My wife and I spoke at a church in New Jersey. At the end of the service, I stood at the book table where I was approached by two well dressed ladies in their thirties. One of them was weeping hysterically and the other said, “Bill, I’ve got to tell you what happened last night.” She went on to share, “I was at home when my friend here called me saying,” “’I’m committing suicide tonight. I’m done.’” She continued on saying, “She’s my best friend so I knew she was serious. She’s been dealing with this for a year. She’s gone through some really traumatic things and she’s held on for a year, but now she was done. When she called me she said, “’I’m killing myself. I just want to say goodbye.’” “I begged her to come over to my house first. I just felt led to say, come over and see me.”
The friend agreed and came over to her house. When she arrived the lady of the house said, “I came across this book recently, 23 Minutes in Hell, and I need you to read this book before you kill yourself.” The distraught friend agreed. She sat down and began to read my book. As this was happening the phone rang. A third friend was calling to ask, “Are you going to church tomorrow?” The lady of the house said, “Yes, why?” The caller said, “Because this guy who’s been to hell is coming to our church tomorrow.” The lady of the house asked, “What’s his name?” The friend on the phone replied, “Bill Wiese.”
She got off the phone and told her suicidal friend the news. She said, “You won’t believe it, but the author of the book you’re reading is going to be at our church tomorrow morning. He’ll be at our little church. What’s the chance of that?” She went on to say, “You can’t kill yourself. Hold off on that. Wait a day.” The friend agreed and came to church the next day where she was saved.
I want to emphasize the orchestration of this person’s salvation. Annette and I had booked that trip a whole year earlier. God had to keep that friend from taking her life for an entire year. The Lord knew she would call her specific friend, and that friend would invite her over to her home. That friend would have my book in her possession, and then recommend that she read the book. Another friend would call and say, “Bill Wiese is going to be at my church tomorrow.” No one knew their part in the series of events that led this woman to come to church and receive Jesus. No one knew that each of these events would save this women’s life.
Look at all of the pieces and people used to reach this woman. Look at the way God was working to save her life. That’s exactly the point. God is so merciful and His desire is to save everyone. He will go to the extreme to get people saved, and to get their attention. If each of us could see ourselves as soul winners, God will use us in His plans. He’ll prepare the way so that our job is easy. We just need to show up, and God will take care of every detail. He will use us to find that lost soul.
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By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell