He was a very astute student in the seminary, formulating some very pointed arguments concerning the validity of the certain Scriptures that supported his pet philosophy of social and political reforms.
He even invented his own terms, such as “contextual aberrations,” which cleverly said that his own ideas took precedence over anything that was presented in argument against his strong-willed proposals.
His apologetics papers and oral presentations were so provocative that he strongly influenced the entire class at the seminary and, in many cases, his professors.
Every Scripture presented to refute his programs of reform was rudely labeled as narrow, bigoted and naïve.
Upon receiving most every academic award at graduation from the seminary, he was soon to be pastor of one of the larger churches of his denomination.
His erudite congregation of the upper-middle class was replete with problems of divorce, teen-age pregnancies, infidelity, drugs and alcoholism.
So he incorporated his positive thinking procedures and social programs to get people involved in building programs and fund raising for the underprivileged, so they could serve others to occupy their time, away from the environment that caused their many problems.
His proposals gained momentum, and he looked like a real church leader in the community, so he redoubled his efforts. He then used his newly exalted status to ridicule the few Scripturally-based churches, and tried to provoke them, so he could present his works and accomplishments as ammunition to prove the worth of his programs.
Soon he was lobbying for political clout and influence, to gain appropriations for numerous social projects in his community.
He was widely acclaimed in the local - and even neighboring - press and media. He had arrived; so he thought.
One day an elderly lady called his office and, after being rerouted through numerous telephone extensions, she finally reached his phone. Her rather pointed question was, “Pastor, are you saved and ready for the judgment to come?”
His immediate rebuttal was punctuated with intellectual, contextual accusations and sociological terms, to discredit in every possible way this totally naïve and senile lady. Her answer to this pastor’s irreverent rudeness was, “I have decided to start praying for you two hours every day, so get ready, sir, because Almighty God is going to apprehend you out of your darkness.”
This elderly lady was the live-in house lady that ran a home for unwed mothers, many of whom had come from the promiscuousness of the Pastor’s flock.
The lady’s prayers started operating rather profoundly, as the Pastor had not just an ordinary dream, but a revelation of the God of the universe.
As the presence of Almighty God entered his room, he saw a rather large church, which was covered with filth and crawling creatures and sin of every description, labeled on its walls. It was a nauseating scene. He soon recognized it as his own church, and a cold sweat broke out on his body.
He had been exposed. As a seven-foot-tall angel led him up a flight of stairs, his intellectual “contextual aberrations” fell off. After a few more steps, his justification by works fell off. Soon he felt his entire being grow limp and weak, as a dark, anchor-like object broke away from his body - labeled “sin” - and then a brokenness and contriteness filled every area of his body, and he knew his self-will had been broken.
He wept and wept as he finally realized the enormity of his sins. As the angel led them on, he knew he was going to meet his Savior, and he became very apprehensive and ashamed at the holiness of God. He saw Jesus approaching and then saw the two nail-scarred hands. He wept even more; he expected a holy rebuke, but Jesus was weeping, too.
This crushed him even further, and he feebly uttered the words, “Use me, Lord Jesus, however you desire. I give up myself to you.”
The Lord pointed to a scene on the wall, showing an old three-story house. This home for alcoholics would be his life’s work as a servant for his Savior.
He gladly accepted.
“Strive to enter in at the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and shall not be able.” ( Lk. 13:24; top )
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