A TOUCH OF LAZARUS
(By: Terry Wilson)
Very few people die and come back to life. My dad, John Wilson, was one of those few ...
It was October 1987 when I returned to Melbourne, Australia from Darwin with my wife and boys. It was unusually warm for the spring of that year. It was like the sub-tropical weather warmed to greet us as we came down from the hot and sultry tropical Northern Territory.
My family had not seen us for about three years, and they were in for a big surprise when they came face to face with the 'New Vessels' whom Christ Jesus had created!
My father had been suffering with emphysema for a number of years, owing to his work in concrete dust and his years working in steel foundries. His persistent smoking of cigarettes from a young age couldn't have helped it much either. His doctors didn't give him many months to live.
I knew in my heart that God wanted me to share the gospel with him and to tell him that he needed Jesus in his life, so I took the step and told both my parents that they needed to be born again to enter into the Kingdom of God.
Within the first ten minutes after sharing the gospel with them, I was told to get out because the Good News made them feel threatened for some reason. They may have even felt I was "on something," or that I was involved in some "scam or another", and was trying to pull them into it as well.
I went before the Lord about this problem and the Holy Spirit brought to mind that I should persist until the Lord told me to stop. For 12 months, I went to the house of my father to share the gospel with him, and each time he did not want to hear. Each day, he would put up with me sharing the Word, then send me on my way.
At the end of the twelfth month I went before the Lord and cried out to Him that I was obedient to Him, yet I was at my wit's end! There seemed to be no receptiveness on my dad's part to hearing the Truth that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for his sins by shedding His innocent blood on the Cross. My heart was so grieved ...
At six-thirty the following morning I received a frantic phone-call from my mother -- my father had collapsed on the floor and was turning gray. She was so frantic that I had to organize the ambulance for her.
The house we lived in at the time was on the same street as the local hospital. After organizing the ambulance, my wife and I ran up to the hospital. The ambulance arrived at the same time we did. I saw my mother get out of the ambulance, followed by my father on a gurney. As I looked at him, I saw the gray pallor of his face, and I knew what that meant. Pain so gripped my heart.
We entered the small cubical where my father had been placed. He was hooked up to an ECG machine, along with oxygen.
As my mother, wife and myself stood over him, his heart stopped and the ECG signaled no heart beat.
At that time I saw a 'black shadow' enshroud him. It seemed to come from the side of him and cover him.
I was the only one to see this.
He was dead.
Immediately, my mother cried out to me: "You are a believer, you can pray!"
So for the benefit of my mother, I laid hands upon my father's body to thank the Lord for his life. What else could I do? He had resisted the gospel truth while he was alive. It was now time for him to answer to God.
Suddenly ... the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to begin to praise the name of Jesus right then and there in that cubicle with doctors and nurses running everywhere! Joanne, my precious wife, joined me in praising the Lord.
People around probably thought that we were a bunch of nutcases. In the natural sense we were, but if you know what pleases God and creates an atmosphere for Him to work miracles down here ... well ... that's of another dimension.
As we began our praises . . . that shadow lifted from my father's body and life returned to his body. Then I remembered the verse in Psalm 23: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil'
Doctors ran in and out of the cubicle in frenzy bringing other doctors with them. They were truly bewildered over what had just happened.
My father opened his eyes and looked at me and I smiled at him, asking: "Are you ready to give your heart to Jesus now?"
He said, "Yes!"
I later found out that after we had left, the doctors gathered about him and told him that he had died. My father looked at them and told them that he had seen Jesus!
Not long after my father was discharged from the hospital, he became a real powerhouse for Jesus. Anyone who came through the door was told about Jesus. My other three brothers stayed well away. In fact they accused Joanne and I of brainwashing him rather than to accept the plain truth.
He was "brainwashed" alright. Brainwashed with the shed blood of Jesus!
Ten months later, I was spending time with God, and he laid it upon my heart that He was going to take my father home. I asked, "How long, Lord?" And he told me, "Two weeks."
In the second week of that two-week period, he developed chest infections that caused him to be hospitalized. He knew that his time was up, and I told him what the Lord had spoken to my heart.
During those last days, we were able to prepare him for what was about to come, and a great peace was upon him. He was allowed to come home to spend his last days and we all took turns being with him. He passed away on my watch.
I write this testimony on behalf of my father because it was his desire that his story would be shared with those who would hear and I promised him that I would keep his testimony alive. You're a witness to his last will and spiritual testament.
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.
PLEASE HELP US HELP YOU SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON BECAUSE...
JESUS DID IT! and...
Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity.
(Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)