It Works! I Know It Works

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 4
Dr. Bob Jones, evangelist and educator, enjoyed conversing with an old friend, a man over eighty years of age. One day they were sitting together on a projecting rock of a mountainside in Arkansas and his aged friend told this story: "I was down in this country during the Civil War. Across on the other side yonder there were hundreds of tents where our soldiers were encamped. Measles broke out and many of our brave lads died. The epidemic got so bad we stretched some tents farther down the valley and moved all the measles patients into these tents. This, of course, was done to protect as far as possible the health of the well soldiers. I was ward-master in charge of the tents where the measles patients were located.
"One night while I was on duty, I passed a bunk where there was a very sick soldier lad not more than seventeen years of age. The boy looked at me with a pathetic expression and said, Wardmaster, I believe I am going to die. I am not a Christian. My mother isn't a Christian. My father isn't a Christian. I never had any Christian training. I never did attend church. I did go with a boy friend to Sunday School just once. A woman taught the Sunday School class. She seemed to be such a good woman. She read us something out of the Bible about a man—I think his name was Nicodemus. Anyway, it was about a man who went to see Jesus one night. Jesus told this man he must be born again. The teacher said all people must be born again in order to go to heaven when they die. I have never been born again, and I don't want to die like this.
Won't you please get the chaplain so he can tell me how to be born again?"
The old man paused in his story for a moment. "You know, in those days I was an agnostic—at least, that is what I called myself. As a matter of fact, I wasn't anything but an old sinner. So I told the boy, `You don't need a chaplain. Just be quiet now. Don't worry, and you'll be all right.'
"I went on around the ward and in about an hour I came back to the boy's bed. He looked at me out of such sad, staring eyes as he said, Wardmaster, if you won't get the chaplain, please get me the doctor. I am choking to death'.
“‘All right, my son, I'll get you the doctor,' I said. So I went off and found the doctor and he came and mopped out the throat of the lad so he could breathe just a little easier. I knew the boy was going to die. I had seen so many other cases just like his. The boy was so sweet he literally climbed into my heart. He thanked me for my kindness. He thanked the doctor for being so good to him. The doctor and I went away from the bed.
"In about an hour I came back expecting to find the boy dead, but he was still struggling. He looked up out of his eyes of death and said, 'There is no use, Wardmaster! I have got to die, and I haven't been born again. Whether you believe in it or not, won't you find the chaplain and let him tell me how to be born again?'
"I looked at him for a moment and thought about how helpless he was in the grip of death. So, I said, 'All right, my son, I will get you the chaplain.'
"I walked away a few paces, and then turned and went back to the boy's bedside. I said, 'My. boy, I am not going to get you the chaplain. I am going to tell you what to do myself. Now, understand, I am an agnostic. I don't know whether there is any God. I don't know whether there is any heaven. I don't know whether there is any hell. I don't know anything.
"Yes, I do. I do know something. I know my mother was a good woman. I know if there is a God my mother knew Him. If there is a heaven she is there. So, I will tell you what my mother told me. You can try it and see if it works.
"Now, I am going to teach you a verse of Scripture. My mother told me that I cannot save myself, but if I will believe that verse God will save me. This is the verse—John 3:1616For 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):
“Tor God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'
"After he had repeated John 3:1616For 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) with me, the lad closed his eyes and stretched his hand across his breast. In a whisper he repeated slowly, saying some of the words several times, Tor God so loved the world. He gave His only begotten Son... that whosoever, whosoever... whosoever believeth, believeth in Him, believeth in Him.' Then, he stopped and said with a clear voice, 'Praise God, Wardmaster, it works. I believe in Him! I shall not perish; I have everlasting life! I have been born again! Wardmaster, your mother was right. Why don't you try it? Do what your mother said. It works, Wardmaster. This thing works!
"Wardmaster, before I go I want to ask you to do something for me. Take a kiss to my mother and tell her what you told me and tell her that her dying son said, "It works.”’ I leaned over and kissed him and then as he drew his last breath he said, 'It works.' "
The old man, wiping tears out of his eyes and tears out of the wrinkles of his face, said, "The lad was right. It does work. Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but has now everlasting life. It works. I know it works."