One night while I was preaching in a large South American city, I invited the audience to surrender their lives to Jesus. I handed out a card with three statements. The first sentence read, “I believe that Jesus will come literally, personally, visibly, and audibly.” I said, “If you agree, check the little box next to that line.” The second one stated, “I want to be ready when Jesus returns.” Again, I said, “If you want to be ready, check that box.” The third said, “I would like to be baptized soon.”
A young man in his early twenties, whose mother was a Christian, gripped the card as he struggled to make a decision. He was involved in one of the city’s major drug-trafficking rings and was in debt to the boss. But this was his chance to surrender to Jesus. He longed for salvation and the new life that only Christ offers. Finally, he checked the third box and whispered, “Yes, Lord, I want to be ready when Jesus comes. I want to be baptized soon.”
I encouraged those who had made the decision to raise their hands, and he did. But when I asked the audience to turn in their cards, he put his in his pocket. I later learned that he wanted to show the card to his mother. When the meeting was over, he sought out his mother, hugged her, and cried as he told her, “Mother, I have given my life to Jesus. Now I am free. For the first time in years, I have peace and joy. I want to be baptized soon.”
Then he went home to share the news with his wife. As he opened his door, shots rang out. An assassin sent by the gang leader had shot him. The wife heard the shots, ran outside, and held his bloodied body during his final agony.
Many of the young man’s non-Christian friends attended the funeral service—mostly members of his gang. His mother stood up with her son’s decision card in her hand. In tears, she said, “My son made his decision for Jesus Christ. This won’t be the last time I see him because Jesus will come back for him!” She paused for a moment, then, in a louder voice, continued, “The Bible says that ‘the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever’” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). She appealed to his friends to give themselves to Christ.
Would you like to have the assurance of salvation? Will you open your heart to the influence of the Holy Spirit right now? Why not kneel down where you are, and pray this prayer?
Dear Jesus, I accept Your generous offer of eternal life. I long to see You when You come in glory. Forgive my sins. Change my life. Today, by faith, I accept Your grace and mercy. I believe that You are forgiving my sins right now and giving me strength to overcome the habits and attitudes that have controlled my life. I invite You, Jesus, to reign in my heart now and forever. Thank You for loving me, redeeming me, strengthening me, and coming soon to take me home to live with You forever. In Your name, amen.
The author is an international speaker. This is an adaptation from a chapter of his book El misterio de la profecía, cowritten with Loron Wade. He writes from Silver Spring, Maryland.