A person can grow up hearing the gospel a million times and yet never believe in it. They have ears and hear the truth and yet they do not truly hear the truth. This is the testimony of the son of a pastor (Michael Morrow) who was converted after his father died.
Listen to the funeral service of Michael Morrow.
Hear Michael Morrow’s sermons on SermonAudio.
I could start my story in several different places. I could start when I was 8 years old and thought I had become a Christian. I could start when I was in high school or college and had to continuously persuade myself that I was a Christian, but I think the best way to start my story is in a small hospital room in Lexington, Kentucky where we didn’t know if my dad was going to make it or not. Things didn’t look good. He had been sick so much prior to that moment. There were days where we thought that was the end. There were days that we thought he was going to be better and everything would be fine… until he finally passed away. When you stay for a long time in a hospital room and you’re not the one that’s sick, there’s a lot of waiting. There’s a lot of wondering what’s going to happen next. There’s a lot of conversation that happens between you and the people that are with you. One of the topics that came up when I was talking with my mom was about dad’s last sermon. At the time, we didn’t know it was going to be his last sermon, but mom talked about how powerful it was. And she actually even said it was one of the best sermons she’s ever heard. Dad had been sick a lot before that day and I think at the time, he was even having to sit when he was preaching. And he just didn’t have much strength left in him. But the way my mom put it, it was like… it was a miracle just how much power he had when he began to preach. In his voice you can hear strength. You can hear the passion flowing through him. And this was a man who was just weak from sickness and was hours I think from going to the hospital because he was so sick. Dad always uploaded his sermons onto Sermon Audio where people around the world could listen to his sermons and learn from them. And we learned that obviously the last sermon hadn’t been uploaded to Sermon Audio. I was going to do that. I was in the hospital room. I had an Internet connection and everything. I got the file for it. I listened to a couple of seconds of it and realized that the recording was off. There was some kind of setting on the recording that just made it sound kind of strange like there were no breaths in between. And so, I kind of got frustrated with it. Thought about uploading it, then decided no, I’m just going to save it and not worry about it. So, I just put it on my desktop somewhere and didn’t even think about it for several weeks after that. Something that will stick with me forever is seeing how my father handled himself in the hospital in the worst of times. My brother put it best when he was speaking at his funeral. I think he said that dad finished his race sprinting. And there’s no better way to describe that. I remember the nurses were putting in IV’s, central lines, things like that, and dad would barely wince. But one time, he looked up at one of the nurses who was trying to do a procedure that he couldn’t be asleep for, and he just looked at him and said, “You know, I was about your age when God saved me.” And he’s going through this painful, traumatic situation, and one person after another, after another, after another, he’s telling them how God saved him. I had seen my dad witness to people all the time, but not to this ferocity; not to this degree. He knew I needed to hear that too. And he was witnessing to me as much as he was witnessing to those people in the hospital. On April 29th, 2016, my dad passed away. Over the next few days just pounded with grief mixed with conviction, mixed with desperate feeling and need to be saved, a need for redemption, all mixed in together, I was in prayer more then than I think I ever had been previously. Just asking God to show me a way. Show me something. Show me how. I understood what it meant to be saved. I understood what it meant to be a Christian. I understood the “process,” if you will, but I didn’t understand how to get there. I didn’t understand what did it mean to truly have faith. Yeah, I believe in Jesus. I believe in all the things that He’s done. I get it. I don’t understand at what point do I have faith and I’m saved? At what point does that happen to me? When does that transformation happen? I have the belief, right? I’m saved. But I knew I wasn’t, so what was I missing? So what I prayed for, I prayed for an answer. I prayed: God, I need an answer. I need You to show me what am I missing? What am I not seeing that my father saw? That other people I know have seen? They believed. They have faith. They’re confident in their salvation. Where is my confidence? Where is my salvation? My father for his funeral wanted the Gospel to be preached. That’s what he had always said I think to my mom. My brother spoke. Michael Durham spoke. Rob Pelkey spoke. And then Paul Washer spoke. I kind of thought in my head, well, okay, there is this group of men who know God, who are about to preach. As the lineup went, it would be Paul Washer who would simply preach the Gospel to the crowd that was there for dad’s funeral. Many people have been saved under his teaching. This whole funeral – I need to listen up. I need to really pay attention because God, I’m asking You to show me how to have faith. If I don’t get it from this, then I’m not going to get it. The preachers spoke. They sat down, spoke, sat down. Spoke. We dismissed. And the Gospel was preached and it was preached well. What was said needed to be said, but I still didn’t get it. I still didn’t understand what I needed. For the next week, my wife and I stayed at my mom’s house. One afternoon, I was alone in my dad’s office. And I was just going through some of his stuff, some of his pictures from mission trips, his journals. Then I remembered I had the file of that sermon and I thought, well, you know, the recording was kind of messed up. I don’t know what setting it was on. I don’t know why it was messed up. But I never really did listen to the sermon. And mom said it was his greatest. It was his last one. I should just give it a listen and see if it’s worth putting up on Sermon Audio. So I played it. She was right. There were several things in the sermon that jumped out at me immediately. Things I had heard before, but never heard. I heard. My ears heard it, but I didn’t truly hear it until that moment. Michael Morrow: There’s a lot of people that believe Jesus was the Son of God. There are a lot of people who believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. There’s a lot of people who believe that Jesus came into the world to save sinners who have never personally trusted Him as their Savior. Jason: And then, the one thing he said that really just tipped me over the edge that was exactly what I needed to hear to finally realize what I needed for my salvation. Michael Morrow: There is a time when your heart quits trying to get to God and rests on the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jason: I had never rested. I had never just given myself to Him, never given my full trust. That’s what trust is. It’s resting in His finished work. And I prayed. I said, “Jesus, I rest in You. I rest in Your finished work in dying on the cross for my sins, in raising from the dead. I rest in that. You have given me life.” What’s crazy is I’ve heard this a million times. Dad has preached this a million times. I’ve heard people’s testimonies a million times that it’s not anything that I do. I know it’s not a prayer that I pray. I know that it’s not anything that I can do. That Christ does it for me. Resting is letting Christ take over, letting Him take control. Because if you’re trying to control it, you’re not resting. And that is the moment when my heart changed. I’m thankful that God used my dad to preach to me. Not only did he preach to me in the hospital room; not only did he preach to me throughout my whole life, but he preached to me in his final sermon maybe before he even knew I would ever hear it. And God used that to help open my eyes to what I needed. Michael Morrow: I’ll tell you what the blessing of God is: being in the will of God walking with Him, hearing His voice, staying in fellowship with Him, knowing His Word, loving Him, seeing miracles wrought because He’s doing it through your life and in your life for His own glory, where only He can get glory out of your life. That is the life of faith. And it might mean that you don’t have anything. Guys, this world is not what it’s about. This is not where your fulfillment is. Here we live by faith, not by sight. Then, we’ll see Him as He is and we’ll be like Him. And then it will be by sight.