I have witnessed this blessed work of the Holy Spirit on numerous occasions, since the last newsletter. I think of a catholic lady, who attended the church meeting where I was preaching. She lived in another state, but was in this city to visit her sister. This lady had been in Roman Catholicism for over 50 years. On the first evening, as I preached the Word of God, I noticed that she was weeping throughout the message. I mentioned to the pastor that the Holy Spirit may be doing His mighty work of conviction in her heart. On the 2nd evening, again her eyes was filled with tears throughout the message. During the 3rd evening, as I was coming to the conclusion of a message on the glorious cross of Jesus, I asked the audience a rhetorical question, saying, “If God were to stop your next breath and you entered into eternity, would you be numbered among the sinners?” This lady, sitting in the midst of the congregation, cried out aloud these words, “I know that I would be in hell!”, as tears flowed down her face. After the message concluded, I had the wonderful privilege of planting the gospel truths in her soul once again. Two evenings later, at the conclusion of the service, she stood in the midst of the congregation and asked the pastor, “May I say something?” Standing before the entire church she testified, “I have been saved by the grace of God”!
I think of a man, who is probably around my age, who was pierced to the heart by the Word of the Spirit during a recent meeting. After hearing the Word of God, He went home with one of our gospel booklets, and he sought the Lord until 3:00 a.m.; before he had the peace that He was right with God! The last night of the meeting, he stood and testified of the work of the Holy Spirit in his heart. But, also, in this same meeting, I recall a pastor’s adult daughter, who had obviously spent her entire life inside the walls of a Baptist church. She was old enough to be the mother of teenagers. She was a faithful worker in the church. She would have probably been at the top of the list in this church, as a committed church member. Yet, the Holy Spirit graciously produced an alarm and anguish in her heart; and brought her to the realization that she had never come to Jesus Christ on His conditions. She began seeking the Lord and striving to enter through the narrow gate. On Tuesday morning of that meeting, she was wonderfully converted! On that very evening, she testified to her dad and to the church that she had been born from above!
In another meeting, I think of an elderly lady, who is in her early 80’s. She had made a false profession of faith as a child. Following that counterfeit experience, she lived for decades in sin, selfishness and worldliness. She testified to me and the pastor, “that for all the decades of her adult life, her husband had been her idol. She lived her life for him; not for the Lord.” Jesus Christ had never been the supreme love of her life. Her husband had always been her supreme love! But she had recently begun attending this precious local church. She began coming to the “Christ-centered Evangelism” teaching on Sunday evening. After the 2 ‘50 minute sessions’ each evening, she told us that she would go home and pour over the notes. On Monday eve-ning, she testified of the Holy Spirit’s piercing and penetrating work in her heart. I had the privi-lege of witnessing to her briefly that evening; and then I sent her home to read our gospel booklet and challenged her to consider the Person; the work; and the terms of Jesus Christ. On the following evening, I had the joy of preaching 2 sessions that are saturated with these same truths. The next afternoon, the pastor and I visited this dear lady. She began telling us that she had read through the gospel tract 4 times on the previous evening. She searched through all of the numerous verses that are found in the booklet. She openly testified about her idolatrous life, her false profession of faith; and the destitute and desperate condition of her soul. I will never forget her statement, as she looked at us and said, “I have wasted 82 years!” We are praying that this is the working of conviction, contrition and conversion in this precious lady’s soul. These are just a few of many other evidences of the Holy Spirit planting His convicting and converting work in the souls of man. Glory to His Name!
We must never be satisfied with any religious experience that does not radically change the human heart. There must be a deep plow-ing of the Holy Spirit in the conscience; and a planting of the precious Gospel seed in the human heart. There must be this powerful piercing in the heart of a sinner. When there is a beginning of godly sorrow that is always a good beginning. A faith that knows no tears of godly sorrow may be a blind faith; but a look of true faith at the Cross will melt the coldest hearts with the tears of conviction and contrition!