THE WINNING OF CHARLIE STOLTZFUS
Tony Campolo was a special speaker one week-end and he felt led by the Holy Spirit to tell a story of what happen when he was asked to speak at a Pentecostal college.
Before the service began eight men had him kneel so they could lay their hands on him and pray. Tony said he was always glad to have prayer but one of the men didn’t even pray for him. The man prayed for a neighbour. The man prayer went like this, "Dear Lord, you know Charlie Stoltzfus. He lives in that silver trailer down the road a mile. You know the trailer, Lord, just down the road on the right-hand side." Right about then Tony said that he wanted to interrupt and tell the man that God already knew where they guy lived and didn’t need directions. Tony said that as the man prayed he remained silent and just tried to keep his head upright. The man continue to pray "Lord, Charlie told me this morning he’s going to leave his wife and three kids. Lord we need you to step in and do something. God you can bring that family back together."
The prayer time ended and Tony preached. After the service as Tony was headed home he saw a hitchhiker and felt the Holy Spirit say that he should pick up the hitchhiker. He stopped, the man got in and they drove a few minutes in silence.
Then Tony said, "Hi, my name's Tony Campolo. What's yours?"
He said, "My name is Charlie Stoltzfus."
Tony said at the next exit he got off the turnpike and headed back. Charlie just looked at him and then he said "Hey mister, where are you taking me?"
Tony replied, "I'm taking you home."
Charles gave Tony a funny look and asked, "Why?"
Tony replied, "Because you just left your wife and three kids, right?"
Charles was shocked. He plastered himself against the passenger side car door and never took his eyes off him. Tony said that Charles almost passed out when he drove right to his silver trailer and pulled into his driveway. With eyes almost bulging out of his head he asked, "How did you know that I lived here?" Tony replied that God told him.
When he opened the trailer door, his wife said, "You're back. you're back." Charles went to his wife and began to whisper in her ear as he kept looking at Tony. The more he told his wife, the bigger her eyes got. Finally Tony told them to sit down, that he was going to talk and they were going to listen. That afternoon Tony led those two people to Jesus Christ.
Now I want you to think about what if Tony had said no when asked to preach at a Pentecostal College, what if Tony had said no when the men wanted to have a prayer time, what if someone had told the man who prayed for Charles was told to stop, the results would be completely different. The Lord had the whole thing set up earlier in the day so that Tony would be able to harvest those two souls. Can you imagine being in that church that evening and listening to this testimony. I know that if I was there I would be giving praise to my Lord Jesus for how he not only set this up but how a servant of the Lord was willing to be used for the Gospel.
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Robert Marsh on Mar 22, 2005
Most of us are familiar with this song – it’s the theme from the television show Friends. But have you ever caught the lyrics to the song? They read, in part: So no one told you life was gonna be this way Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A. It’s like you’re always stuck ...read more
Contributed by David Elvery on Nov 14, 2004
A little boy was leading his sister up a mountain path and the way was not too easy. "Why this isn't a path at all," the little girl complained. "Its all rocky and bumpy." Her little brother kept on up the mountain, ...read more
Contributed by Tim Richards on May 24, 2005
This bomb was tested above the Arctic Circle on October 30, 1961. The explosion was so intense that the flash was visible over 600 miles away. People felt the air move over 160 miles away. Everything in a radius of 15.25 miles was completely destroyed. Very severe damage extended to a distance of ...read more
Contributed by David Schaal on Sep 10, 2003
The other day, Hunter my 6 year old shocked me as I came in the door. He said Dad, did the trash man come yet? I said, “I think so,” he said,” Good, I will go get the trash can and bring it in.” I thought, “ I am such a great leader, I have taught my son the responsibilities of taking care of and ...read more
Contributed by R. David Reynolds on Jun 30, 2005
Dorothea Day’s poem “My Captain” is the Christian response to Henley: Out of the light that dazzles me, Bright as the sun from pole to pole, I thank the God I know to be For Christ the conqueror of my Soul. Since His, the way of circumstance I would not wince nor cry aloud. Under that ...read more
Contributed by Jonathan Vorce on Sep 6, 2017
We are commanded by God to "make" disciples. This message can aid in the developing of fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Contributed by Archie Luper on Jul 7, 2007
STORY: Wife goes with husband to doctor. Not good, husband has but one week to live. Extend time by cooking, rubbing feet, back, take golfing, fishing, etc. Be as affectionate as when you were first married. This might extend his life. “Honey, what did do