Recently we witnessed the stark contrast between salvation and rejection, between forgiveness and judgment, between life and death.
Pastor Petro received news that a man in his village had died. He was 30 years old. Several years ago, this man had a successful business and was doing quite well. However, he started to drink, and before long, he was a slave to alcohol. Because of his constant drinking he started to have various health issues including a serious skin disease. About a week before his death, Petro went to talk with him about the Lord. He became belligerent and told Petro that he wanted to have nothing to do with Jesus. That week after taking medication for his skin disease, he got drunk. The combination of the medication and the alcohol led to his death. Petro attended his funeral and was shocked to witness this scene. This man’s family and friends took a bottle of alcohol and poured it all over his dead body and even poured some into his mouth as a send off into eternity - sadly he got exactly what he wanted, an eternity without Jesus.
During the same week that this drunk man went out into eternity lost, a 90 year old witchdoctor came to Christ. In the ten years we have lived in Tanzania, this is only the second witchdoctor that has gotten saved through the ministry of any of our churches, so, it is a very rare occurrence! This man’s family are members of our church. They have witnessed to him about Christ on many occasions along with many attempts by Pastors Petro and Pelegrino to give him the gospel. He was never interested until recently. He was an old man in poor health, and he knew that his time on earth was coming to an end. Petro received word that the man would like him to come visit. Upon arriving at his home, the witchdoctor immediately informed Petro that he had turned to Christ and believed on Him for salvation. Petro was shocked and stunned even further by what took place next. The witchdoctor was bed-ridden at this point and could not do anything for himself. Since he was now a believer in Christ, he wanted to disassociate himself from all of his sorcery practices. He asked Petro to cut off the fetishes on his head, wrists, and ankles which he had worn to identify himself as a witchdoctor and to ward off evil spirits. To do this on his death bed obviously testified that he was trusting in Jesus now and not witchcraft. This all happened on a Monday. On Saturday Petro received news that this former witchdoctor had died and went to heaven. Petro preached his funeral and was able to share with the community this man’s powerful testimony.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see
life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”