Below is an incredible testimony from Randy Alcorn. It is about how Randy’s dad was regenerated and saved by God. This is a special testimony that should be read and taken to heart by every Christian. Please note the final paragraph in how Randy did not skip over the bad news of human depravity and our transgression of the law of God and God’s holiness in order to get to the good news of the gospel. Without the bad news, the good news does not make sense. So without further adieu, a Testimony Tuesday by Randy Alcorn:
My father was the most resistant person to the gospel I’ve ever known. He warned me never to talk again about what he called that “religious stuff.”
At age 84, dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. One day he phoned very upset. He said, “I’ve called to say goodbye. I’m in terrible pain. I know the end is coming. I’ve got a gun to my head. I’m sorry to leave you with a mess.”
I begged him to hold on. Jumping into my car, I made the 30 minute drive in 20, rushing out of the car, and pounded on the door. No answer. Taking a deep breath I opened the door. On the floor I saw a rifle and a handgun. Calling out for my father I turned the corner into his room prepared for the worst. Eyes half closed, I bumped into him as he walked out. I rushed him to the hospital where they scheduled him for surgery the next morning. I arrived an hour before surgery praying that in his pain and despair with no easy way out my dad would turn to Christ.
Standing by his bed I opened my Bible to Romans. I began reading in chapter 3. “There is none righteous, no not one. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Those weren’t easy words to read. My tavern owner father had always taken hot offense at being called a sinner. I wanted to gloss over this portion moving quickly to the good news of God’s grace. But I forced myself to keep reading verse after verse about human sin.
Why? Because, I told myself, if I really love dad, I have to tell him the whole truth. If God is going to do a miracle of conversion here, that is His job. My job is to say what God says. We made it to Romans 6: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Then Romans 10 about being saved through confessing Jesus as our risen Lord. Finally I looked dad in the eyes and asked, “Have you ever confessed your sins and asked Jesus Christ to forgive you?” “No,” he said in a weak voice, “but I think it’s about time I did.”
I’ll never forget that moment. The impossible took place right before my eyes. My father prayed aloud, confessed his sins, and placed his faith in Christ just before they wheeled him into surgery. To me, dividing the Red Sea paled in comparison to this miracle. The surgery was successful. God gave me 5 more precious years with my dad. The day I held his hand while he died I knew that I would see not only my mom but also my dad in Heaven.
That morning in the hospital I wanted to minimize the truth of human sin. I wanted to pass truth and go directly to grace. Yet without the bad news there can be no good news. Without the truth of God’s holiness and the dark reality of our sin, Christ’s grace is meaningless. The worst thing I could have done for my father is what I was tempted to do, water down the truth. It would have made it easier for me for the moment, but withholding God’s truth from my dad would have been withholding God’s grace.