We are blessed by the conferences so far. We drove from Wilkes-Barre, PA, to Oneonta, NY, last night. God blessed the drive, but we were very tired when we arrived. These next two days will be the first opportunity to rest and catch up during the day because we don’t have to drive.
On the way here, we stopped for fuel, and I had a chance to speak with the 21-year-old young man who was the station attendant. I asked him if he knew where he was going to spend eternity, and he told me "hell." I asked him if that concerned him, and he said, "no."
I told him he couldn’t be serious because no one can tolerate that kind of pain. He said he could because pain is something you get used to.
I looked around for one of the lighters that they always sell at check-out counters and said, "That isn’t true. A person could not hold his finger over the lighter flame because of the pain, and that is nothing compared to the pain of hell."
In defiance, he grabbed a lighter, lit it, and put his finger over the flame for a second or maybe two. I admit I was a bit horrified inside as I watched this demonstration of such hardness. He then put the lighter back in its place and said, "See, I told you."
I pleaded with him, "Come on. Be honest. It hurt so badly that you had to quit." To my amazement, he insisted, "It didn’t hurt, but I didn’t want to make a mess on the counter." As he told me this, I noticed how he was pressing the side of his finger against the top of the counter with great pressure in an attempt to stop the pain.
I asked if he had ever read the Bible, and he said he had read it completely. It was time to go, and I asked would he be willing to pray and tell God that if God would reveal Himself to him, He would believe.
He told me he had done that, too, some time ago. He then demonstrated what he had done previously. He turned his face up toward the ceiling and in an angry, hateful voice shouted at God in a vile, cursing way. I shuddered to hear anyone "talk" that way to my God, the Savior of my soul, Who is the most Precious in all the world. To my amazement, he then confessed that within a minute or so of his response to God, the plaster on his ceiling fell in on him.
With a sad heart and pity, I concluded with, "But don’t you see the hardness of your heart and how God did reveal Himself to you? Don’t you have any fear of God?" After he said, "No way!" it was time to go and leave him to his end.
If God should prompt you, please pray for this young man that as his finger continues to hurt, he will think about hell and eternity. We would also be grateful for you prayers as we continue to speak to hearts.
One dad came up after the conference in Pittsburg and asked for suggestions on how to tell a seven-year-old son, who loved TV, that as of that night it was gone from their home. I shared when I had difficult things to share with my children I would repent before them and tell them how wrong I had been and asked them if they would forgive me. I also inquired about personal and family devotions. He then shared with a humble spirit, that from that night on, they would never have a problem having family devotions. Whewwww. That brother did so much to bless and encourage me that night.
These trips can be exhausting, but just one dad, with that kind of courage, fills and strengthens me. I praise God. Please pray for families to forsake the world and seek Jesus with their hearts and time.