A fellow was giving out tracts. He would knock on a door; and when the people came to the door, he would smile, hand them a tract and say, “I would be very grateful if you would read this,” then knock on the next door and the next and the next.
He came to one house; when he knocked, nobody came to the door. He knocked again; nobody came. He knocked a third time; nobody home. So he put the tract in the screen door and walked away.
But something compelled him. It seemed that the Spirit of God said Don’t go off this porch! Go back up there and knock again. He felt silly, but he walked back and knocked again. Still no answer. As he started to walk away this time, the feeling came stronger. So he went back and knocked again.
This time the door suddenly opened, and there was a man standing there saying, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!”
He was shaking when he handed the man the tract. “Sir, would you please read this?”
The man snatched it out of his hand and slammed the door.
He walked off the porch unnerved. It took him two or three houses before he got his composure back. Then he finished that block and another block and went home.
His name, address and phone number were on the bottom of each tract.
Late that evening the phone rang. “Sir, are you the man who was giving out the little papers over in a certain area today?”
“Yes, I was.”
“Is it possible for you to come by and talk with me?”
“Sure. Give me the address.”
He copied down the address and quickly made his way over there. It was the same house where he had knocked several times!
The fellow said, “Come in. I want to show you something.” He took him up in the attic. The man said, “ I was getting nervous for sure then!” There in the attic, on the rafters, hung a rope with a noose; and a basket was sitting right under the noose. He didn’t know what to think about it.
The fellow said, “This afternoon I heard your first knock. I was standing on that basket with that rope around my neck, planning to end it all. When I heard you knock a second time, I thought, I’ll wait just a moment; and when the man goes away, I’ll jump. You knocked a third time. Then it got quiet. I was ready to jump when I heard you knock again! I figured I had better go see who it was. After you gave me that tract, I sat down and read it in its entirety. I must have read it fifty times this afternoon before calling you. I need what that is talking about.”*
The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is longsuffering towards us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
During the first decade of this century, Charles Borden left one of America’s greatest family fortunes to be a missionary in China. He only got as far as Egypt where, still in his twenties, he died of typhoid fever. Before his death he said, “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets!”**
*Tom Wallace, “Jesus, the Soul Winner’s Example,”  Hudson, Curtis, ed. Great Preaching on Soul Winning, (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1989), p. 204-5.
**Billy Graham, Approaching Hoofbeats: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, (Waco, Texas: Word Books), 1983, p. 94-95.
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