Tom Young - There is Hope for Everyone - Oak Lodge, 2008

Just a few thoughts from what Tom Young, a preacher from Manitoba, Canada, told us last Friday night. He said we sometimes hear people say, “We met some very nice people recently. They are the type of people that should be professing.” We do not always like to hear this, because it is often those who you would think most unlikely to profess are the ones that do. I will give you some examples of this happening with some spoken of in the bible that you may not have given much hope for, considering the life that they were living.

I will give you three examples. The first one we will mention is the Woman of Samaria. She had, over her life, five different husbands, and she was not even married the man with whom she was now living. Morally, we might think, well, she is fairly hopeless. Must have lived a fast, loose sort of life, not much chance for her to be helped to a better way of life. Jesus certainly did not think that way, He knew all about her, but loved her just the same. He did not criticise her past life, just offered her living water, something that would continually satisfy her, as her past life obviously had not. Many Samaritans believed, because of this woman. She, unknowingly, helped many people to get to know Jesus, because they could see the effect that meeting with Jesus had had on her life. She recognised him as a prophet, and it obviously changed her life. People are helped more often by what they see more than by what they hear.

The next person we will consider is the man called “Legion.” You may remember that he was the man running naked amongst the tombs. A terrible spirit was controlling his life. He had no home and, even when they bound him with chains, he broke them. I am sure that if you or I was walking past the cemetery and saw him in that state, we would probably hurry on home. Jesus spoke to him, though, and asked him what his name was. He could see the desperate condition that he was in. Soon, He was able to release him from the spirits that were destroying him. A little later he was sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind. He wanted to follow Jesus. Hee advised him to return and show to others the great things that God had done in his life. When Jesus returned to that area later, they received Him gladly and many more were helped. We do not always have to go out to preach to help people. Even where we live, you never know how far reaching the effect of your life can have.

The third and final life that we, perhaps, would consider that there was little hope for was the “thief on the cross.” He had lived a very dishonest life, but received salvation in a most unlikely place and a most unlikely time. Tom said, “What an unusual place to work a mission, at a crucifixion,--I cannot think of a more unlikely place.” The thief, as he hung suffering on his cross, seemed to get a wonderful revelation. He recognised that he was guilty and was getting just punishment for his sins. He said to the other thief that Jesus had done nothing wrong, and yet was being cruelly punished. He even called Him, “Lord.” He said, “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” Jesus said, “This day you will be with me in paradise.” So here we have another example of a person being saved who perhaps we would have considered to have no hope. Tom also told us the story of a girl that he knew who gone very wild and had done everything, but she professed and the change was dramatic. He said that only God can make such a change in a life.