“Very good, Brother Larry. A timely subject to be sure. And, for some reason, reading your message, tonight, made me think of my father's preaching. I just sat here and thought back over the many times I heard Dad preach. I was his minister of music for 30 years. He liked for me to sit on the platform while he preached or on the front row with my family if I did not sit on the platform.
He preached through tears most of the time. His heart was so burdened for the Lost, that the burden would overtake him and just about break his tender heart. Sometimes he would relate to the days before he finally surrendered to preach. He was an executive in the Hercules Corporation in Evansville, Indiana. He was saved when he was about 12 and his father, a Michigan State senator, died when Dad was 15. And then, for eight years he lived out of fellowship with the Lord. During that time, he and his mother moved to Evansville where he became very successful in business and in social life. He became an award winning ball room dancer. He raced motorcycles. He gambled. He was breaking his mother's heart by the life he was living. By God's grace he attended the Stowe Revival Campaign, got right with the Lord and came out for Christ 110%. His heart was broken over his many friends in the world who were not saved.
If you heard my father preach much, you will remember hearing him say, through heavy tears, "Thank God, I'm saved. – long pause while he wiped his eyes and blew his nose – and I'm as sure of my going to Heaven as if I were already there. You're looking into the face of a preacher who knows he ought to be in Hell. That's all I deserve. That's all I'll ever deserve. But – thank God, I'm not going there. The Devil and all the Imps of Hell can't put me there. I'm on my way to Heaven. Thank God, I'm going there. And – I want you to go there, with me."
As I read this note from Robert, I fought back tears as I recalled personally meeting Dr. Porter and the impact he had on my life. He actually placed has hand on my head and prayed for me to be a vessel the Lord would use. I have never forgotten that moment just outside the Western entrance to the Baptist Bible Church in my hometown.
Over 652,000,000 copies of Dr. Porter’s tract, God’s Simple Plan of Salvation have been distributed and it is still going strong. Robert was Chairman of the Board for many years and he lead the ministry with wisdom and a firm hand, avoiding any hint of scandal, as do the successors to the work.
Dr. Ford Porter was near the last of that genre of preachers, and we would do well to ask the Lord raise up a similar generation.
Copyright © 2016 Larry Lilly
Great IT work by Oral Deckard