Our church in England is having a week of ministry from Peter Brandon, 86, who has spent his life preaching and teaching about the Lord Jesus, telling people of their need of a Savior, trying to lead people from darkness into light.
On Sunday morning, amongst other things, he told us the remarkable story of how his own father was saved. Here it is, in his own words:
'My Dad was a pantheist (someone who thinks God is in all of nature, not a personal God). If we opened the Bible, he told us to shut it, but he saw the whole family getting saved through the witness of my mother.
'At 78 he had a burst ulcer, and he refused to have a blood transfusion or go to hospital. The doctor said he had only a few days to live. All the family came to say their goodbyes.
'I was the youngest and was left with him. I said: "Can I put a question to you?" He said 'yes'.
'I said: "How does pantheism stand up now?" He said: "It's all blown to pieces."
'I said: "Christianity is the gateway to glory." He said: "I'm too old to change."
'Never! What nonsense. Look at the thief on the cross. His hands were pierced; his feet were pierced; he was helpless, but in his heart he believed that God would raise Jesus from the dead and that Christ would die for his sins. He prayed a prayer some would say would not save him: "Lord, remember me when You come into your kingdom."
'And the Lord said: "Today you will be with Me in Paradise."
'My Dad said: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
'I said: "Old dogs can do wonderful things!"
'Dad said: "How can I be saved?"
'I said: "Do you remember once you took me to see a preacher and at the end I asked you to take me forward, but instead you took me home. Well that night I went upstairs and trusted Christ, because He promised that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
'Dad was quiet awhile and then said: "Prop me up." I did, and then in quite a loud voice he said: "Lord, would you save an old sinner like me?"
'I read the Scripture to him and he quietly said: "I'm saved."
'I went to my mother and said: "Dad has been saved." She fell on her rheumatic knees and said: "Lord, You've answered 30 years of prayer." '
Peter Brandon said: 'Dad was a closed door, but God got in!' Not only that, but Peter's Dad recovered and lived another 8 years
There were about 40 people there to hear that message on the Sunday morning and Peter added: 'Let's believe that He (Jesus) can do the impossible!" He is not on earth now, but He sent the Holy Spirit, who is just as powerful. Don't be a halfway Christian! If you love the Lord, there's only a short time left. Let's give ourselves wholly to the Lord.'
He said he believes that in the next few years we will see some people 'going right back into the world,' while some would stick like glue to the Lord.
He reminded us that Thomas was not with the other apostles when the Lord Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection Why not? Despite the testimony of all the other apostles, Thomas said he would not believe unless he could put his fingers in the nailprints and, literally, stick his fist into Jesus' side. But when he saw Jesus a week later, he did none of that - he fell to his knees and said: 'My Lord and my God!'
After the resurrection about 500 people saw the risen Lord at one time, which must have been a planned meeting. But on the day of Pentecost, only 120 were in the upper room waiting. 'Where were the other 380?" asked Peter. "They were Thomases," he said.
And he warned us: "Don't be a Thomas!"
And there is a P.S. about Peter Brandon's Dad - it turned out not to be his deathbed, as he recovered and was granted about 8 more years of life. One difference in him was - instead of telling Peter to shut the Bible, he asked him to open it, read and explain it to him!
Hear Peter for yourself on this Youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Po7UILtV0g