“We’re not sure Dad’s going to make it this time,” Linda said to her family.
Linda’s father had been in the cardiac intensive care unit for ten days. He was dying of congestive heart failure. The most recent crisis was that his kidneys stopped working. Now he was on dialysis.
Linda said, “I had a crushing burden to witness to Dad before he died. He wasn’t a believer, and I didn’t think I had done everything I could for his salvation. I went to see him early in the morning so other visitors wouldn’t be there. Another man was moved into his room, and a curtain was pulled between their beds. I prayed for Dad and told him how much God loved him and wanted to receive him.”
Linda still did not receive assurance of her dad’s salvation. “But I felt at peace about it,” she said. “I told him what I felt God wanted me to tell him. The Great Banquet is prepared for everyone, but sometimes they turn it down.”
Linda was referring to the story in Luke 14.
Jesus replied, “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses.” Luke 14:16-18
The Great Banquet signifies the Kingdom of heaven. Everyone is invited, but sometimes people make all kinds of excuses for not accepting the invitation.
As Linda went in and out of her dad’s room during the day, she could see that the man in the next bed was dying. He was only 42-years-old and his name was Joey. Toward evening, Joey’s mother was there with him.
“Mother,” said Joey, “Will you please go to the lady sitting in the chair on the other side of the curtain? I want to talk to her.”
Linda walked around the curtain to Joey’s bedside. “I overheard you praying with your dad. Will you pray for me? I want to receive Jesus into my life.”
Linda led him in the prayer of salvation and asked him to repeat these words:
Dear Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I am a sinner, and I am very sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived. I repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His blood for my sins. I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. I invite you to come into my heart and become my Lord and Savior. Amen.
“It was so beautiful,” said Linda. “I could see that he had a sense of peace after he accepted Christ.”
Joey died later that night.
“I thought it was my dad who was supposed to receive salvation that day, but it was Joey. My dad and Joey shared that room for only one night, but it was long enough for this miracle of salvation. Dad got better and was able to go home from the hospital, something we never expected. Now he attends church with us and I continue to pray for his salvation.”