2005 Monthly Letter
Partner in Winning One!
is a contemporary "What must I do to have eternal life?"
happened not in a New Testament setting but in an old historical
Pennsylvania oil town. The main character was not "a rich
young ruler" but an elderly former mayor!
I entered the room where the men were gathering for the Saturday
morning session, I noticed a distinguished gentleman. He had
a "lost" look on his face. I greeted him and introduced myself.
The first words out of his mouth were, "My wife died two
weeks ago. I know she is in heaven. I don't think I am going
inquired into his thinking. He explained, "Well, I have
been the mayor of this fine city and served on the city council
for 14 years. During my term on council, and especially as
mayor, I sought to make many changes for the betterment of
our historical community.
But, deep down inside of me, I know that all my good works
will not get me into heaven. Since my wife's death, I'm in
a quandary as to how I can make it to heaven with so little
time left in my life."
him for his candidness, I explained that this was one topic
we would discuss today. "In fact," I said, "I will
use a visual aid that will shed some light (pun intended as
you will see) on how a person can know for certain that he
or she will go to heaven and have eternal life."
the opening session, I used his comments to pose a familiar
question: "If you were to kneel before God right now and
He were to ask you, why should I allow you into heaven, what
would you say? How about these answers: Because I've tried
my best. Because I was baptized as an infant. Because I've
not killed anyone. Because I've sung in the choir; taught
Sunday School, tithed, etc. Would you trust any of these answers
to get you into heaven?"
Taking two candles, I lit one and asked, "Are these two
candles the same? (No) One is lit and the other unlit.
Jesus is the light of the world and is represented by this
lit candle. He says that we are to believe in Him as the one
God has sent to bring us into heaven. He is the Way to get
1:12 says "Whoever believes in Jesus, or who He is-the
Way-and receives Him as a personal Savior, is born spiritually."
John 3:16 also adds "does not perish but has eternal
life." "What does this unlit candle need to do to
become lit?" (Receive the flame from the lit one.)
asking the question: "Which candle represents your life
now?" I encouraged each man if applicable to pray silently
with his eyes open: "Jesus, I'm like the unlit candle.
I have no power to make myself right in Your sight. By faith
I believe You are the Way of forgiveness for my sins and the
Way to eternal life. By faith I receive You as my Savior.
By faith I claim that I am a child of God and that I have
eternal life according to the written Word of God."
Mr. Mayor prayed this prayer and became Mr. Child of God and
recipient of eternal life! He said afterwards, "You have
answered all my questions." Knowing that he was also a
former school teacher, I replied, "Remember the old math
books that had the answers in the back of the book?. Well,
I've only pointed out the answers to your burning question
in the back of THE Book!"
left the Mr. Newborn Mayor in the care of a fellow parishioner
and friend. When I called him weeks later, he informed me
of the Newborn's growth and "a peace that passes all understanding."
you for allowing me to share God's gift of Jesus and His Grace
to those searching!