Saturday, July 30, 2011

GUEST BLOGGER: James L. McIntosh

Dr. James L. McIntosh is an Instructor and the Academic Dean at Brookes Bible Institute in St. Louis, MO. He is also my dad (whom I'm very fond of). When I recently asked him how he came to know Jesus as his Savior, this is what he said:

The evangelist’s message I can still remember. He said, among other things, “God loves you and you need to repent [turn away from] your own ways and receive His salvation.” I did...

I was 6 and a half. My mother “drug” me to church, kicking and screaming, during a series of missions meetings. After I settled down, I was listening to the speaker talk about people in Brazil, his work there with them, and how they could die in their sins and not go to heaven when they die. Someone needed to tell them of the love of Jesus and how He came to make things right between sinful man and God. Yes, I remember most of the message, even though I was so young. 

He used the "Finney" style of giving an invitation at the end of the message, which many people do not like these days. The invitation isn’t what moved me, though. It was before the singing of "Just As I Am" that I knew in my heart what I really wanted. I was the only one that left their seat to go forward. My mother tried to grab me, thinking I was being my regular ornery self. When I arrived at the front, the pastor looked down at me and asked, "What are you doing here?" I said, “I want Jesus in my heart. I don't want to go to hell. I want to be with HIM!” The pastor took me through the "Romans Road" (it still works today) - Rom 3:23; 6:23; 10:9-10. He asked, “Do you understand all that?” I said yes. He asked, “Then, what do you want?” I said, to have Jesus in my heart. He told me to pray and ask Him in. I did. He did not make it easy for me - did not dictate a prayer. After I prayed, he asked, “What just happened?” I said, “I believe in Jesus and He came in.”

There was no earth quake, lightening or any other "experience" other than the fact that I KNEW something changed. I was different. Walking home that night, I KNEW I was not the same. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I still am not perfect, but I am changed and I have never forgotten what happened that night at Southern View Chapel in Springfield, IL.

~ James L. McIntosh (still a work in progress at 67)

Click here for an interesting article about the history of “the invitation.” 


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