The boy praying at the altar was about fifteen years old with a shock of blond hair. The pastor motioned me to come and help the lad. It was at a weekend of services at a small town in Michigan where I had been invited to speak. Near the church was a home for troubled boys.
The leadership of that home brought several boys to the meetings. I had noticed this particular young fellow praying the night before. He had come again with the others from the group home and was seeking the Lord.
I opened my Bible to Revelation 3:20 and asked him to read it. “Do you understand what it is saying?” I asked.
He looked at the verse, and then said, “I’m not sure.”
“Let’s start at the beginning where it says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’ What made you get out of your seat and come up here?”
“I listened to the message and felt I wasn’t right,” he answered.
“That was the Lord Jesus, knocking at the door of your heart.”
“Oh, I see,” he said, the light beginning to dawn in his understanding.
I went on to explain that if he would open the door of his heart, Jesus would come in. “Why don’t you pray and talk to the Lord?”
He prayed for a short while and then stopped, apparently not sure what to say.
“You know,” I said, “Jesus will not come in to a place where there is sin. You need to tell him about your sins. The Bible says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us. If you have sins in your life, you need to confess them to God.”
He dropped his head and began praying again. After some time he stopped and still seemed uncertain about what to do. I told him that perhaps there were sins he could not remember. I urged him to ask the Lord Jesus to forgive him even of all the sins he had forgotten about. So he prayed again. This time he seemed satisfied.
“If you believe that the Lord saved you from your sins and came into your life, why don’t you stand up and tell us that,” I urged. He stood to his feet.
“I think I’m saved,” he said.
I stood beside him and said, “Hey buddy, you can know you’re saved.”
He turned me and said, “Let me see that verse again.”
I put my finger at the place where he read, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in…”
He turned toward the congregation and said, “I know I’m saved!”
Several minutes later, as I was preparing to leave the church, he caught up with me. In his hand he held a New Testament that the pastor had just given him.
“Could you show me that verse again?” he asked.
I took the testament and marked Revelation 3:20. Then I turned to John 3:16 and marked that.
I handed it back to him and told him to read both of those verses before he went to bed and thank God for saving him. He left in a joyful mood.
The next night was the last night of the meeting. I was seated on the front pew praying and pondering over the message I planned to give that evening. Someone slipped into the seat beside me. I looked up to see it was the blond-haired boy I had prayed with the night before.
“Are you going to do that thing again tonight?” he asked.
“What thing is that?”
“That thing where if someone needs to be saved they can get saved.”
“Buddy,” I answered, “That’s why we’re here!”
“Good,” he exclaimed. “I brought a friend who wants to be saved.” He stood up and went back to his seat.
I gave a message on the love of God for lost people and then gave the invitation. As the first strains of the song were being sung, I noticed a youth leave his seat and come to the altar. Others also came. When we gathered to pray, I saw the blond -haired boy kneel behind his friend. Soon he got close to him and then I watched as got out his New Testament, turned to Revelation 3:20 and began to explain what he should do. It was only a short time and his friend put his faith in Jesus as his savior. But the blond boy was not finished. He looked along the altar and saw another of his friends praying. He went to him with his testament in his hand and was soon showing the verse to this seeker also.
When the service concluded, three boys went home together happy, all because of
Revelation 3:20. These boys experienced that when we are forgiven, we are also blessed. It is a Biblical truth. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Ps. 32:1).
Greg had attended our campus fellowship meetings enough to realize he was a sinner. But that knowledge made him miserable. One evening he was trying to study in the library but his heavy heart interrupted his concentration. He walked away from his books for a few moments. A large dictionary was on a stand and he began flipping the pages. When he looked down, the first word he saw was “forgiven.” When he came to our next fellowship meeting, he couldn’t wait to tell us how that word showed him the truth. The forgiveness of sins purchased for him by Christ’s death on the cross was his if he believed. Greg was blessed because he was forgiven.
The Roman soldiers who watched over the proceedings at the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth had likely been to many executions. This one was different. The Man on the middle cross did not curse and swear, or scream at His tormentors. Instead they heard Him say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Other things happened that were unusual. It turned dark at midday. There was a great earthquake. “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God” (Matt. 27:54).
Imagine what went through their minds. If this was the Son of God, they had killed the Lord of glory! What hope did they have? And then those words came back to them, now with an intensely personal application. “Father, forgive them…”
What relief did those words bring! And what blessing!
It is available now, just as it was then. Forgiveness and Blessing for all who believe.