The Fast Train

A whistle breaks the silence, wheels speed across the tracks, smoke billows filling the air with white steam as the train speeds along the tracks.

There’s only one car to this train and only two stops. It’s filled with passengers from all walks of life. A lady, dressed in fine silk, jewels dangling from her ears, neck, and wrists. Her fine feathered hat sits proudly on styled hair. Her husband sits beside her typing on his laptop computer, paying no attention to her constant babble.

Families sit together with their children gaping out the window at the scenery as it speeds by. The scowl of a mother catches the Conductors eye. He smiles but she snarls under her breath and digs an elbow into her husbands side. He grunts and ignores her.

A few teenagers, with their multi-colored hair, nose rings, tattooed bodies, and slouchy pants, sit slouched on the benches discussing the latest horror movie and Rap song with its lyrics of back to back cuss words and condemnation of all that is good. The Conductor stops beside them. They don’t acknowledge Him.  He states, “Follow Me.” They ignore Him. He rubs the dust off His shoe on His pants leg and moves on.

As He approaches another group tears threaten to spill. Women in ragged dresses, men in torn dirty shirts and infants in dirty diapers fill a corner in the back of the compartment. Half eaten sandwiches are set aside and heads bow in praise and thanksgiving as the Conductor steps among them.

The Conductor touches the shoulder of a lame man, “Be healed,” the Conductor states. The man immediately jumps to his feet and runs in a circle shouting, “Praise God, I can walk!”

The Conductor moves to a woman with an infant with a cleft lip. He smiles down at the infant and with compassion, looks heavenward, whispers a prayer, and places His finger on the child’s lip. It’s instantly healed and the baby smiles brightly. The mother cries tears of joy and thanks Him.

None of the Conductors actions have gone unnoticed. Some begin praising, others shout, “Hosanna,” and yet others raise a questioning eyebrow and announce, “it’s a trick!”

The fast train begins to slow. Some begin gathering their fine leather bags, others pick up the toys of their children while others kneel in praise and thanksgiving for the blessings of a meager meal and the warmth of the compartment.

The fast train stops and the door slides open. The Conductor stands beside it and as one passenger after another line up to exit, the Conductor announces, “Many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” *

He points His finger at the ragged group in the back of the line and states loudly, “You, My children, step forward. For those who believe shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Angry shouts fill the compartment, some try to shove their way through the door. Many stand quietly waiting to be called forward. As the line moves forward, the Conductor instructs some to return to their seat, others, He smiles and tells them they have been “good and faithful servants.” Each child is given a loving hug as He tells them to be careful stepping off the train.

The engine of the fast train roars to life, steam bellows forth, and a  loud clank is heard as the door slams shut and the fast train speeds off down the track for the last stop. The majority remain aboard.

Most assuredly I say unto you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3

(Matt.19:30)

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Thursday’s Pen Tips #10

For you who believe there is no end. For others who do not believe in the Son of God Almighty, there is end to joy that you think you have now.

For those who scoff and follow the one not of Christ – hell fires will deliver you into the coals of hell.

Lift thy hands, thy heart, towards the heavenlies for your Father who art in heaven waits.

He who is on high awaits your plea for His grace. If you do not succumb unto Him, may He who was born this day have mercy on your soul.

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Billy Graham: Judas is a ‘Warning’

By Michael W. Chapman | March 22, 2016 | 3:27 PM EDT

Pastor Billy Graham (Photo: BGEA)

World-renowned pastor Billy Graham said that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver because of his “unbelief” and interest only in himself,  and that because of his self-inflicted death, whereby he lost everything, Judas “stands forever as a warning of the dangers of stubborn unbelief.”

In a Q&A section on faith, published in the Kansas City Star, a reader asked Rev. Graham, “I’ve never really understood why Judas betrayed Jesus. After all, he witnessed Jesus’ miracles and heard his teaching just like the other disciples, and yet he ended up turning against him. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Billy Graham said, “No, it doesn’t make sense, just as most evil doesn’t make sense. Why deliberately do something we know is wrong, when — if we’d only stop to think about it — we also know it will destroy us? The Bible says, ‘Do not … be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future'” (Proverbs 24:19-20).

“Judas’ real problem was that he was interested only in himself and what he could gain by following Jesus,” said Rev. Graham.  “Instead of committing his life to Jesus, he allowed greed and envy to rule his heart and mind. His unbelief fed his greed, and his greed fed his unbelief.”

“When Jesus’ enemies offered 30 pieces of silver to anyone who would disclose where Jesus was staying so they could arrest him secretly, Judas readily agreed,” said the pastor.

“Judas stands forever as a warning of the dangers of stubborn unbelief,” said Rev. Graham.  “And in the end, Judas lost everything, even his life.”

Artist’s illustration of Judas

betraying Jesus with a kiss. 

(Public Domain.) 

Billy Graham continued,  “Some of the most tragic words in the Bible are these, ‘So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself’ (Matthew 27:5). Make sure of your commitment to Jesus, for he alone is worthy of your life.”

Billy Graham, 97, is one of the most well known and respected evangelical preachers of the last 60 years.  His gospel preaching reportedly has reached about 2.2 billion people worldwide over the years. He has five children and lives, now retired, at his home in Montreat, N.C. His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007.

This Q&A on the Bible can also be read at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman