U-Turn For Christ
Photo by Mike Zimmer
Their car was out of gas and they were without hope when God intervened
Lisa sat in the couple’s vehicle and hoped for quick success as her boyfriend, John Kimbell, walked along California’s Highway 76 swinging an empty gasoline can. The beautiful June weather contrasted sharply with John’s stress regarding his dilemmas: He and Lisa were heavily dependent on drugs, he was fleeing the law, and he had just been denied admittance into a substance abuse recovery program. Then the two had run out of gas on their return to Lake Elsinore, CA, where they lived in their car. As Lisa watched John trudge toward a gas station, “An undercover-looking car drove by,” she recalled. She became alarmed; “John was under the influence, and I didn’t know whether he had any drugs on him.” Her fears mounted as the ominous vehicle turned around and headed back toward them.
John also noticed the imposing Crown Victoria. “I thought it was a narcotics car containing two burly cops,” he said. “And I was in possession of drugs.” John’s dread heightened as the vehicle approached him. But then, he recalled, “They pulled up beside me and asked if I needed a ride.” The car was a rental, and the men had stopped just to help. John got in, and a friendly chat ensued. The suspected police officers were actually Calvary Chapel pastors—but John didn’t know that yet. They introduced themselves simply as Ken and Billy.
The three arrived at the gas station and filled the container. On their return, Pastor Billy Rutledge of Hatteras Island Christian Fellowship, NC, explained the Gospel to John. Pastor Ken Graves of CC Bangor, ME, recalled, “Billy and I both noticed that John wanted to do right, but he was in bondage. He couldn’t free himself from sin.” Billy explained that the only path to freedom from sin’s power and consequence, hell, is Jesus Christ—Who died to accept the punishment of those who believe and obey Him. His Spirit lives inside His followers, Billy continued, enabling them to turn from sin.
For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. … Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:19, 24b-25a
You can find the complete article in the Spring 2012 issue of Calvary Chapel Magazine. To subscribe click here.