Summary: It’s important to bring people to Jesus
Friends Forever. Wow those are some very powerful words when you put them together you know? I mean, think about what this phrase means: being a friend forever; always there no matter what. This popular phrase can be found in letters from one best friend to another, on the split necklaces when put together, even carved on the side of a tree or building. Sometimes people say it to each other verbally. Not every one knows exactly what it means, though, and if they say it to a friend not knowing the true meaning, the friend hearing it that knows what it means gets hurt because that person wasn’t there for them when they needed them the most.
I had a friend once. I met him at work. He seemed to have it all together on the outside until I really got to know him and found out he was an alcoholic. He also was an atheist. He didn’t believe in God and didn’t even want to hear about Him or religion.
I got to know him really well and we became best friends. His name was Shawn. He knew I was a Christian, but the subject never came up. I prayed for him day and night hoping he would come to know the Lord and completely give up on his drinking habit. It didn’t seem my prayers were working.
Finally I got the courage to mention God. I asked him why he didn’t believe in God. His answer was simple, “Because I can’t believe in someone that has never shown himself to me.” Wow! I wasn’t expecting that kind of answer. I thought he would answer a little differently, like “how can I believe in someone I can’t see.” So I pursued his answer with another question. “If God showed Himself to you, would you believe?” He said maybe. That’s when my excitement reached a high point. I asked him if he would be willing to do a Bible study with me for only one month and if God hasn’t revealed Himself to him by the end of that month we would never talk about it again. He rolled his eyes and said, “No way!” I asked, “Why, what would it hurt?” He didn’t answer. He just walked away and never said anything to me for the rest of the day.
The next morning I woke up to a phone call. It was Shawn. He seemed a little uncomfortable talking to me, but what he said answered why he was uncomfortable. He said, “Okay, let’s do the Bible study thing, but you got only one month.”
The next Monday morning we got started. We studied a little bit of Genesis. He seemed interested in what we were studying. He even started asking questions. By the end of our first week everything was looking good. The next week we learned about Moses and the Red Sea. Shawn thought that was the coolest thing he’d ever heard of. By the end of the third week, Shawn seemed so close to accepting Jesus into his heart. I asked him if he wanted to pray, but he changed his manner and quickly put up a wall. Finally the fourth week came to a close. We just got done studying the life and death of Jesus. I saw tears starting to develop in Shawn’s eyes, so I placed my arm around him and asked if he was ready to pray. His answer? “No.” I asked why. He answered, “Because I’m not ready.” That was fine. I didn’t want to push him.
Our Bible study continued for a couple more weeks and every time I asked him if he was ready to pray, he always gave me the same answer, “No.” Every time I asked why, he would say he still wasn’t ready! It almost became like a game for him. He just would not give in. It was like he wanted to play with my mind or something. So finally I asked him, “Why can’t you accept Jesus?” He answered, “Because I’m not ready.” This went on for a few more weeks, but it seemed he was getting further away. We got into an argument about it and I got upset and just gave up. I went home and didn’t speak to him for a week. I was so mad! I thought I was doing everything right, but nothing was working!
The next day I heard the phone ring. When I answered it was Shawn. It sounded like he was crying. He said he needed to talk to me, but I told him I had to go and I hung up on him. How can I be so stupid. The next day I found out he was dead. I guess he was drinking when he went through a red light about two blocks from my house and hit a truck head-on instantly killing him. I failed! I failed because I was supposed to be there for him no matter what and I wasn’t. If I would’ve just talked to him on the phone, he might have still been alive. If I just would have had more patience with him, he might have asked Jesus into his heart. If I would have treated him as my best friend, we could’ve been friends forever. Friends forever, those are some powerful words aren’t they.