Salvation, tragic death affirm urgency
HOUSTON (BP) -- Eddie had some questions. Some Mormon missionaries had visited him at his home earlier that day and shared with him the basics of their faith. Eddie decided to go to John Wilsey, the interim pastor of North Oaks Baptist Church, to ask more questions.
Wilsey sat down with Eddie after church on a Wednesday night. Eddie, who had been coming to church with his mother, was often a distraction during Bible studies because of his tendency to loudly blurt out comments at inappropriate times. Wilsey says certain people were leery of Eddie around church but that there were a number of older women who took him under their wing and tried to help "knock off some of the rough edges."
These women also prayed for him regularly.
The discussion lasted more than an hour. Wilsey took Eddie through numerous Scripture passages and helped him understand exactly who Jesus is, what He did in His atonement, and what people's response to Him should be. Until then, Eddie had not been sure where he would spend eternity, but he wanted to have assurance. After listening attentively to Wilsey's Gospel presentation, Eddie indicated he wanted to put his trust in Christ and Wilsey led him in prayer.
This encounter six months ago was anything but typical, according to an article published on Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's website on May 27.
By the time they finished their conversation, it had grown dark and everyone else had already left the church, so Wilsey drove Eddie home. Wilsey recalled, "We had just finished a rich conversation about the Lord, Eddie had given his life to Christ, and the new hope he had found was already showing in his demeanor." They prayed once again in front of Eddie's trailer, and Wilsey told him as he left that he was looking forward to seeing him again in church on Sunday.
The following Sunday, however, Eddie was not there. Later that week, Wilsey learned why -- Eddie had been murdered in his trailer in an apparent home invasion.
"The story was covered on the local news," Wilsey said, "but few details were known at the time about why the incident occurred. All I knew was that my new brother in Christ was killed just a few days after he had placed his faith in Him."
Reflecting on the experience, Wilsey said, "I am so sorry that Eddie was killed, and it was a body blow when I heard the news. But it was incredibly encouraging -- and convicting -- when I found out that he had been killed just days after our conversation."