When I was fifteen years old, I had a life changing experience. However, I’m not sure exactly what happened. Billy Graham came to town. It was one of those early crusades. He and his team were in St. Louis for about three weeks. Good thing for me. It was a week or more before I was willing to attend with my family. That was the first time I ever remember hearing the Gospel.
I grew up in the church. I didn’t like it, but I went, at least to Sunday school. But I was a trouble-maker. One teacher thought I was retarded. I may be the only kid in history to flunk Sunday school. My friend and I needed to be separated. We fought too much.
I joined the church. There were weeks of classes children had to attend. I learned the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments. We learned the Lord’s Prayer. The pastor made a big thing out of that because he wanted us to say “which” instead of “who.” Amazing…the little things we remember. But I have no recollection of ever hearing the Gospel.
There could be at least two reasons for that:
1. It wasn’t presented. Maybe some in the church didn’t believe it or, at least, didn’t clearly understand it. It’s also possible that those teachers and leaders (including the pastor) assumed we knew the Gospel. Don’t skip over this! You may be in a church committed to the Bible and have any number of people (children and adults) who don’t really understand what it means to believe in Jesus.
2. The Holy Spirit didn’t tune me in. Because I say I didn’t hear the Gospel does not necessarily mean it wasn’t presented. It may have been pre