Florencia is a young woman, the wife of one of the members of our church and mother to a young and charming little girl. We have known her for two years and since we’ve known her we have had many evangelistic conversations with her. In truth, I think we shared the gospel with her as extensively, clearly, and passionately as we could. But, nonetheless, despite our attempts to “force her to enter,” she did not manifest at any moment any evidence of spiritual understanding or sensitivity to the Word of God. She seemed, in a very strange and extreme way, kindly indifferent to even the most terrifying and shocking truths of the gospel.
But, when we had fired all of our bullets and had resigned and left behind any expectation of being able to see her embrace Christ, something sudden and marvelous happened. One Sunday, one just like all the others, another Sunday on which Florencia was present, the Lord manifested Himself to her in the preaching of the Scriptures in such a powerful way that she broke into weeping in the midst of the congregation and was unable to contain or bear the conviction of sin that she was experiencing. The sermon was on justification by faith from Philippians 3:9. Really, the sermon was less of an exhortation and more of a teaching lesson in which I determined to ex-posit with a lot of detail what it means that we are saved not merely by the death of Christ, but also by His life.
It was then that the eyes of Florencia’s heart were opened, she was pierced by the sword of the Spirit, and in an instant, all that she had heard about the gospel became more real than the floor on which she was standing! In the midst of her tears and conviction of sin, she left the room and when she finally returned and we spoke with her, she said to us, “How could I have been so blind? How did I not see it before? How is it that I could have heard so much about Christ without being affected? Not only did I not love Him, but I hated Him. And yet, there He was, loving me. We are saved only by His righteousness. All of our good works are a filthy rag before His holiness. We don’t have anyone else to whom we can go, we don’t have any other Savior, but Jesus Christ. I want to proclaim the gospel! I want everyone one to know how marvelous He is and how it is that men and women can be justified by God Himself!”
It would be very difficult for me to forget her face full of tears of repentance, of emotion, of joy, and of new life. Since that joyful Sunday it has been so evident that she “saw” Christ and that she “entered” the kingdom of God! All of us have been impacted by her conversion, especially her husband, who had shared the gospel with her time and time again. What is impossible for men is possible for God. Glory be to His blessed Name!