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, he briefly introduced a guest pastor, who was in the congregation that evening.
In the introduction, the younger pastor told them all, that the guest pastor was one of his dearest child hood friends and that he had asked him to say a few words in greeting, and "share" whatever he felt would be "apropriate" for the service.
With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit to speak.....
He began......." A father, his son, and a friend of his son, were sailing off the pacific coast.
A terrible storm came....so quick, that they had no chance of getting back to shore. The waves were so high, that, even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright....and the three of them were swept into the ocean, as the boat capsized."
The old man hesitated for a moment, looking down from the pulpit, he made eye contact with a couple of teenagers, sitting there, and who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.
The old pastor continued, " Grabbing a rescue line 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 knew he had only seconds to decide....... he also "knew" that his son loved the Lord with all his heart.....and he also knew the other boy was not a Christian.
The agony of his decision could not be matched with the torrent of waves.......as the father yelled out...."I love you son...." he threw the life line to the other boy.
Bt the time they got back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging water into the black of night......his body was never recovered."
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting on the edge of their seats,waiting anxiously for the next words the older pastor would say.
"The father...." the old pastor continued, "Knew, that his son would step into eternity to be with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus, therefore he sacrificed 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! Take hold of the life line He is throwing out to you... right now!"
With that....the old man turned and walked back to his chair.
As silence filled the room, the young pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit, delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end.
No one responded!
The service ended and immediately the two teenagers were at the old man's side.
"That was a nice story..." one of them politely said, "But I don't think it was very realistic... I don't believe a father would give up his son's life in the hope that the other boy would become a Christian...."
"Well, you've got a point there..." the older man replied, glancing down at his old worn Bible.
A big smile broadened his face. He once again looked 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
your pastor was the friend!
God Bless you all...