My dad was a preacher from 1957 to 1960. He served three churches before getting out of the ministry for 11 years. After my conversion he went to seminary (Didn’t finish), and was then the founding pastor of a church in Clay, AL in the late 70s. For reasons that aren’t pertinent, he got out of the ministry again in 1987.
Fast forward to 2009. My dad is presently in ICU in Columbus, GA. His pastor was visiting and mentioned he baptized my dad several weeks earlier! This was a SHOCK to me… I had no idea it had happened. I asked his pastor about it and here’s what he told me…
I got a call from your dad a few months ago and he told me, “I know my mom is in heaven… but if I died I wouldn’t be. I want to get my life right and be baptized…”
The fact that he admitted his lost condition… confessed his sin… sought out the preacher himself… was willing to be baptized publicly… and a couple of other things, gave me a reason to celebrate! And celebrate I do!! But I want you to please consider a few things!
First… My dad served as pastor of four churches and was NOT a Christian.
Second… My dad led people to Christ for salvation and was NOT a Christian.
Third… My dad preached many sermons, gave many Bible studies, helped many Christians mature in their faith, and was NOT a Christian.
Fourth… God used my dad to build His church and he was NOT a Christian!
Fifth… My dad was accepted to seminary to train for the ministry and he was NOT a Christian.
Sixth… My dad has an excellent knowledge of the Scriptures from years of personal study, yet he was NOT a Christian!
Last… God’s timing is always perfect, good, and right. He brought my dad to salvation BEFORE the medical issues would have prevented him from trusting Christ for salvation. God is never late!
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day… ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy (Preach) in Your name? And cast out demons in Your name? And do many wonderful works in Your name? 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘Depart from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you.’
It IS possible for a person to think they are saved… do things we consider good for God’s Kingdom… and still be lost (That is a description of my dad). There IS such a thing as a false conversion. Simon Magus believed… was baptized… and followed… but was lost (Acts 8:9-24). Judas walked with Jesus Himself for three years… preached the Gospel… and cast out demons… but was never saved.
“You believe there is one God… you do well… the demons believe and shudder…” (James 2:19).
Peter encourages us to make our salvation sure. Paul wrote to his readers to test and examine themselves to make sure they were in the faith. We too must follow their encouragement so that Matthew 7:21-23 will not be true of us… to God’s glory!
Continue to pray for my dad. I don’t know what the future holds for him physically… but I do believe I know what eternity holds for him and that is much more important! To God be the glory!
Note: My dad is 75 and had a subdureal hematoma that was surgically corrected last Tuesday, has “A-fib” as a heart condition, pneumonia in both lungs, and other medical issues. Please keep him in your prayers… for God’s will to be done for His glory.