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On Fire for Christ!

by William Jones, as told to Muriel Larson

What can two guys armed with the Holy Spirit and the Bible do?

 There were 606 of us guys from all over South Carolina at Boys State in Charleston. Each of us had been selected on the basis of academic and social achievement to represent our high school.

While in the registration line that warm Sunday in June, I met Charles, a Black football player from Richland. Since I’m active in sports too, we really hit it off. During our conversation, he mentioned that he was going to Washington, D.C., for a meeting of his church.
“Oh, do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?” I asked.
“Yes, I do,” he answered. “I decided to follow Christ three years ago, when I was 15.”
I told him I was also a Christian, and we became instant friends and brothers. 
Charles and I were assigned to study the same city government. We agreed that whenever we had free time we would go out together and tell others about Christ.
After breakfast on Monday, we decided to get acquainted with our three counselors. Charles already knew two of them.
“They’re Christians,” he told me, “but I don’t know about Steven. Let’s talk to him and find out.” After we chatted casually with Steven, Charles said to him, “Steven, if you died today, would you be ready for heaven?”
“Well, I don’t know for sure,” Steven answered.
While Charles went for his Bible, I continued talking with Steven. “If you fell off a ship and drowned, whose fault would it be?” I asked.
“Mine, I guess.”
“Right,” I agreed. “Charles and I are throwing you a lifeline right now. It’s a Person, and His name is Jesus Christ. If you accept Him as your Savior, you’ll receive everlasting life.”
Then Charles came back with his Bible and showed Steven Romans 3:22-26; 5:8; 6:23; and 10:9-13. When he invited Steven to pray with us to receive Jesus, he did.
The other two counselors were glad to hear the good news and said that they had shared the gospel with Steven too.
“Why didn’t you become a Christian before this?” I asked Steven.
“I hadn’t given it much thought,” he admitted. “But seeing the way you two guys of different races worked together to tell me about Jesus made me want what you two have.”
On Thursday Charles and I went to the parade ground with our Bibles after lunch. Standing by the cannons, we started a loud conversation about heaven. Soon we had five other Boys State guys standing around us listening. Charles asked one, “Well, where do you think heaven is?” The guy shrugged his shoulders like he didn’t know. 
Soon we had a good conversation going with them and explained God’s way of salvation to them. All five eventually prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior. We invited them to join us in our soul-winning expedition on Friday, and gave them some basic training. Then with their participation we led two additional guys to accept Christ as their Savior.
All of us went back to one of the rooms where we were staying to continue our fellowship. We were so happy that we began to praise the Lord. I guess we got a bit loud, because a member of the Citizens Advisory Board (a CAB) knocked on our door. When we opened it, he demanded, “Why are you guys making so much noise?”
“These guys just gave their lives to Jesus!” I answered.
“Well, I don’t care what happened. You’re not supposed to be hollering!”
Charles, at six feet three, stepped to the door, towering over the CAB. “How about coming into our room?” he invited. “I have something I’d like to share with you.” He finally persuaded the CAB to come in.
Ricky, one of our new Christians, joyfully told the CAB how he had just chosen to follow Christ. His words got through to the CAB, and the CAB asked Ricky to show him how he could get God into his life. Ricky opened his Bible and began explaining the plan of salvation. The CAB ended up bowing his head in prayer and asking Christ to save him.
“I’m going down to the administrator’s office to tell the Admiral that I just became a Christian!” the CAB said when he was finished.
That night the Admiral, who was also a preacher, came to my room. “I’d like to talk to you,” he said. “Is Charles here too?”
“I’ll get him,” I replied.
When we both returned, the Admiral shook hands with us. “I’m thankful for young men such as you!” he exclaimed. “This is the first time in the history of Boys State that guys have gotten together and shared the gospel with others.
You’ve made my last year in this position the best year of my life!”
By the end of the week Charles and I had seen nine guys receive Christ as their Savior. After I got back home, I wrote to each one, encouraging him to find a Bible-preaching church and attend services regularly. I also sent some Bible study material that my pastor recommended, and reminded the guys to read their Bible, pray, and share Jesus with others.
Like the Admiral, both Charles and I believe that our experience at Boys State made the year the best one of our lives!
Muriel Larson writes from South Carolina.

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