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Son Dying of AIDS Finds Jesus

By Dale A. Robbins

“Pastor, you have a call from the hospital on line one,” said my secretary. “Hospital? What could this be about?” I thought to myself. Though still early on this Tuesday morning, it wasn’t unusual to get such calls... perhaps about one of our members in the hospital. I only hoped it was not tragic news of some sort.

I picked up the phone, and the somber-voiced woman on the other end, began with an introduction of herself and explained that she was a hospice administrator at one of San Francisco’s major hospitals.“We have a terminally ill male patient whose mother has requested a visit from an Evangelical pastor in our area,” she said. “Would you be willing to come visit and pray for him?” I was relieved that this didn’t pertain to anyone from our church, but was certainly concerned and willing to minister to anyone in need. “Absolutely, I would be pleased to come and pray,” I replied.

There was a brief silence, then she continued. “There is one important matter, however, that I need to disclose about the patient,” she said. “Jeffery, a single man in his early-thirties, is in the final stages of a recently discovered disease that we’re only beginning to learn about... and I’ve already called many other pastors, all whom thus far have declined our invitation to come.” I was surprised by this. “What’s the disease?” I asked. “It’s called HIV-AIDS,” she said hesitantly.

AIDS? I knew immediately what she was referring to since I had heard much about it in the recent local news. It had been previously called Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID), sweeping primarily through the male homosexual community, and had only recently been coined with this new name, HIV-AIDS. There was no known cure, and other than sexual contact, not much else was known yet about how the infection was transmitted. At that time in 1982, there were 853 known deaths worldwide. Since that time, the World Health Organization says that more than 78 million people have been infected, and almost 40 million people have died.

It became obvious why none of the other clergy wished to accept her invitation. However, it seemed to me that a precious soul was at stake here... a person created and loved by God. And as His servant, I felt it was my duty and privilege to go pray, and bring the message of Christ’s love and salvation to this young man. Since all medical hope had been exhausted, he had been transferred from the hospital back to his residence, where he had asked to spend his last few days with his mother who had flown in from the Midwest to care for him.

The following morning I arrived at the small, one-story home and met his mother at the door. Though obviously somber, she was grateful I had come, and before taking me to see Jeffery, shared a bit about her background and Christian testimony. She explained how she had brought up her one son as a single mom in the Midwest, always attending Sunday School and raising Jeffery to live for Jesus Christ during his youth... but that he rebeled from from such values as he got older. Now facing the end of his life, she hoped for him to receive Christ’s forgiveness and make peace with God before his death.

Although I was told that he had been a healthy and fit young man, when I saw Jeffery lying in his bed, it was obvious the illness had taken a dreadful toll. His emaciated frame was now frail and skeletal, his eyes sunken, and his voice weak and trembling. I could feel tears swelling in my eyes as he confirmed the details his mother had shared with me. He expressed remorse for his rebellion from ways of the Lord, and how he had taken up a lifestyle of homosexuality... which resulted in his deadly infection.

As I looked down at him lying there, I could sense his feeling of guilt and condemnation. Jeffery already knew from his upbringing, that he had made bad choices with his life, and that homosexuality was a sinful lifestyle that God disproved of. The Bible says, “Those who practice homosexuality... will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). (See also Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27) But what he may not have understood previously, is that while God rejects sin in any of its many shapes and forms, He still loves the sinner!

God loves the gay man or woman as much as anyone else on this earth... and in fact, sent His own Son, Jesus, to give His life for their sins. God's love for all of us, including each of those who make up the LGTB community, is so great that He TRADED Christ's life for ours! What this means is, God loved us and placed such high VALUE upon our salvation, that He paid for it with the price of His Son's sufferings and shed blood on the cross! “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The fact is, every one of us have sinned (Romans 3:23), and regardless of the kind or amount of sin a person has committed, God is eager to forgive and restore anyone who will repent (have a change of heart) and come to Him. The Bible says, “The Lord doesn't want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to repent and be saved” (2 Peter 3:9).

Homosexuality is just one of many sinful lifestyles that God views as unacceptable. The passage I quoted also included other explicit behavior... sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, prostitution, thievery, greed, drunkenness, slander and swindling. Those whose lifestyles consist of such behavior, have obviously not experienced new life in Jesus... and will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Of course, the mention of these sins wasn't meant as a comprehensive list of all transgressions, but were just cited as ones especially prevalent at that time. And while there are moral sins, such as sexual perversion, that are more infectious and harmful to society than others, God views “all sin” as an equal violation of His law. In other words, as far as God is concerned, any sin is as unacceptable as another. “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws” (James 2:10).

However, the greatest truth of the Gospel is that Jesus has already paid the penalty for “ALL” sin, through His sacrificial death on the cross, and is ready to forgive the most or the least! He will forgive and cleanse anyone who will come to Him and receive His love and forgiveness, by faith and repentance. "Repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away" (Acts 3:19-20). “But if we confess our sins to him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9).

As I spoke to Jeffery, his weary eyes rose upward to meet mine. “I have encouraging news for you, Jeffery,” I said. “God still loves you... and wants to forgive you and save you, even more than you want him to.” I could see an expression of hope emerge on his face, as I proceeded in sharing the grace and love of the Lord Jesus. What a joy it was to convey God's love to this son. And together with his mom, we gathered at Jeffery’s bedside and prayed with him to surrender his heart to the Lord and receive Christ’s forgiveness.

It was an incredible answer to his mom's continual prayers, as her prodigal son had finally come home and made peace with God (Luke 15:11-32). But now his earthly fate rested with the Lord’s will. If death came, he would be received in the presence of the Lord... and if he should live, he would need to continue walking with Christ in his new life, and separate himself from the old homosexual lifestyle.

As the the old song says, Christ loves me "just as I am," and will forgive and receive any of us in our present state, but He loves us too much to leave us that way. When a person gives their heart to the Lord, He brings the new life of His Spirit into their heart, in what Jesus decribed as being "born again," (John 3:3-6). At that moment, the introduction of God's Spirit makes everything new from the inside out... washed, cleansed by the blood of Jesus... with new wholesome desires to please God, and to allow Him to become "Lord" (boss) over our life. The Bible says, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (Corinthians 5:17). In our desire to obey God, we will separate ourselves from the old sinful lifestyle, and as we continue to grow in our faith, prayer and God's Word, the appetite to return to the old life continues to fade.

When I left Jeffery and his mom, it was with a sense of peace, believing that this young man’s heart had been reconciled with God. We, of course, also hoped for a last-minute miracle, praying that God would somehow intervene in his terminal condition... yet it was not to be, as he died just hours later. But by God's grace, we hope to see see him again one day, when we all gather together in Heaven.

How about you? If death came for you today, do you know whether you would be saved or lost? Regardless what you have done, or the extent of your sins. Christ loves you, will receive you, and will give you New Life... if you will ask Him to forgive your sins, and make a decision to follow Him!

For more information about how you can receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, click here.

Preceding Bible passages were quoted from the New Living Translation,
Copyright © Tyndale House Foundation, 1996, 2004, 2015

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This article (VL-854) is copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2019 and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. In some references to real persons, pseudonyms may have been used to preserve their privacy. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple use permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us. If you have appreciated these online materials, help us reach the world with the Gospel by considering a monthly or one-time tax-deductable donation.