My Father’s Journey to Faith
My father was part of the Greatest Generation, the group that fought in World War II and came home as heroes but never talked much about what they had experienced.
Dad was drafted and wound up in the 29th Infantry Division that fought during D-Day and beyond in France. At Saint Lo, he was injured by a mortar shell and sent to a field hospital. After his recovery, he was sent back to the front lines before being shipped back home at the war’s end.
That was just one of many times in his life that he faced death.
Following the war, he met my mother, married and had three children. Having been brought up in a mainline Protestant denomination, he had always professed a nominal Christianity. My mom faithfully attended a more evangelical church, one that offered an invitation for spiritual response at the end of every service.
When the kids were young, my father also began to attend church regularly with her, but he never responded to the invitation to accept Christ.
Later in life he developed health issues. One day, at age 65, the preacher at the church my parents attended personally encouraged my father to accept Christ as his savior and be baptized. Surprisingly, he immediately responded, “OK.” He professed his faith that Jesus was his Lord and Savior and was baptized.
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Afterward, the preacher approached him and said he had one burning question: “Why did you wait so long to say yes?” In a startling yet simple response, my dad said, “No one had ever asked me.”
Thankfully, he responded when the question did come, as he died only two years after that. Even though he had my mother’s example and gentle persuasion for more than 40 years, he still needed someone to ask that direct and eternally important question. I wonder how many people around us are in that position.
My heavenly Father also wants everyone to know how much he loves you and wants you to be with him for eternity. That is why Jesus came to earth to die a horrible death for your sins and then rise on the third day.
This is what my earthly father would want to share with you: As long as you are still alive, it is never too late to accept Jesus and to have your sins washed away.
In 2 Corinthians 6:2, Paul urges us not to delay, saying, “Now is the time of God’s favor; now is the day of salvation.” He reminds us that God gave us this free gift of salvation and forgiveness, and it’s open to everyone. His Son came and paid the ultimate price to make this possible.
Both my earthly and heavenly fathers would tell you the same thing: Please don’t delay this decision any longer. You may only have one chance to respond to that invitation, instead of the many opportunities my father had.
So say yes if you haven’t yet, before it’s too late — don’t wait for someone to have to ask you outright, as many Christians are hesitant to ask.
And if you are already a Christian, don’t wait any longer to simply ask someone else the most important question. There are so many people around us every day who have been exposed to the gospel, but they’ve never had anyone stop and ask them, one-on-one, “Are you ready to follow Christ?”
I pray that you’ll remember my father’s story and let it inspire you to be the one who is not afraid to ask that question of your friends and family members. I know that’s what my father would say to you if he were still here on earth, and I know it’s the invitation of my heavenly Father every day.
Now is the time. Why delay?
The post Op-Ed: Christians, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Tough Question – Eternity Is at Stake appeared first on The Western Journal.
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