Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DJ The Landscaper And Repentance

Fr. Dale Matson

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age  and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." (Hebrews 6:4-6).

I was thinking about a man I helped lead to Christ as I read this passage.  I met him through my construction work. He was a landscaper and contracted with me to do some heavy equipment work for him. Later I contracted with him to build some railroad tie retaining walls on the ends of my recently constructed earth sheltered home. His company’s name was simply DJ’s landscaping. He was a rugged ex Green Beret and a veteran of Viet Nam.
We established a real friendship and I witnessed to him about Jesus Christ. Over weeks and months I was able to get him to take a Catechism course in our Church in East Troy WI. I attended the course with him and was amazed how this hardened and cynical man became almost childlike as he asked questions that poured from his heart.

At the conclusion of the course he was offered the opportunity to join our church that he had attended faithfully during his time of instruction. He declined to join and it was almost as if Satan again entered his heart. His heart seemed harder than even before. Not long after that he was arrested for selling marijuana. His term was increased because he continued to try a sell over the jail phone. The phone was monitored.

There are those that would say that he was never truly saved but I would say that he gained and then lost his salvation. I do however believe that he could be brought to repentance but not by me or other men. I believe God could bring him once again to the point of true repentance and to salvation.

I stated that I helped bring DJ to Christ. It is really God the Holy Spirit that beckons to us and converts our hardened hearts. It may be impossible for me to bring DJ back to Christ, but that doesn't mean that God cannot do it. St. Luke stated, "Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with men is possible with God.' ‘’ (Luke 18:27) A saved person can leave God and return to God. I was led to Christ as an eight year old boy by my Sunday school teacher. I later lost my faith, left the church and lived a life of self-centered and self-destructive sinfulness.

God the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart through the Gospel of John. I met Jesus once again and gave myself to Him as Lord and Savior. I’m sure those around me were mystified by the changes that followed in my life. I say this because I know that DJ is somewhere out there and God the Holy Spirit has been courting him once again.    

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