Saturday, October 18, 2008

Never give up! Even if it takes 30 years or more, don't quit!

Deeper was held at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia north of Atlanta. This is one of the largest churches I’ve ever seen. But, this isn’t your typical “mega church.” Pastor Johnny Hunt preaches with enthusiasm and conviction from the Word of God. He doesn’t hold back.

He said 10 months ago, the last immediate Hunt family member came to the Lord! His youngest brother lived in Kentucky and was an alcoholic. Johnny had told him over and over the Gospel message. Upon counsel of his advisory board, they told Johnny that he was not being firm enough. It was time to exercise tough love. He needed to tell his brother he wasn’t going to give him anymore money when he called when he was down and out. His brother knew what he should do. Johnny had openly declared the full Gospel to him for years and didn’t mince words. The hardest words that ever came out of Johnny’s mouth were, “Do not to call me again until your ready to change.”

He said he hung up the phone and just wept. Five hours later, his brother called back and said he was ready. They brought him down from Kentucky, checked him into detox. It took 7 days to detox him. The psychologist determined that he had not had more than a week of sobriety in nearly 35 years.

His brother accepted Christ and sits on the front row every Sunday. When Johnny walks in to preach, he hands Johnny his Bible and Johnny finds the passage he will preach from for him since he still doesn’t know his way around the Bible yet. I didn’t do the story justice. For when Johnny told it, there were many who teared up. They were moved by the love the man had for his brother, his persistence, and the fact that his brother came to the Lord.

Let this serve as encouragement to those who have a friend or relative who has not accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Do not give up hope. Do not quit. You must be faithful and TELL them the truth. Johnny labored for over 30 years for his brother.

They will never come to the Lord by watching your good actions. Do not confuse what I am saying. You must have a life characterized by a continuous flow of works of obedience. But, if that is where it stops you are not being obedient to the Lord. Being a “Sunday Christian” is religion and that is a stench in God’s nostrils. He hates religion! Likewise, if you are not continually spreading the Gospel, you’re not being fully obedient to His calling on your life as a Christian.

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