Tom was the son of a miner living in the north of England. His parents loved him tenderly, and, being earnest Christians, they often prayed that he might be brought to accept the Saviour, who was so dear to them. He was indifferent, however, and loved the way of the world.
Tom having become very ill, one of the family asked a servant of the Lord to call at the house, for they were anxious about his soul’s welfare.
The next afternoon he did so. After a little talk with Tom about his health, he said, “Is it not a good thing that God sent His Son into the world to save us?”
He ought to have known that truth well enough, but Tom looked somewhat surprised and puzzled.
“It is true, Tom,” said the visitor. “See, here it is in the Bible.”
He pointed to John 3:16, and continued: “It reads thus: ‘For God so loved the world’—that takes you in, Tom—‘that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ ‘WHOSOEVER’ takes you in also, Tom. God loved you and gave His Son to die for you, to put away your sins. Do you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, Tom?”
A look of hope sprang up in his face. “Will you pray for me?” he asked. “I am needy and sinful.”
There and then they kneeled down together. When the prayer was over, Tom said, “I do believe on Him now. I trust my soul to Jesus.”
The mother came in and embraced her son. She was overjoyed and asked their visitor to stay to tea. Every heart was full of grateful thanks to God for bringing Tom into His most marvellous light.
As they were sitting together a footstep was heard outside. The latch lifted, the door opened, and the father, just come from the coal-mine, walked in. Tom rose from the table at once and told him that he had trusted the Lord Jesus. Tears flowed down the tired old man’s face, tracing white lines upon his black cheeks. Scarcely could he speak for emotion at first. Then the poor, hard-working miner said, “Tom, my son, this is good news indeed; the best I’ve heard for a long time. It is better than a twenty-pound note. God be praised.”
And so the household rejoiced; but not only so, but joy was “in heaven over one sinner that repents.”
Has heaven rejoiced over your repentance?