The Encounter

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2)

It was one of those coolish March days when I ran into Fabio. The sun was shinning, and all seemed right. I had just finished making up some new evangelistic tracts since I was trying to get some youth into our local church. Walking from the dollar store towards the Tim Hortons coffee shop I spoted Fabio, an old friend of mine walking into the Harvey’s restaurant, just next door.

I had heard that he had terrible cancer and that he was about to die, so I saw this as a heavenly encounter since all my witnessing tools were ready. As we sat at the table, there were three of us: John (Fabio’s friend), Fabio, and myself. We started to talk about God, and Fabio was very interested. John, on the other hand, was an atheist. Fabio seemed to already have a head knowledge about God, and later on told me he was a devout Roman Catholic who wanted to sit on the Board at his church before he died. That’s right — this young 23 year old man wanted to sit on a Board with Roman Catholic priests and deacons and so on … I simply could not grasp it. Was this because Fabio felt that he needed to do some “good work” in order to go to heaven? Perhaps.

I told him about the Jesus I knew, the One that saved me from the miry clay and gave me a new life, that changed me so radicaly even my old friends thought I was kidnapped. I went from a Jesus Hater to a Jesus Lover, I told him about my conversion and asked him if he had ever experienced anything like that. He proceeded to tell me that he and his priest had spoken about it.

As our conversation went on, I was urged to give him my New Testament Bible. He was very appreciative since he did not have one. This was a man who was ever so religious — but had not had a Bible! Without knowing God’s Holy Word, how can a person have that blessed hope in the promises of our Lord?

When I told him Jesus could heal him of his cancer and that he needed to ask Him into his life and that through personal repentance and faith he could be assured of eternal life, he would have nothing to do with it. He said something like this: “From now on, I have no regrets. I believe I can heal myself.” That was a lie — a dreadful lie right from the devil’s mouth! What could I do? When I gave him the opportunity to come and speak at my church (so I could spend more time with him alone), he seemed interested, so I left him my phone number. But he never returned my call. So I decided to look him up. Unfortunately, he was always to busy.

Then, he died.

When I heard of the news I asked God, “Lord, where is Fabio?”

“He is in hell,” was His reply.

Then, he showed me — the vision.

It was not a very long vision, nor was it as powerful as some that I have heard of. It was simply Fabio’s soul. His soul was twisting around like a hurricane, and then became into a worm. I could see fire attaching itself and burning away! I could not hear any voice but I knew he was screaming!

The Lord spoke to me: “This is yet the begining of the devil’s torment for Fabio.”

Could a God who so loved the world be so cold? Absolutely. You see, Fabio had a choice. He knew full well. He understood. God could not let him into His Holy heaven — not without repentance and being washed in the blood of Jesus.

I was broken and shattered for two days. I pleaded with my sister to accept Jesus, but she said “No”. My parents were just as cold — even as I cried and wailed in front of them! Oh, beloved, I had prayed to be able to cry out for the lost — this was simply an answer to prayer in a most unexpected way!

I have a new zeal for the lost! I preach on the street corners. I continue to hand out evangelistic tracts. When I look into an unregenerated [unsaved/lost] person’s eyes, I see the torment that is waiting for them without Jesus.

Oh, beloved, if Jesus is tugging at your heart today, repent of your sins! Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Make Psalm 51 your HEART prayer to him. Read the Word or God and obey what you read. He will never let you down.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2)