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THIS WILL GIVE YOU CHILLS:

AFTER A FEW OF THE USUAL SUNDAY EVENING HYMNS,
THE CHURCH'S PASTOR SLOWLY STOOD UP, 
WALKED OVER TO THE PULPIT AND,
BEFORE HE GAVE HIS SERMON FOR THE EVENING, 
HE BRIEFLY INTRODUCED A GUEST MINISTER
WHO WAS IN THE SERVICE THAT EVENING.

IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE PASTOR TOLD THE CONGREGATION
THAT THE GUEST MINISTER WAS  ONE OF HIS DEAREST CHILDHOOD FRIENDS
AND THAT HE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS 
TO GREET THE CHURCH AND SHARE WHATEVER
HE FELT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SERVICE..


WITH THAT, AN ELDERLY MAN STEPPED UP TO THE PULPIT AND BEGAN TO SPEAK.

"A FATHER, HIS SON, AND A FRIEND OF HIS SON
WERE SAILING OFF THE PACIFIC COAST ," HE BEGAN. 

"WHEN A FAST APPROACHING STORM BLOCKED
ANY ATTEMPT TO GET BACK TO THE SHORE.
THE WAVES WERE SO HIGH, THAT EVEN THOUGH THE FATHER WAS
AN EXPERIENCED SAILOR, HE COULD NOT KEEP THE BOAT UPRIGHT
AND THE THREE WERE SWEPT INTO THE OCEAN AS THE BOAT CAPSIZED."


THE OLD MAN HESITATED FOR A MOMENT,
MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH TWO TEENAGERS WHO WERE, 
FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE SERVICE BEGAN,
LOOKING SOMEWHAT INTERESTED IN HIS STORY.

THE AGED MINISTER CONTINUED WITH HIS STORY:
"GRABBING A RESCUE LINE,
THE FATHER HAD TO MAKE THE MOST EXCRUCIATING DECISION OF HIS LIFE:
TO WHICH BOY WOULD HE THROW THE OTHER END OF THE LIFE LINE. 
HE ONLY HAD SECONDS TO MAKE THE DECISION. 

THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON WAS A CHRISTIAN AND
HE ALSO KNEW THAT HIS SON'S FRIEND WAS NOT. 

THE AGONY OF HIS DECISION COULD NOT BE

MATCHED BY THE TORRENT OF WAVES..
AS THE FATHER YELLED OUT, 'I LOVE YOU, SON!' 
HE THREW OUT THE LIFE LINE TO HIS SON'S FRIEND. 

BY THE TIME THE FATHER HAD PULLED THE FRIEND
BACK TO THE CAPSIZED BOAT,
HIS SON HAD DISAPPEARED BENEATH 
THE RAGING SWELLS INTO THE BLACK OF NIGHT.
HIS BODY WAS NEVER RECOVERED."
BY THIS TIME, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE
SITTING UP STRAIGHT IN THE PEW,
ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR THE NEXT WORDS
TO COME OUT OF THE OLD MINISTER'S MOUTH.
"THE FATHER," HE CONTINUED, "KNEW HIS SON
WOULD STEP INTO ETERNITY WITH JESUS
AND HE COULD NOT BEAR THE THOUGHT OF
HIS SON'S FRIEND STEPPING INTO AN ETERNITY WITHOUT JESUS.
THEREFORE, HE SACRIFICED HIS SON TO SAVE THE SON'S FRIEND.

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD,
THAT HE SHOULD DO THE SAME FOR US.
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICED HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON,
THAT WE COULD BE SAVED.
I URGE YOU TO ACCEPT HIS OFFER TO RESCUE YOU
AND TAKE A HOLD OF THE LIFE LINE
HE IS THROWING OUT TO YOU IN THIS SERVICE."

WITH THAT, THE OLD MAN TURNED AND
SAT BACK DOWN IN HIS CHAIR AS SILENCE FILLED THE ROOM.

THE PASTOR AGAIN WALKED SLOWLY TO THE PULPIT
AND DELIVERED A BRIEF SERMON
WITH AN INVITATION AT THE END.
HOWEVER, NO ONE RESPONDED TO THE APPEAL.

WITHIN MINUTES AFTER THE SERVICE ENDED,
THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE AT THE OLD MAN'S SIDE.

"THAT WAS A NICE STORY," POLITELY STATED ONE OF THEM,
"BUT I DON'T THINK IT WAS VERY REALISTIC
FOR A FATHER TO GIVE UP HIS ONLY SON'S LIFE
IN HOPES THAT THE OTHER BOY
WOULD BECOME A CHRISTIAN."

"WELL, YOU'VE GOT A POINT THERE,"

THE OLD MAN REPLIED,
GLANCING DOWN AT HIS WORN BIBLE.
A BIG SMILE BROADENED HIS NARROW FACE.
HE ONCE AGAIN LOOKED UP AT THE BOYS AND SAID,
"IT SURE ISN'T VERY REALISTIC, IS IT?
BUT, I'M STANDING HERE TODAY TO TELL YOU
THAT STORY GIVES ME A GLIMPSE OF WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN
LIKE FOR GOD TO GIVE UP HIS SON FOR ME.

YOU SEE...

I WAS THAT FATHER AND YOUR PASTOR IS MY SON'S FRIEND.'

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