In John 20 we read the beautiful story of Mary Magdalene looking into the empty tomb after her Lord had been resurrected from the dead. What a story! The Lord Jesus had delivered Mary from demonic possession and she never got over it! Praise His Holy name! Jesus allowed Mary to be the very first person to see Him after He had been resurrected. “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her” (John 20:18 NKJV).
We have not yet seen our precious Lord, but one day we will! We are called to tell this spiritually lost world that Jesus is alive and that He is coming back to this earth very soon (Acts 1:8). It is truly the Greatest Story Ever Told!
The family of John Stoffle asked me to assist in John’s memorial because our pastor, Royce Bailey, was ill and unable to do it. My Lord instructed me to share about how John came to realize, as an older man, that he had never been born again! He was an active church member and he even tithed, but he was spiritually lost! One Sunday morning, as our pastor gave the public invitation at the close of his message, John came down that aisle and repented of his sins and made Jesus his personal Savior and Lord! I was blessed to get to know John and he was definitely a new creation in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17)! I shared the plan of salvation and I told all in attendance that they could come and speak with me after the memorial service if they would like to be born again. No sooner had I stepped down from the pulpit, that I looked up and saw John’s daughter and her fiancé. They were under conviction and they told me that they were ready to be born again! Mr. Charlie Rowe and I took them to a vacant room at Atchley Funeral Home in Sevierville, TN and we shared the plan of salvation with them. Together they prayed as they repented of their sins and made Jesus their Savior and Lord by faith! It was an unforgettable scene as John’s daughter was crying tears of joy and her fiancé was glowing like the sun! Her dad was rejoicing in Heaven (Luke 15:7,10)! John had been telling all of his family that he wanted to see them in Heaven!
Many churches are declining, and our great God is not about to forget the ones who have not forgotten Him! Four years ago, Pastor Ken Raines received a very clear call from his Lord to begin pastoring First Baptist Church in Oliver Springs, TN. The church is now moving forward in bold daring dynamic faith! I was blessed to be able to share the glorious gospel message here recently! Pastor Ken gave me the awesome privilege to share the gospel with the children using my puppet, Laid Back Larry! They loved him! Creative tools do work with children! The people in attendance hung on every word as my Lord had me to talk about the subject, “A Tale of Two Cities: Heaven and Hell.” During the time of public invitation, several dear people raised their hand that they had prayed to be Born Again!
This coming Easter Sunday morning I will be blessed to proclaim the glorious gospel message at Bible’s Chapel Baptist Church in Midway, TN where Don Bible is the pastor. It is exceedingly rare for a pastor to relinquish his pulpit at Christmas or Easter! Pastor Don feels strongly that his Lord wants a soul winning evangelist to deliver the Easter story in all of its glory! Please pray for the strong and convicting power of the Holy Spirit to move mightily on the hearts of all who will be there!
With all of my heart, thank you for standing with this soul winner! My Lord has not allowed the “Holy Fire” to depart from my heart! If I live until April 24, I will have been serving my Lord in the field of evangelism for 29 years! The enemy, who is the devil, has continuously done all that he can do to defeat me by using religious people, even my own pastors! That is the Way of The Cross! I love you!
For Souls Forever In Heaven,
Jeffrey L. Harvel