There is only one gospel: Jesus Christ, the Messiah died and rose again so that those who believe and receive Him can have eternal fellowship with God. John 3:16 is most succinct on this: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” I learned that verse early in life, certainly before age ten. One thing I have found is that no two people respond to the gospel exactly the same.
I first met with Shirley at the request of her daughter, who had just come to believe that Jesus died for her. Shirley was always happy to see me, have me pray for her and read the Bible to her. Yet, she staunchly reminded me that while Jesus was okay for me, she was “too old to change” (she was past 65 years old) or “just couldn’t see things that way.” I continued to meet with her twice a month to read the Bible and pray.
One Wednesday, twenty-one months after we began our adventure, Shirley began to cry. It was very uncharacteristic for this dear lady to register anything but smiles or quiet concern. She composed herself and told me, “I admit it, I can’t deny any longer that Jesus is the Messiah.” I was so happy! We prayed together and since then, she has had so much peace and joy that I know the Holy Spirit has given her new life. Shirley is excited to see God answering her prayers. Shirley’s story is neither typical, nor is it unusual. There are as many different time frames as there are people who enter the Kingdom. Two weeks after I prayed with Shirley, I prayed with Rona. Rona is old enough to be a mother of a five-yearold child but young enough to be a granddaughter to Shirley, though they don’t know each other. Rona prayed to receive Jesus the second time I met with her. However, God had been working in her life for some time and I only became part of His plan for her salvation at the end of her search. I was no less delighted to see her come to faith than I was when Shirley came. I was reminded that God deals with each of us as individuals and that we never know how we will be used in the life of another person.
Please pray for Rona and Shirley, that they would both continue to grow in faith. Pray for their families as well, that both women would see those they love come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.