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I have mentioned before that leaders of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association estimate that roughly 10% of people who come forward at the end of a Crusade meeting really become Christians that night. Many already were Christians and lots of others go through the external motions but never really receive Jesus Christ. Again, the Billy Graham people are delighted that about 10% of these folks, or hundreds of people each night, are genuinely converted, but they admit that many who come forward are not.
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MICKEY MANTLE'S SALVATION STORY
The #7 is for the Mick, or Mickey Mantle, who played for the New York Yankees.
Why do I bring this out about Mickey Mantle. Well 1st of all without a team playing with Him Mick would have won zero World Series. But because of a team effort Mickey played in 12 World Series, and won 7 World Championships.
And because of a team effort they won 113 and only lost 54 in 1961.
2nd. Because of a certain player on his team, who let his light shine, Mick might not be in heaven today. Here’s the story.
Remember, it wasn’t how Mick started his life but how he finished it.
You might have read the stories how Mick would come to games drunk, He had a problem with alcohol and it cost him his life.
Mickey Charles Mantle (The Mick)
Born: October 20, 1931
Died: August 13, 1995 (Aged 63)
Some of his awards
1956 Major League Player of the Year
1956 AL MVP
1956 AL Triple Crown
1957 AL MVP
1962 AL MVP
1965 ML Hutch Award
He was one of the most compelling athletic heroes in American history. Long after he'd hung up his fabled pin striped uniform, grown men would stammer and stutter in his presence and faithful fans would pay outlandish prices for his memorabilia. His achievements were many, but they cannot explain his enduring popularity. His legion of admirers felt a deep emotional attachment to this man who moved with such fluid grace and raw power. They loved Mickey Mantle.
His statistics are staggering--536 home runs, 1,509 RBIs, .298 career batting average, seven world championships, and three MVP awards--and they are all the more impressive when we consider how the Hall of Famer courageously battled chronic, painful injuries during his 18 years with the New York Yankees. In addition, he won the Triple Crown in 1956--a .353 batting average, 52 HRs, and 130 RBIs. In 1961, he hammered 54 homers, just six shy of Babe Ruth's record.
But these numbers pale when compared to what happened in the harsh summer of '95 when his heart took over in that desperate final inning. Faced with an aggressive cancer, he displayed incredible courage, humility, even humor as he battled for his life. And when he chose to drag his frail body in front of a mass of microphones and address the public, there was not a trace of self-pity in his words--only heartfelt pleas to avoid the mistakes he had made. "Don't be like me," he humbly declared, "I'm no role model!" But despite his flaws, Mantle remained a hero to his multitude of fans, and due to his honesty gained many new ones.
At age 19, Mickey Mantle left the lead mines of Oklahoma for the bright lights of New York City. Unfortunately, those lights cast an eerie shadow over his life. After Mickey's first season, his father, Mutt Mantle, died of Hodgkins disease at 40. His grandfather and two of his uncles also died to the same disease before their 40th birthdays. As a result, a growing fear of dying young haunted the budding superstar. He would talk long into the night with close teammates, confiding to them this nagging fear.
Convinced an early funeral was his fate, though often joking about it, he played hard and partied even harder. For him there was no tomorrow. Tragically, this attitude led to a 40-year bout with alcohol that caused his body to grow older before its time and clouded his mind. Many criticized his self-destructive lifestyle, saying it sabotaged the greatest combination of power and speed the game had ever seen. In autumn of his life, Mantle came to agree with those critics, admitting that his drug of choice, alcohol, kept him from reaching his full potential--as a player and a person. Mickey Mantle had learned the hard lesson that a man reap what he sows.
Finally in 1994, at the urging of his family and friends, Mickey Mantle sought help for his addiction. After checking himself into the Betty Ford Center, he was able to win his long battle with the bottle. But he knew something was still missing in his life. He just wasn't sure what it was.
In June of '95, doctors discovered that cancer had destroyed Mantle's liver. He was fortunate to receive a transplant, and for a while it seemed as if the greatest switch hitter of all time would live to fight another day. Then doctors found that cancer remained in his body, and he began chemotherapy. Mickey knew he was facing death. During the All-Star break in Dallas, he picked up the phone and called his old friend and teammate, former Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson--a committed Christian. Mickey asked him to pray for him over the telephone. A few weeks later when the doctors had discovered that the cancer aggresively spread, Mickey's family asked Bobby if he would come visit him.
His death was imminent. After entering the hospital room, Richardson went over to Mantle's bed and took his hand. Locking his eyes on him, Bobby said, "Mickey, I love you, and I want you to spend eternity in heaven with me." Mantle smiled said, "Bobby, I've been wanting to tell you that I have trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior." Faced with the crushing weight of his sin against a holy God and its dire consequence-- eternal seperation from God--Mickey had asked for and received the forgiveness he so desperately needed. For Richardson, news of his conversion felt like cool rain after a summer drought, and brought tears to his eyes. For years, he had talked to Mickey about the Lord Jesus, but to no avail. Now, in the final inning of his life, the Mick had won his greatest victory--more glorious than any of his tape measured home runs.
When asked later how he knew he would spend eternity with God in heaven, Mickey, after some reflection, quoted John 3:16 from the Bible: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
At Mickey's funeral, Bobby Richardson told 2,000 mourners and a national TV audience that there are only two groups of people: those who say "yes" to Christ and those who say "no". He added that, since none of us knows when he will face his own final inning, saying "maybe" is really saying "no". The Bible confirms this when it says, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him" (John 3:36).
“A survey of 7,000 people, conducted by the sponsorship Research International in six countries found that the Shell Oil logo, the Mercedes badge and the five Olympic rings were recognized far more widely than the Christian Cross. McDonald’s golden arches and Shell’s glowing yellow shell were recognized by 84% of those questioned; while a mere 54% could identify the ...
The Barna research group recently conducted an extensive survey in the twelve largest Christian denominations in the U.S. What they uncovered was shocking. Only 41% of all adults surveyed believed in the total accuracy of the Bible. Only 40% believed Christ w...
WHO IS GOING TO HEAVEN?
There is a growing tendency to believe that all good people, whether or not they consider Jesus Christ to be their savior, will live in heaven after they die on earth. In 1999 the public is almost divided on the matter: 53% agree, 40% disagree. This represents a significant change since 1992, when 40% agreed with this notion and 1994 when 46% agree, 47% disagree.
Half of all adults (51%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven.
Of those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ: (1999)
63% believe that they will go to Heaven when they die because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior.
11% believe that they will go to heaven because basically they are a good person.
10% do not know what will happen to them after they die.