Belief in God Is Not Enough
t was almost 1:00 AM when Dr. Leo Winters, a highly skilled surgeon, received an urgent telephone call from the hospital. A small child had been badly mangled in an accident and without immediate help he had little chance to survive. Dr. Winters was called because he was the most qualified surgeon to help save this child's life.
The doctor took the quickest way to the hospital, which was through a rough neighborhood. When he pulled up at a stop sign he was stunned to find his car door suddenly opened and a man wearing a gray hat and dressed in a dirty gray flannel shirt screaming at him.
"I've got to have your car," the man demanded as he grabbed the doctor and jerked him out of the car.
Winters tried to explain the gravity of the situation, who he was, and that he was rushing to the hospital to save a child's life. But the man paid no attention. The doctor was left standing on the street as the stranger sped off in his car.
It took Winters an hour to find a telephone, call a taxi, and get to the hospital. He was almost breathless when he arrived, only to learn that it was too late. The child had died thirty minutes before.
"His dad got here a few minutes before he died," the nurse informed him. "He is in the chapel. Go see him. He is awfully confused. He couldn't understand why you never came."
Without saying a word the doctor went straight to the chapel where he found a man weeping over the loss of his child. The man was wearing a dirty flannel shirt. A gray hat lay beside him.1
The man was wearing a dirty flannel
shirt. A gray hat lay beside him.
Another man, George Wilson, arrested for robbing a federal payroll from a train and killing a guard, was judged and sentenced to death. Because there was such a cry against capital punishment at the time, considerable pressure was brought to bear on President Andrew Jackson to grant Wilson a pardon. Eventually the president did but George Wilson refused to accept it.
As this had never happened before, the Supreme Court was asked to rule on whether anyone could refuse a presidential pardon. Chief Justice John Marshall handed down the court's decision. It read: "A pardon is a parchment whose only value must be determined by the receiver of the pardon. It has no value apart from that which the receiver gives to it. George Wilson refused to accept the pardon. We cannot conceive why he would do so, but he has. Therefore, George Wilson must die."2
Two men. One desperately wanted to save his son and pushed away the only one who could have helped him. The other was sentenced to die for the crime he committed but refused to accept a pardon. He was hanged to pay for his crime.
If you have never accepted God's pardon for all your sins and would like to do so, click on the "God's Invitation" link below for help.
2. Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, P. 1211. Assurance Publishers, Rockville, MD, USA. © 1979.