During the last week of November this year the campus of Auburn Montgomery is closed down. There are no classes, which means there are no students or faculty on campus.
During this week, I used some of my vacation days and was planning to be out of the office all week.
On that Tuesday, I decided to go to the woods and bow hunt on a friend’s property. Although I did not see any deer, it was a great, just being in the woods.
At the end of the day, while I was coming down from my tree stand, I had an accident and fell 8-10 feet. However, by the grace of God I was wearing my safety harness, and it caught me after I fell.
Needless to say, I was sore the next day and therefore did not go back to the woods as I was planning. Instead, I went to my office to pick up a couple of things before my family went out of town for Thanksgiving.
When I was leaving my office, a young man pulled into our parking lot, got out of his car and walked over to me. I had met him earlier in the year but did not really know him all that well. Our only connection is that we are both brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
As we began to talk, he told me that his life was in a wreck and he needed help finding a church. As I began to talk with him, I quickly realized that he needed more than to just find a church. It was apparent that he did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ and he needed to be redeemed.
As we sat down in my office, I began to inquire why he thought his life was a wreck. He shared that he was divorced with two children and that he had recently been arrested and spent a weekend in jail for public intoxication. It was very clear that he was right: His life was a wreck.
It was at this at this point that I began to share the Gospel with this young man and told him that the Gospel could be summarized by one simple statement: Jesus in my place.
I told him that God was Creator and King and that one day we would have to stand and give an account. Unfortunately because Adam and Eve decided they would make better gods than God, they chose to sin and that sin was handed down to us. The bad news of the Gospel is because we are born sinners and, because we are rebellious toward God, each one of us deserves to be punished for our sin. The Bible says there is none good (Rom. 3:10-11). I then told this young man that there is a reason why the Gospel is called the good news. The good news is that we are so wicked that we deserve to be punished, yet we are so loved that God sent His son Jesus to take our punishment for us. The good news is if we will repent, believe, and confess Jesus as Lord that when Christ died on the cross God poured out His wrath on His son in our place. He paid for our sins.
I then told him that the reason why we sin is because of our heart, but if we placed our faith in Christ, God will redeem our hearts and makes us new creatures. However, before I asked this young man whether he wanted to repent and confess I told him that just because you do this God may not take away the consequences of your former bad choices.
I looked at him and said, “When you come to Jesus, you get Jesus and He is always enough.” He looked at me for a second and then he just smiled.
I asked him if he wanted to repent and confess, and he said, “That is exactly what I need to do.”
At that moment he repented, confessed and placed his faith in Jesus Christ.
I told him that one of the most important things he needs to do is to get connected to a local church. The very next Sunday he attended a local Baptist church and is planning to be baptized and become a member with this local body. He is also planning to take his sons with him.
Looking back I can see God’s divine sovereign hand moving. Was I planning to be at the office that day? No. Did God cause me to fall out of the tree the day before? Of course not. Did He use that situation to redeem this young man for His own glory, of course!
Everything God does He does for His own glory!
State Missionary Lee Dymond serves Alabama Baptists as Baptist Campus Minister at the Auburn University at Montgomery. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.