North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    There’s a true story about an army combat unit who were holding the line in the trench of a heated battle. They came under very heavy fire. Pieces of shrapnel were whizzing past all the soldiers. Suddenly, one of them took a hit and fell right where he was standing. A soldier, who went by the name of Tiny (6 feet five inches) and a battle buddy jumped down and picked him up. Just by glancing at him they knew it was a near hopeless case to save him. The medics were not near and a dressing station was not close by. Grabbing some empty sand bags and an old coat, they laid the wounded soldier in the bottom of the trench. Back on the firing step, Tiny and his battle buddy continued to hold the line.    A few minutes later Tiny heard a voice behind him, “Can you tell me the way to heaven?” Tine jumped back down in the trench and asked, “The way to heaven? I’m sorry I don’t know the way, but I’ll ask the other fellas and find out if they know.”

    Returning to the firing step, Tiny commenced to walking along and asked the first soldier, but he didn’t know. So, he went further and asked the next man, but he didn’t know either. Tiny went over to the next fire bay and asked the fourth man, but he was not help either. From there, one by one, each man asked the next if they knew the way to heaven? Down the line the story went until it reached the 16th man and still, no one could tell the way to heaven. Just think of it! Young men growing up in a so-called Christian land, but they couldn’t help their dying comrade.

    When you have soldiered together, gone overseas together, and faced the dangers and hardships of active service, you become buddies, and when you see an old friend dying, you want to give them the real thing, not some quick answer to pacify. Could you have told this dying soldier the way to heaven? Can you open the Bible and point out God’s way to heaven?

    Now, back to the trench–The story is passed to soldier number 17. “Sam is dying and wants to know the way to heaven. Can you tell him the way?”

    Turning around and with a smile lighting up his face, he replied, “Yes, I know the way to heaven, but I can’t leave my station.” Pulling a small New Testament from his pocket, he turned its pages and said, “Look here, this is the way to heaven—that verse circled in pencil (John 3:16). Tell him that’s the way to heaven.”

    Quickly the message and the Testament passed back from man to man until it reached Tiny. He touched his comrade’s shoulder and slowly Sam opened his eyes. “I’ve got it old chum,” said Tiny, “Here’s the way to heaven: For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, and whosoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    With poor Sam’s eyes wide open, taking in every word, and Tiny kneeling beside him in the trench, he said, “Read it again”.

    So, with tears running down his face, Tiny read the life-giving Words over and over. A look of peace came over Sam’s countenance as he kept gasping out, “Whosoever”. Then after lying quiet, his face lit up with satisfaction and with one last gasp he said, “Whosoever, that means me,” and then he was gone.

    Sam had found the way to heaven, because someone knew the way and told him how. We must be ready, willing, and able to share the way. We mustn’t hinder the progress of the gospel. People’s lives and souls are depending on it.

    Three ways we can promote the gospel: 1) Don’t hold it down—lift it up (Psalm 20:5). Some people stifle the growth of the Kingdom because they fail to accept their share of responsibility. Our world is desperately searching for something to satisfy the longing soul. We must work together in unity and lift high the banner of salvation; 2) Don’t hold it in—let it out (Luke 9:26). Some fail to witness for Christ because they are self-conscious. We must become God-conscious. He will supply the needed strength and courage. No one group of Christians has a corner on salvation. The gospel is not for any exclusive individual, group, or denomination. It is for “Whosoever “believeth; 3) Don’t hold it back—launch it forth (Mark 13:10). All Christians can send forth the gospel through preparation and prayer. Distance is no problem with God. Millions of people can be reached through churches, the printed page, digital platforms, and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.

    Know the gospel and promote it! Romans 1:16-17 says, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes. The Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. It is through faith that a person has life”.

    Don’t Hold It Down—Lift it Up! Don’t Hold It In—Let It Out! Don’t Hold It Back—Launch It Forth!

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the following books: “Living With Purpose (Volume’s I, II, III, and IV)”; “Loving Others With Purpose” and “Running With Purpose”; He can be reached by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on May 26 2019. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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