After CS Lewis became a true Christian he wrote a book to describe his conversion experience entitled, 'Surprised by Joy'. And this was my experience as well when on 26th April 1974 I too gave my life to the Lord. But in addition to the exhilaration of being 'born again' I was also made aware of the fact that all who ignore, refuse or reject the Lord Jesus and His legitimate claim on our lives are in mortal, everlasting danger.
Although John 3:16 is probably the best known and popular verse in the Bible, much less known, and probably far less popular, is John 3:18. And yet its importance can never be underestimated. Referring to Himself, Christ Jesus warns us...
'Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not
believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name
of God's one and only Son.'
Coming to 'know' the Lord, not by hearsay but as a true friend, is such a wonderful thing that the natural reaction is to want others to come to know Him too... that they too might have their sins forgiven and know that a place for them in heaven is secure.
Recently a Christian friend of mine told me of his profound concern for his parents whose life circumstances suggested that the chance of their even receiving the gospel, far less receiving the risen Christ Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, looked unlikely in the extreme. But then should we ever limit the Lord? Well, the following would suggest otherwise.
Peter Deison in his book, 'The priority of knowing God', tells the following true story of Ramad, a man in India who was a member of a gang of robbers.
On one occasion when burgling a house Ramad came across a small black book, the pages of which were made of very thin paper, ideal for rolling cigarettes. So he took it and used the pages to wrap around his tobacco. One day he noticed that
the small print was in his own language, and he began to read is before rolling a cigarette. One evening in reading one of the pages the Lord began to convict
him of his sin...
'If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.'
1 John 1:8
That night he got down on his knees and asked the Lord to forgive him and to
come into his life to be his Saviour and Lord....
'...to all who received him, (Christ Jesus), to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God...'
He then considered it only right that he turn himself over to the Police... much to their amazement of course! And whilst serving out his prison sentence he shared the message of the gospel with fellow prisoners and a number became true Believers as a result.
This story is of course a wonderful example of how the Lord can turn the most unlikely of circumstances to a most unexpected and glorious outcome. Therefore there's no doubt that my friend who was concerned for his family, indeed all of us, need to remember that...
'...nothing is impossible with God.'