My Story, My Song
Testimony of Dr. William McCrea
Dr. William McCrea
The Keeping Power Of God
"What A Difference The Lord Makes !"
"The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” (Psalm 126:3)
I want to put it in a personal way. "The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I, indeed, am glad."
I thank God tonight that I can testify of the saving Grace of God, and the keeping Power of God in my life, from the day He saved me until this moment. "The Lord hath done great things for me."
I want to take you outside the town of Stewartstown, in the County of Tyrone. I was reared on a farm there. My father, mother, and there were five of a family. They were just "steps and stairs," we were just one after the other, my brother was the eldest, I was the youngest. My mother and dad were not saved at that time, whenever I was born into this world, although I had Godly Grandparents.
"Son, I'll Help You The Best I Can."
I remember the night my brother came in and said to our family, we were just little kids at the time, he said, "Mummy , I've got saved." It was (at) a meeting conducted by the late Edmund Samford, and he gave his heart and his life to Jesus Christ. My mother turned to him and she said to him these words, "Son, I'll help you the best I can." "I'll help you the best I can."
You know, the Spirit of God spoke to my mother through her own words. Because the Spirit of God just challenged her, how could she really help her son in the Christian pathway when she wasn't on the Christian pathway herself ? How could she encourage him ? How could she be a rich blessing and lead him on with God, when she herself was rejecting the Son of God ? And God started to work in my mother's heart, and God started to speak to her heart.
There was a little mission hall beside us at home, and we started to go to it. My brother and the rest of the family , and my mum ,we used to go to that meeting. One night, in one of those meetings, there she opened her heart before God and she acknowledged that she was a sinner, lost and undone, and that night my mum got saved. You know, God changed our home from that night on, for God started a work, in a very mighty way. And that night, God started her witnessing, and thank God, she has never stopped.
You know, it's good to tell what the Lord has done for you. It's good to be able to share with others, because God has loved us with Great Love. What a difference the Lord makes ! But not only has He loved us with Great Love, friend, He has dealt with us in Great Mercy ! My, when we think of the Mercy of God, how Merciful God has been to us ! He hasn't given us what we do deserve. I deserved hell, I deserved damnation, I deserved punishment for my sin, but thank God, I'll never perish, because God dealt with me in Grace and Mercy.
Let me tell you how God was Gracious and Merciful to me.
"Lord Jesus, Please Don't Come Tonight."
The Church I went to, the minister wasn't saved. Never once told me I needed to be saved. But there was a faithful Sunday School teacher, and she faithfully told us our need of Jesus. I remember there were two things that stuck in my mind. First of all, she told me about the Second Coming of Jesus. I remember her reading the Scriptures, and it says two shall be in one field, the one shall be taken and the other shall be left. Two shall be in one bed, the one shall be taken and the other left. And she said that Jesus Christ was Coming Again, and you needed to be ready to meet Him.
And I remember going to bed at night, and I remember praying, ( I was only a wee child), I remember praying, "Lord Jesus, please don't come tonight, because I'm not ready. I'm not ready."
Friend, let me ask you, if the Lord was to come tonight, are you ready ? Are you ready ? You see, my brother and I lay in the same room, and He was the one that was saved, and I wasn't. Two shall be in one bed, the one shall be taken and the other shall be left. Two shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken and the other left. And I thought about that .
No Greater Tragedy
And then she spoke about the subject that people want to shy away from, the subject of death. And the Word of God says, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow...” (Proverbs 27:1).
Joan used to tell us about the reality of life, and that one day we would have to die, and where in eternity ? And God knows this to be true, that I used to go also to bed at night, and when I would pray, "Lord, please, Lord Jesus, don't come tonight", I used to pray something else, "Lord, don't let me die tonight, because I'm not ready."
And friend I tell you, there is no greater tragedy, no greater tragedy in all the earth, as a person leaving this scene of time, and going out into God's Eternity, not ready. It will not matter what they leave behind, friend. Far better that you leave a testimony behind that you're right with God and ready to meet Him.
"I Called On God To Save Me."
Outside Dungannon, there was a mission came. Edmund Samford was the preacher again. My three sisters had come to Christ by that time, and I went along to the meeting that night, it was 4th June 1957, (a little child, just eight years of age). And I heard the Gospel faithfully proclaimed, and that night, I stayed behind, and I bowed my knee before God, and I raised my heart, and I called on God to save me, and cleanse me from my sin in His Precious Blood. And that night I believed, I trusted in Christ as my Saviour and my Lord.
And that night He saved me. And the Peace of God flooded my soul, friend, and the joy of God flooded my soul. We sing a hymn sometimes,
"Heaven above is softer blue, and earth around is sweeter green,
Something lives in every hue, that Christless eyes have never seen.
Birds with softer songs o'erflow, and the flowers with deeper beauty shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am His and He is mine."
"That Night, God Gave Me A New Daddy ! "
But my dad wasn't saved. Thank God, there came another mission, Mr Samford was preaching. And, oh, we had prayed. Let me tell you, you see when daddy was out in the pub, a mother and five children gathered round mum and dad's bed, just in a wee circle, and we cried to God that God would change my daddy's life, and change it, and save him. You know, God hears prayer, and He answers it. It was the last night of the mission, and my dad gave his heart and life to Christ.
Friend, let me tell you something, that night, God gave me a new daddy. For God changed him. Of course that's what Salvation does !
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.”
And "the old things are passed away,”
and behold all things become new. (see 2nd Corinthians 5 :17) .
And that night, God dealt with my dad in mercy, as God had dealt with me in mercy. And God saved my dad with a Great Salvation.
"Pray On ! "
It's lovely whenever the family comes to Christ, and the Lord "closes" the last one in. I say to you, in God's Name, please, if there's loved ones of yours that are still unsaved. Pray on ! Pray on believing, friend. We can't leave them lost and lone, we dare not leave them lost and lone, we want them "Over There."
"'Live' Christ Before You 'Talk' Him. "
But there was nothing I wanted more than to tell others about Jesus. Oh, I wanted to preach. Child of God, don't be ashamed of your Saviour. You know the people that you're working with - they need Jesus. You might be the only person that's going to reach them.
Tell me, are you being faithful to them ? I'll tell you how you're faithful - "Live" Christ - before you "talk" Him ! Because the sad thing is, my friend, listen, if your words run contrary to your life before them, they'll be the first to know it. They'll be the first to know.
"Give Me The Courage.....To Warn Them."
I had an aunt and uncle that thought the world of us, (especially my sister and I ). They had no children of their own. We were like their children. And I remember the night he went into hospital. He had to get a leg amputated. I remember sitting at my uncle's bedside. He was there, semi-conscious. And as we sat there, before I was sent home, I just wanted to tell my uncle one more time, of Jesus. But he didn't gain consciousness. And that night, as the loved ones were sitting beside the bed, friend, in the middle of the night, he cried these words. "Oh hell….hell…hell….." and the thread of life snapped and he went out into God's Eternity.
And I remember as a young lad, crying myself to sleep, because I loved him, and he was lost, and I couldn't change it. And I remember getting down on my knees before God, I said, "Oh God, if ever You give me the opportunity to stand before men and women, please God, give me the courage to be faithful, and warn them."
"Son of man...”
..... "warn them from me,”
says God. (see Ezekiel 33:7
"The Only Thing That Will Count....Is That You're Saved."
I'm not here on my mission, I'm only here on His, my Saviour's mission. And friend, I have to tell you honestly, before God, listen. It's very popular to preach about Heaven, sure everybody wants to go there. But as sure as there's a Heaven for the saved, there's an eternal hell for the lost. And men and women, I say this to you, and young people too, without Jesus. Remember , He is the Way to Heaven. Remember what Jesus says. "I am The Way." He says, "I am The Truth." He says, "I am The Life." He said, "No man. No man."
I don't care who you are. I don't care what your background is. I don't care what your upbringing is. I don't care how popular you are. I don't care, my friend, what your bank balance is. "NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME." ( see John 14 : 6 )
When you close your eyes in death, as one day you will, save, (or except for), the Lord's Return, your hands will be empty. You'll take nothing with you. And the only thing that will count, is that you're saved, is that you're right with God, is that you're ready to meet Him.
"It's Only The Grace Of God That Keeps You Going."
Friend, I know time is away tonight. But God has blessed me over and over and over again. We sang the hymn tonight, "It's not an easy road," and neither it is. If you're looking for a flower-strewn pathway, I want to tell you, this old world is not a friend to Grace. But we have a faithful God. There'll be many a heartache. Friends, it's only the Grace of God that keeps you going.
"All the way my Saviour leads me,
What have I to ask beside ?
Can I doubt His Tender Mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide ?”
"Either You're Saved Or Not Saved"
I ask you this night - is my Saviour your Saviour ? Friend, if the Lord was to call tonight, or to come, are you honestly, (before God, answer this question, before God, and there's no use you dodging it - there's no use you being the coward - there's no use running away from it) - listen, either you're saved or not saved - one or the other.
You're either right with God or you're not right with Him. You're either ready to meet Him or you're not ready. And That Book says this, "....be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)
"I Long That My Saviour Would Be Your Saviour Too."
I'm finished tonight, and I thank you for your patience. You know what I long for ? I long that my Saviour would be your Saviour too. He's a Lord ready to pardon. Listen, He's more willing to save you, (people say to me, "but how can I be sure that He will save me ?"), let me tell you, He's more ready to save you than what you are to call !
"For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
"Life With A Capital 'L' "
Why don't you come to Him tonight ? Young person, do you want to live life with a "capital L" ? It' s only found in Christ !
May God bring you to Himself. For Jesus' sake.
Dr. William McCrea