Some years ago, 19-year-old Reuben* attended a Bible study. He was not a believer but he wanted to learn the message of the Bible. He was given a book, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus and, over a number of weeks, was taught the gospel message. At the end of the study, he put his trust in Christ for salvation.
After telling his family that he was now a believer, his younger brother Conner became very spiteful and gave Reuben a nasty time. Though this caused Reuben to struggle with his faith, he never gave up what he believed. Meantime, Conner simply made things worse. He terrorized his brother, both verbally and physically. What Reuben didn’t know at the time was that Conner was struggling to find any meaning in his life.
One morning, Reuben found his brother upstairs, sitting with his head in his hands. Reuben paused at this sight, unsure what to do. Feeling led to go over to his younger brother, he spoke to him gently.
“Conner, these past weeks… I know you’ve been very hard on me, but I want you to know that I’m at absolute peace with what I believe and I know that it’s true.”
To his surprise, Conner began to cry. It wasn’t the reaction he expected and as he studied his weeping brother, he wondered what he should do next. Little did he know that Conner was in a dark place and was contemplating suicide that very morning.
Reuben hurried to his room and returned with his copy of The Stranger. He offered it to his brother, saying, “If you want to understand what I understand, then you need to read this book.”
Through tear-filled eyes, Conner took the book and went to his room. As Conner would later reveal, he sat on his bed and read through the book, cover to cover. Then he read it again. And again. Over the next few days, he read it a total of five times, beginning to end. Finally, he understood the message of hope and, like his older brother, he placed his trust in Jesus.
That dark morning was more than a decade ago. Since then, the light of truth and hope has entered into Conner’s heart. From a suicidal teenage boy, he has grown into a man who walks closely with the Lord. In fact, to see him today, one would not imagine he was once a suicidal young man. As a friend described him, “Conner is on fire for the Lord. He is an amazing witness and always ready to share the gospel.”
Praise God for what he has done in Reuben and Conner’s lives. Their transformations are nothing short of a miracle. Again we see that an understood gospel is a powerful gospel—it saves lives!
(*All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)