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← Never Give Up Praying for Your Loved One's Salvation - Don Johnson

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Showing Revision 1 created 06/24/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. I want to share about
  2. how the Lord answered our prayer
  3. for our oldest son.
  4. Many of you've heard this with James,
  5. my oldest son.
  6. My oldest son,
  7. he was a model child
  8. until he turned 17.
  9. We thought he was a true Christian.
  10. He had made a profession of
    faith when he was young.
  11. He was a very obedient child,
  12. a very good child.
  13. He was the kind of boy that if we had
  14. any visiting preacher or
    evangelist come over,
  15. he would wash their car
  16. and try to serve them every way he could.
  17. We thought he was the real deal.
  18. But when 17 came,
  19. it was like all hell broke loose
  20. and he decided he wanted the world.
  21. And it became quickly manifest to us
  22. that he had just been pretending,
  23. playing at this business.
  24. There may be some of you that
    have been doing the same thing.
  25. You've just been pretending.
  26. Oh, we can be real good pretenders.
  27. We can play at this thing
  28. and really fool even
    the closest people to us.
  29. It became manifest in James' rebellion.
  30. He began more and more his rebellion
  31. and disobedience and stubbornness
  32. was growing in manifestation.
  33. And our hearts were breaking.
  34. It came to the place where we finally
  35. had to say, "James, if you're going to
  36. not live by our rules and do what we say
  37. and submit yourself to our authority,
  38. you're going to have to move out."
  39. He said, "I'm moving out."
  40. It was a heartbreaking thing,
  41. but sometimes you've
    got to let go of folks.
  42. You've got to let go of your own family.
  43. In fact, God was teaching
    you let go of people.
  44. We let him go.
  45. He moved out.
  46. Things went from bad to worse in his life.
  47. I mean, he plummeted the depths, folks.
  48. He went off into a life
    of sin and rebellion.
  49. Drinking.
  50. Went through a bad marriage early.
  51. All of this totally contrary,
    and our hearts were breaking.
  52. And we were thinking at the time,
  53. and many parents are tempted to think
  54. when you've got a son or a daughter
  55. that's out in rebellion,
  56. what have I done wrong?
  57. Where did I mess up?
  58. What kind of inconsistency was there
  59. that may have triggered this?
  60. So we had all this burden of thinking,
  61. not only the burden of our son
  62. being out in sin,
  63. but the burden of thinking,
  64. well, we haven't done things right
  65. because we saw other families
  66. that their children were
    walking in obedience
  67. and good and faithful and loving God.
  68. It was so heartbreaking to us
  69. that our oldest son, whom we had so much
  70. expectation and hope that he was
  71. going in the right direction.
  72. He proved to be just an absolute rebel.
  73. My wife and I, I can't tell you
  74. how many hours that we spent
  75. for several years praying for him.
  76. Praying, fasting.
  77. My wife would spend whole nights up
  78. while James was off in Tennessee
  79. working on pipeline, living like hell.
  80. She would be so burdened and moved upon
  81. because of particular dangers
  82. that James was in at the time.
  83. She would be praying for his deliverance
  84. and that the Lord would protect him
  85. and watch over him and save him
  86. and bring him home.
  87. This rocked on for several years.
  88. He was in mid-Tennessee.
  89. This was about '96.
  90. One Sunday evening,
  91. I was sitting in the living room,
  92. and I told Mae, I said,
  93. "Mae, I'm going to go
    out on the front porch
  94. and pray once more for James."
  95. I can remember it so well.
  96. I walked out on the front porch
  97. and I got on the right side of the porch
  98. where I could see the heavens,
  99. and I got down on my knees before God,
  100. and I said, "Father, God,
    You are Lord over all,
  101. and You do as You please
  102. and no man can command
    You or tell You what to do.
  103. Lord, if You kill my own son
  104. and put him in hell tonight,
  105. You would be just in doing so.
  106. You have that right,
    but Lord, if You would,
  107. would You save him?
  108. You could save him. Would You save him?"
  109. And the Lord spoke to my heart
  110. as clear as I've ever heard anything.
  111. "I've heard your prayer."
  112. I came back in. I said, "Mama,
  113. God's going to save James."
  114. You remember it, Mae?
  115. You remember it?
  116. God's going to save James.
  117. I don't know when and I don't know how.
  118. But the Lord's going to work.
  119. The next day at noon, the phone rang.
  120. At noon. We were both home,
  121. in the living room.
  122. Guess who was on the
    other end of the line?
  123. James.
  124. "Daddy, would you pray for me?
  125. I've got to get right with God."
  126. The next day!
  127. "I've got to get right with God.
  128. Would you pray for me?
  129. I went out today and bought me a Bible.
  130. And I've started reading it.
  131. My life's falling apart.
  132. I need the Lord.
  133. Would you pray for me?"
  134. I said, "Sure, James. I'll pray for you."
  135. He called me back the next day.
  136. He said, "Daddy, the Lord hasn't saved me,
  137. but I'm reading the Scriptures."
  138. And he had met a girl over in Tennessee
  139. which invited him to a
    charismatic-type church,
  140. and he went to church.
  141. In fact, he'd gone to church
  142. that particular past Sunday.
  143. When the Lord started
    putting him under conviction,
  144. he told her, he said,
  145. "I don't need this hooping and hollering,
  146. I need to go to a church
  147. where somebody will tell me
    something I need to hear."
  148. See, he had been raised under
  149. the preaching of the truth
  150. and he could discern the difference
  151. between what was being preached
  152. in this other group.
  153. I said, "James, surely there's
    some place over there
  154. that preaches the Gospel;
  155. some place over there that
    you can hear the truth."
  156. He said, "Yeah, that's
    what I told Shelly."
  157. He said, "We've got to find a
    church that preaches something."
  158. Sad thing, again, it's a burden.
  159. So, he said, "would you have the people,
  160. Wednesday night, would you have
  161. a special prayer meeting for me
  162. that the Lord would save me?
  163. I want you to ask the people in the church
  164. to pray for me."
  165. I said, "Sure, James, we'll pray for you.
  166. You just keep reading your
    Bible and seeking the Lord."
  167. Because we both knew that
    this thing of being saved
  168. was not just saying a little prayer
  169. and it was not going
    through an A-B-C solution,
  170. that God had to save you;
  171. that God had to do a work in
    your life and change you.
  172. He'd gone through the little routine
  173. and knew that that
    didn't work, as it were.
  174. He had to have God save him.
  175. He said, "Pray for me."
  176. That Wednesday night in our prayer meeting
  177. our flock had gathered.
  178. Here's what's so unusual, that day,
  179. we were in a study -
  180. something pertaining to Christian life
  181. and Christian living.
  182. That particular day, the
    Lord moved upon me
  183. and gave me a message from 1 John 1:8-9
  184. and I couldn't understand why.
  185. "If we say we have no sin,
    we deceive ourselves
  186. and the truth is not in us,
    but if we confess our sins,
  187. He is faithful and just
    to forgive us our sins
  188. and to cleanse us from
    all unrighteousness."
  189. And the Lord just put upon me heavily
  190. a message on the forgiveness of sins,
  191. and how that if we'd be
    honest and faithful
  192. to confess our sins,
  193. God was faithful to His Word
  194. and would cleanse us
  195. regardless of what our sins were,
  196. regardless of how deeply wicked they were,
  197. He'd just cleanse us for
    the sake of His Son,
  198. the Lord Jesus.
  199. And I had that and I
    said I don't know why...
  200. but I'm going to preach it
  201. because that was what was on my heart.
  202. Well, I had just finished telling the people
  203. that Wednesday afternoon,
  204. "Folks, James called
    and is under conviction.
  205. The Lord's dealing with him.
  206. And he wanted you to pray for him.
  207. Praise the Lord!"
  208. And they said, "James?"
  209. People said, "James?"
  210. "You've got to be kidding! James?"
  211. "Wants us to pray for him?"
  212. I said yeah, James.
  213. And I just no sooner shared
  214. the fact that he was under conviction
  215. and that he was trying to find a church.
  216. I was still standing there.
  217. We had had prayer.
  218. And in the front door walked James.
  219. He had driven 6 or 7 hours straight
  220. to be in church with
    us that Wednesday night.
  221. He came in the church.
  222. He had long hair.
  223. Looked rough.
  224. Had been living a rough life.
  225. He came in and sat down by his mama
  226. and put his arm around her.
  227. My heart just swelled with praise.
  228. It expanded with worship.
  229. My heart was overjoyed.
    I couldn't hardly talk.
  230. But I poured out the message
  231. that God had given me on
    the forgiveness of sins.
  232. Just a simple message.
  233. How God could forgive the deepest
  234. and darkest and ugliest of sins
  235. because He loved us so much
  236. that He offered His own Son in our place.
  237. And He was so pleased with the sacrifice
  238. and the suffering of His own dear Son
  239. that He could cleanse any sinner
  240. who would be honest and would come
  241. and lay his life before Him.
  242. And James just looked
  243. and I'll never forget
    the look on his face.
  244. He was like a starving man
  245. wanting a piece of bread.
  246. He was like a thirsty man
  247. wanting a drink with all desperation.
  248. He just drank in every word.
  249. When the message was over,
  250. he got up and began to
    hug everyone in the church
  251. and say, "pray for me."
  252. "Pray for me."
  253. He kept me up that night
  254. to the wee hours of the morning
  255. wanting to talk about how you could
  256. know if you were forgiven,
  257. how you could know if you're saved.
  258. He wore me out. I was just exhausted.
  259. I was so tired.
  260. We finally went to bed.
  261. We got up the next morning,
  262. he had to go back to Tennessee -
  263. it was a job-related thing.
  264. And he said the Lord hadn't saved him.
  265. We had prayer and he said,
  266. "Dad, keep on praying for me."
    I said, "I will."
  267. He said, "I'll keep on seeking the Lord."
  268. A few hours later, he called me.
  269. He said, "Daddy, somewhere
    around Memphis, Tennessee,
  270. the Lord saved me."
  271. And he said when the
    Lord came into his life
  272. and saved him and gave
    him peace and forgiveness,
  273. he had a stack of CD's on his dash -
  274. worldly, wicked, rock & roll,
  275. hellish, rebellious music.
  276. He grabbed that whole stack
  277. and flung it out the window.
  278. Now that's not what saved him, folks.
  279. That's what he did because God saved him.
  280. The real proof in the pudding
  281. was a few months later,
  282. we had opportunity and time
  283. to go over and visit
    with him in Tennessee.
  284. He wasn't the same James.
  285. He was nothing like he had been before.
  286. Old things have passed away.
  287. All things have become new.
  288. The life of God shown in his soul.
  289. The countenance of peace was in his brow.
  290. The joy of the Lord was in his heart.
  291. The high praises of
    God were upon his lips.
  292. Mama and Daddy, don't ever tire
  293. of praying for your children.
  294. The last chapter's not written yet.
  295. Keep calling.
  296. Keep hoping.
  297. Keep pleading.
  298. One day, you may have the fortune
  299. to hear the word,
    "I've heard your prayer."
  300. Praise God.
  301. I praise God for you people.
  302. I praise God for you, Bob and Clint.
  303. I thank the Lord for knowing you.
  304. We may never meet again.
  305. This may be my last time at Sedalia.
  306. I may go home and fall
    over from a heart attack,
  307. or you may too.
  308. We've got a great day coming.
  309. We'll be together again.
  310. Let me recommend to you
    if you're not a Christian,
  311. get in on this.
  312. Don't miss this.
  313. Don't miss this great joy.
  314. Salvation can be yours today too.
  315. Believe it.
  316. You can be forgiven this very day.
  317. You can leave this house today
  318. a new creature in Christ Jesus.
  319. Bow your heart before Him.
  320. Give yourself up to Him.
  321. Ask Him for what you need most.
  322. See what He'll do.
  323. Let's pray.