"Life Line"

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of the dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt the Lord would have him share.

With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak; “A father, his son, and a friend of his sons were sailing off the Gulf of Mexico on a beautiful day, along with many other people in their boats. “Then a fast approaching storm was coming upon them, and they realized it was a very serious storm. They spotted a lighthouse and they quickly made their way towards it, but the storm came upon them before they were able to make it safely to shore. The waves and wind tore apart their boat; the father who was an experienced swimmer was barely able to swim to shore while the two boys hung on for dear life to the remains of their boat. The father was exhausted but he had to save his son and son’s friend. The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two young teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, seemed somewhat interested in his story. The aged minister continued with his story, “finding a rescue line the father grabbed it and connected it to the lighthouse and as he was going to throw it out to the boys he realized the boys had been separated by the raging waves and winds. Now both of them were to the point of drowning with in minutes. The father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life… to which boy would he throw the other end of the life line? He had only seconds left to make that decision. The father knew that his son knew Jesus personally but it was his only child. He also knew that his son’s friend did not know Jesus. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves.” As the father yelled out, “I love you, my son!” He then threw the lifeline to his son’s friend. By the time the father had thrown the lifeline out to his son’s friend, his son had disappeared beneath the raging waters and into the black of night. The father fell to the ground on his knees and cried in agony with every part of his being, his only child gone. His body was never recovered.”

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in their chairs, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth. “The father,” he continued, “knew his son would immediately step into Heavens eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into hells eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his only child, his son, to save the son’s friend.

How great is the love of GOD that HE should do the same for us. Our Heavenly FATHER sacrificed HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON so that we could be saved. I urge you to accept HIS offer to rescue you and take a hold of the lifeline HE is throwing out to you in this service.” With that, the old man turned, walked off the platform and sat back down in his chair. Silence filled the room. The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was a really nice story,” said one of the teenagers, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.” “Well, you’ve got a point there, “ the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible.

A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that, THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for GOD to give up HIS SON for me. You see, I was that father and your pastor is my son’s friend.

Now you too can have the chance to know the real lifeline-JESUS. Just reach out to HIM and HE will save you from your storms. Because HE loves you too. The boys stood there with mouths open and tears began to fill their eyes, they then for the first time wanted to know JESUS too. For those of you who are reading this right now, if you want to truly know the Real Life Line- the REAL LORD JESUS CHRIST all you need to do is ask HIM to forgive you of your sins, turn away from your sins and ask HIM to come into your heart, wash you clean and fill you with HIS HOLY SPIRIT. Call out to HIM and HE will save you.

Sincerely, Dana Hanson