your illness correctly, and that the prescription will surely make you well? That isn’t enough. To love, you must take the medicine the doctor prescribed. My friend, it’s the same with salvation. You may believe everything the Bible says about Jesus Christ; that He died for your sins and rose from the dead. However, if you refuse to “take Him”, that is, to trust Him and His work on the cross in your behalf, you will be just as lost as if you had openly and blatantly denied Him. You see, saving faith, is not simply acknowledging that certain facts about Christ are true. It is reaching out to personally accept God’s remedy for sin. It is entrusting the destiny of your soul to Him for eternity. It is saying, “Save me, Lord Jesus. I believe that You can and will.” That my friend, is taking the medicine; that’s receiving Jesus Christ! So, the question then remains:
(1) Have you accepted Christ as Savior?
(2) If not, you should do so now!
Faith is not just believing that Jesus can save; it’s asking Him to do it.