But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
Robert Ingersoll, a veteran of America's Civil War, was known as "The Great Agnostic."
A powerful public speaker, Ingersoll made a reputation for himself by giving speeches during which he used logic to attack the Christian faith. One day, while on a train, Ingersoll bumped into his old commander, General Lew Wallace. During the course of their conversation Ingersoll encouraged Wallace to write a book, an exposé of the flaws and failings of Christianity.
Wallace accepted the challenge and began his research.
Concerning his experience, years later this is what Wallace said happened: "... I resolved to study the subject . . . It only remains to say that I did as resolved, with results -- first, the book Ben-Hur, and second, a conviction amounting to an absolute belief in God and the divinity of Christ."
Rather than becoming a champion for Satan, the Holy Spirit used Wallace's research to make him into a Christian whose writings have touched many others with the truth of the Savior, His sacrifice, and the salvation Jesus has won for sinful humanity.
It is not the last time the Holy Spirit has called doubters from their disbelief and made them powerful witnesses.
Case in point: a young man by the name of Tyler. Tyler is a video gamer who loves challenging people's skills in Internet competitions. A died-in-the-wool agnostic, the only thing Tyler loved more than beating people in games was challenging their faith in the Savior.
So that he might be better equipped to expose the falsehood of the faith, Tyler asked for and received a Bible. He read; he researched; he wrote down passages he thought might prove Jesus was false and those who followed Him were fools.
Amazingly, Tyler soon found God's Word was making inroads on his doubts.
Tyler started talking to a pastor. Then he began attending Bible studies. His conversations with believers were changed as his confrontational attitude was replaced by a thirst for real answers to his spiritual thirst for truth.
In his senior year of college, Tyler was baptized.
Once again heaven rejoiced as a lost sinner repented and was brought into the Heavenly Father's family of faith. Once again the church should be glad that the power of Law and Gospel had proven to be effective in moving a soul from spiritual darkness to the light of Jesus' blood-bought salvation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel and enlightened me with Your gifts. Now I pray Your Holy Word will reach out to and save souls who still are lost. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
*If you wish to learn more about the spiritual journey of Tyler and others who have been touched by the Holy Spirit's call, I direct your attention to the Men's NetWork. They have a new video Bible study: The Journey from Unbelief to Faith. You can find it by clicking here and seeing four lives that have been radically transformed by the power of the Gospel.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries