"I Don't Believe It!"

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Anthony Hall had seen long service in the Marines. He had been all over the world and had fought in many engagements, out of which he had come uninjured. Then he was pensioned and took a job as a night watchman. During the day he found time heavy on his hands, and so began to fill up the empty hours with drinking and gambling.
Anthony was so given over to the service of sin and Satan that his wife, though herself unconverted, became worried about what would become of him. If he would only go to church, she thought, he might be reformed.
To please her he went to some gospel services. There the Spirit of God convicted him of his state as a lost sinner, and so worked upon his conscience that he was in despair. He saw himself as the worst of sinners, without hope, and felt that everlasting doom must be his end.
Another old serviceman was a near neighbor. John Lawson had passed through the dangers and temptations of a soldier's life, and now, having learned that there was no peace to be found out of Christ, he came to see Anthony and to tell him of the Savior.
The old marine listened intently as his friend read out these wonderful words, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Anthony was fairly astonished; he raised his brawny hand above his head, and brought it down on the table before him, saying, "I don't believe it!"
Without argument, Lawson read again, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (and that means you, Anthony) believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Again Anthony shouted, "I don't believe it," as his strong fist came down once more with a crash upon the table.
A third time the words were repeated, but they seemed incredible to the old marine. He had never heard the story of God's love, and he exclaimed with more warmth than ever, "I DON'T BELIEVE IT!"
Lawson, wise in winning souls, changed the subject. "How long were you in the service?"
"Twenty one years and fourteen days," was Anthony's prompt reply.
At this John Lawson lifted his fist, brought it down on the table, and cried, "I don't believe it!"
"Do you think I would tell you a lie?" returned Anthony angrily. “It was twenty one years and fourteen days."
"I don't believe it," answered Lawson dryly.
"Wife," cried Anthony, "bring me my discharge!"
Lawson took the paper from her hand, quietly asking the old man, "How is it that you expect me to believe the word of man, while you yourself refuse to believe the Word of God?" Again opening his Bible, he once more read John 3:16.
Anthony's eyes and heart were now opened and he joyfully exclaimed, "I see it! I believe it! I believe it! Thank God!"
From that hour these words filled his soul with joy. He at once began to tell the good news to his wife, and through God's mercy she received the blessed truth, too. Now their great joy is to read God's Word together and to tell others of God's love through that precious verse!
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.