Derek finishes this week’s message by telling how he led his Sudanese friend, Ali, to Jesus, and the way it impacted everyone at the hospital. He then invites you to commit your life afresh to the Lord, also giving an opportunity for any listener to receive Christ and find this salvation that comes through Him alone.
So I said, “If you want to be born again, you have to pray in the name of Jesus. Will you do that?” He said, “Yes, I will.” So that evening we made the same arrangement—you pray in your hut and I’ll pray in my billet. Next morning I met him, I looked at him and I said, “You’ve got it!” His whole face was transformed. He was a new man and because he was well-known to everybody in the hospital, it impacted the whole hospital. People came up to me and said, “What happened to your friend, Ali?” I said, “He got saved.” They said, “What’s that?” I said, “Let me tell you.”
The commanding office of the hospital sent for me. “What’s happened to your friend, Ali?” I said, “He got saved.” “What’s that?” “Sir, let me tell you.” He was a Presbyterian, a church-going man, but he didn’t know anything about salvation.
Well, then I realized, “Whosoever believes and is baptized shall be saved.” So I said, “You have to be baptized.” Well the hospital had a small swimming pool, and by arrangement, one evening I met with him at the swimming pool and he was baptized. And those were some of the happiest days of my life. Every other soldier was complaining. “Why are we in this miserable hole with nothing to do? Just sand and flies and heat.” And I was as happy as could be because I was serving the Lord.
So I want to tell you. The Lord, if you make a commitment to Him, will train you. He trained me in the army. I didn’t need a Bible school. I had all the intellectual knowledge I would ever need. What I needed was experience. And that’s how I was trained as a corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
When I came out of the Army Medical Corps in 1946 I married a missionary who had a small children’s home. She had eight girls in her home, little girls. The day I married I got a ready-made family, eight girls—six Jewish, one Palestinian Arab, one English. Now I never had any brothers or sisters. I was an only child. I never had a female teacher above the age of nine. I didn’t have anybody but male teachers. And here I was thrust into this situation. There were eleven people in our household. Eight girls, my wife, our Arab maid, named Jamela, and me. And I was the only male among them. And I’ll tell you that required adjustment by everybody.
So I just want to tell you, that if you will commit your life to the Lord, if you will say, “Here I am, Lord. I realize people desperately need this gospel, and You’re not going to come back until the gospel has been preached to every nation.” If you’ll make that commitment, God will take you at your word. He won’t deal with you necessarily like he dealt with me, because He deals with each of us as individuals. And if you’ve never made a personal commitment to Jesus, why not do it tonight? It will change you just like it changed Ali.
So I want to give you this opportunity. I said that commitment is something that is just as real for young people as it is for older. In fact, in some ways it’s more real. Because the older you get, the harder it is to change. So you’re in the state of life, some of you, when it’s just right for you to make a commitment. I want to challenge you here, this evening. If God is speaking to your heart, if you’ve felt something, that you will make a commitment. If you’ve never committed your life to Jesus, say, “Here I am Lord. Save me. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and I’ll serve you.” If you’ve made that commitment but you don’t know what life holds for you in the future say, “Here I am Lord Jesus. I belong to You. I commit myself to follow You and do whatever You commission me to do.”
So without any special emotion, I just want to give you an opportunity to make that kind of commitment. If you will do that right now, I want you to rise from your seat where you are and this is not primarily an emotional thing. It’s a spiritual decision of your will and you’ll never be in a better position to do it than you are right now tonight. And I want to tell you God loves you. He has a plan for your life and it’s the best plan that there could ever be. It’s better than anything you could ever plan for yourself.
Those of you that know the Lord just be praying. This is a vital hour in the lives of people. That’s right. It would be good if you were to kneel down. It’s a good attitude. Submission, commitment.
Now I’m going to give you a prayer that you can pray. Because a lot of people tell me, “I want to pray but I don’t know what to say.” You’re going to address this pray to Jesus and it will be a simple prayer. When you’ve made it, just go on. You’ll be in touch with Jesus, just go on talking to Him. Pour out your heart to Him. Tell Him about your difficulties, your problems, the things you’re afraid of. Ask Him to come to your help. So this is the prayer. I want you to say it after me audibly. You don’t have to scream or shout, but say it loud enough to hear yourself. So that when you leave here tonight, you’ll know you said these words. So this is what I want you to say.
“Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are the Son of God, and the only way to God. That you died on the cross for my sins, and rose again from the dead. And I come to you now as my Savior. I ask you to forgive me, cleanse me in Your precious blood, wash my heart clean, and give me a totally new life from this night forward. In Jesus’ Name I thank you. Amen.”
Now go on praying to Him in your own words. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Those of you that are believers, why don’t you just stand up and begin to thank God for these people. Let’s fill this auditorium with praise. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, thank you, thank you.