Woman’s voicemail leads to salvation of teenage son
When Christian Stringer arrived at his church office on Monday morning, he had a voicemail from a woman informing him that she, along with her husband and son, were currently homeless and needed help. He met them in-person with food and money the following day; indeed, they were staying under a pavilion at a nearby church.
Not one to waste an opportunity, Stringer, a Master of Divinity student at Southwestern Seminary, asked the woman when she became a Christian. “She said she couldn’t remember but referenced getting resaved/recommitted a few times,” Stringer says. “I explained that once we truly have salvation, we can never lose it, and that all we have to do is ask for God to forgive us of our sins, believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and commit to live our lives for Him as our Lord.”
Both the woman and her husband said they had done this, so Stringer turned his attention to their teenage son, Michael. He asked Michael if he had ever asked Jesus to be his Savior and Lord. He responded by saying he had not attended church in a while.
“I then explained that while going to church is good and something that we should do as Christians, going to church does not save you,” Stringer says. Stringer reiterated what he had already shared with Michael’s parents and then showed Michael the Bible app on his phone. Specifically, he brought Romans 10:9-10 to Michael’s attention:
“… that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
“I also made it clear that having a relationship with God is not only great because of our promised future in heaven,” Stringer says, “but because of the peace that comes from having a relationship with Him now on earth.” While assuring Michael that he did not want to pressure him, Stringer inquired if he would like to be saved at that time. Michael said “yes,” but unfortunately, when Stringer asked him to articulate how one can be saved, Michael remained unsure and suggested church attendance as the answer.
“I went back over the key points of salvation with him,” Stringer says, “and I said that while [going to church] is good to do as a Christian, repentance, belief and commitment to Christ as Lord are what it takes for salvation. He said that he understood. I asked him if he wanted to become a Christian right then, and he said ‘yes.’
“I gave him the option of saying a prayer to God by himself or repeating one after me, and he wanted me to lead, so I prayed, and he repeated. After that, we had a new brother in Christ!”
Stringer checked with Michael’s parents again to ensure that they had confessed Jesus as Lord in this way, and they affirmed that they had. He then proceeded to give Michael his own copy of the Bible and encouraged him to read the Gospel of Mark, deeming it “the most simple, straightforward Gospel.” Stringer encouraged him to read it each morning and to ask God to speak to him through it. He also encouraged him to get baptized as a public profession of his faith.
“Praise God that He still moves and that He’s still in the saving business,” Stringer says of this turn of events, Aug. 29. “And praise God that He is willing to use a broken vessel like me to see miracles like this happen.”