The gospel . . . is not of human origin.
In September of 1876, a Civil War veteran by the name of Lew Wallace was on a train headed for Indianapolis, Indiana. He was going there to attend a soldiers’ reunion, to catch up with old comrades. On the train, Lew got into an extended discussion with a man who happened to be a prominent atheist in America.
The conversation left a deep impression on Lew. Through the years he had never taken much interest in religious matters. But now, this atheist—Robert Ingersoll—had argued against Jesus and Christianity with such fervor that Lew felt compelled to study the story of Jesus on his own.
As he researched and read, a remarkable thing happened. As the story of Jesus spoke to Lew, he came to realize this was not a story at all. Rather than some made-up tale, this was an actual account of real events. Even more so, Lew came to see how this account demonstrated that Jesus was, in truth, the very Son of God. Most importantly, through the printed word in his Bible, Lew came to faith in Jesus as his Savior from sin.
In addition, Lew’s study led to something else. He decided to write a novel set in Judea during the first century A.D. The novel is about a bitter and angry man who encounters someone the likes of whom he has never met before. He entitled his novel, Ben-Hur. The book exploded into a best-seller. Well into the twentieth century, it became the basis for the Oscar-winning film by the same name. Without reservation both the book and film declare that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Savior of the world.
All this from a train ride.
Lord Jesus, drive me to the pages of your Word. Refresh me in the reality of who you are. Empower me by your Spirit to proclaim that you are the Son of God, the Savior of all. Amen.
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