NO
RECOL . . .
. . . LECTION

A Very
Short Story
. . . with Long Lasting Implications

THE PHONE CALL arrived late Tuesday night.   Madeleine picked it up first.   Half-
     awake, I tried focusing on the rigid voice on the other end.   My brother, Marcus,
     had been in a car accident.   He survived, but received a concussion.   They had
found my business card in his wallet and noticed that my last name matched the one
on his driver's license.   I asked why they couldn't just get my number from him.   And
naturally, I was shocked when I heard that he had lost part of his memory . . .

   "Marcus?   Do you know who I am?"
   He stared for a while, not sure how to respond.
   "I'm your brother--Ted."
   He smiled and pointed his finger at me "Oh! . . . you're Ted! . . . my only brother,
right?"
   "Yes!   That's right," I said, smiling back.
   "I'm sorry, it's hard to--"
   "I understand, Marc.   Tell me, what do you remember?"
   "Well . . . I don't remember getting this."   He felt his head bandage.   "Otherwise,
it's kinda spotty.   I know this is Michigan.   I'm a carpenter, but I'm not sure who I
work for.   I'm not married . . . I think I'm not--"
   "You remember being saved?," I asked, realizing I might be going too fast.
   He tightened his face, thought hard, then finally shook his head.   "No, I don't . . .
What does that mean?"
   I sat back in my chair, not knowing what to think.   "It means you trusted Christ as
Saviour.   You were born again into God's family.   You're going to Heaven when you die!"
   His eyes lit up.   "When did this happen?"
   "Five years ago.   Don't you remember the time and place when you called upon
Christ to save you?"
   "No . . . Does this mean I'm not saved anymore?"
   "Of course not.   Jesus said, ‘I give unto them eternal life; and they shall
never perish,
(John 10:28)."
   Marcus started breathing heavily, his eyes began to water.   "I wish I could
remember these things."
   "Relax, Marc; calm down.   As a child of God, you're safe in His hands.   Just rest
and I'll be back tonight after work.   We'll talk some more then."
   He nodded as he wiped his eyes.   "Thanks."
   That night as we talked he slowly recollected more of his past.   The next
morning, however, there was a turn for the worse.   His doctor called me aside . . .

   "I'm afraid there's been a complication.   We need to perform surgery."
   "You mean on his brain?" I said.
   The doctor quietly nodded.   "It's a blood clot, a result of the accident."
   "Is this a very dangerous procedure?"
   "There's always a risk."
   Somehow I sensed the risk was greater that what he wanted to let on.
   By the time I went in to see Marcus that night, he knew as much as I did, maybe more. . .

   He sat up in his bed, quiet most of the time, until out of the blue he said, "I want to
make sure before the operation.   I mean . . . you say I'm saved but I don't feel like I'm
saved."
   "Well, it's not really a feeling," I said, searching for the right words.   "It's a knowing; you
just know it."
   "But how can I know it if I can't even remember calling upon His name . . . I'm going in
circles."
   I could tell he was growing frustrated.   He was scheduled for surgery first thing in the
morning, and the doctor had warned me not to get him excited.
   "I think you better rest," I said.   "I'll stop by in the morning before the operation."
   I drove home, trying to put myself in his shoes.   What if that were me?   How would I react?
The more I tried to relate, the more something didn't seem quite right.

   "Ted . . . Ted?"   Madeleine stood over the couch, frowning at me.   "Are you all right?
There nothing new I should know about, is there?"
   "No, he's still going in tomorrow morning.   It's just that . . . never mind."
   "Don't worry," she said, breaking out in a smile.   "He's still God's child whether he
remembers it or not and God looks after His own . . . We should go to bed early, we have a
long day tomorrow."
   "In a little while," I said, as she walked away.
   Madeleine was right, but I still didn't have peace.   Something was wrong.   I looked at the clock.
Visiting hours weren't over yet; maybe I should go back to the hospital.   But what would I say?
Besides, he needed his rest more than anyone.   I let out a silent prayer and opened my Bible,
hoping God would show me something.
   The Bible randomly opened to Romans Chapter 8, and as I glanced through the chapter, a
certain verse caught my attention.   I froze, then read it again.   How could I be such a fool, I
thought, then raced back to the hospital . . .

   "I'm sorry, Mr. Wallace," the nurse said, "but your brother said he wanted to go to sleep.   And
frankly, I don't recommend--"
   "I understand, but this is important.   I'm his only relative in town.   I need to talk to him
before his operation."
   "You'll have time in the morning."
   "There won't be enough time then.   It'll be too late.   Look," I said, pointing at my watch,
"I still have fifteen minutes to visit.   This is important . . . PLEASE!"

   The nurse hesitated, then looked at her watch also.   "All right, Mr. Wallace.   You have
fifteen minutes . . ."

   Once inside his room, I opened my Bible and laid it on my brother's lap.
   "Marc, read Romans 8:9.   Read it out-loud."
   "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
  He looked up at me, puzzled.
   "Don't you see, if you don't have the Spirit of God living inside you, you haven't been
spiritually born again."
   "So what's your point?" he said.
   "Do you have the Spirit of God living inside-- yes or no?"
   "I've told you a hundred times, I can't remember ever asking Him to come inside!
WHY CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND?"
   "But I do understand.   I finally realized what's been wrong all along.   Read Verses 15 and 16."
   "‘For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the
Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father[--]’
. . . Look," he said, stopping short of Verse
16, "I'm tired and confused and it's no use--"
   I grabbed the Bible myself and continued reading.   "‘The Spirit itself beareth witness
with our spirit, that we are the children of God:’
(Rom. 8:16).   Don't you get it?" I said.   "God's
Spirit should beareth witness!   Is He bearing witness to you as you sit there?   DO YOU
KNOW IT RIGHT NOW?   You see, all along you've been trusting in what you did BACK THEN,
rather than trusting in what you know NOW?"
   "But . . . but, you said that I--"
   "Forget what I said.   This is between you and God.   You could have easily been living the past
five years with a false profession, trusting in the fact that you prayed a sinner's prayer one day.
But your salvation shouldn't be validated by whether you prayed something.   It should be
evidenced by a constant relationship with God.   And if you're not consciously aware of Him
RIGHT NOW, then there's no real relationship going on!"
   His face turned pale.   And as painful as it was to do this to him before an operation, this was
a matter of Heaven and Hell.
   "Mr. Wallace?"   The nurse stood at the door.   "I'm afraid visiting hours are over."
   I looked back at my brother.   "Here, Marc, take my Bible.   It's got the plan of salvation
mapped out.   Go through it tonight.   Go through it a hundred times if you have to--"
   "Mr. Wallace.   Please, I must insist . . ."

   As I drove home that night, I begged God that He would jar loose five years worth of head
knowledge, and bring Marc to a saving knowledge of Christ.
   However, the operation took a turn for the worse.   And to this day I don't know if my
prayers were answered.   I can only hope that Marc stayed up that night reading through the
plan of salvation.
   I guess I'll have to wait until I get to Heaven to find out if he made it.

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps
you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isa. 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Rom. 3:23.
And Jesus, referring to sinners, said that He:
"shall send forth his angels, and they shall
gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,
and them which do iniquity
[sinners];
And shall cast them into
a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth."
  Mat. 13:41-42

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast."
  Eph. 2:8-9   Baptism, good deeds,
church membership, self-righteousness are all
examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
us
,"
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved
is through Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the
way
, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh
unto the Father, but by me."

(John 14:6)   THAT'S WHY: "...while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us."

(Rom. 5:8-9)   THEREFORE: You must REPENT
(change your mind); admit that you are a Hell
deserving sinner and can't save yourself.   And
call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus
[REPENT], and shalt believe in thine
heart
[TRUST] that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
  Rom. 10:9

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