Richard Stevens, III
Richard Stevens, III

FORTH WORTH, Tex. (BNc) by Richard Stevens, III —  A man looking for denominational information accidently called me while I was at the church office Thursday, Mar. 28. Realizing the mistake, he apologized, and was about to hang up when I introduced myself and inquired into the reason for his search.

After an exchange of names, he said he wanted to know more about the Bible and asked if I knew of a seminary school in which he could attend and learn. Politely, I questioned if he was ready for that by asking, “What would you tell someone about saving their soul?” He responded, “Believe the Bible and go to church.”

I then took the opportunity to discuss water baptism (John 3:5, 22-23; Acts 8:35-39; 10:47-48; 22:16; Heb. 10:22; etc.), eternal salvation (Ro. 1:16-17; 6:17-18,23; 2 Ti. 1:9-10; 2:10; etc.), and the one church of the New Testament (Mat. 16:18; Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:22-33), over the phone.

As we began, the man put me on hold so he could retrieve his Bible (commendable; Mat. 4:4). We talked for a while, both of us sharing our convictions, and then I invited him to personally study the Bible with me on Sunday morning. He accepted and said he would also bring his wife.

The following Sunday morning at 8:30 am, the man and his wife met me at the building and we studied together as he had promised (commitment; Mat. 5:6). That morning the two came bearing one old Bible with missing pages which they shared between them. I gave them another and we initiated the study with prayer.

After studying and discussing what the New Testament teaches about water baptism, I asked them if they believed baptism was necessary in securing eternal salvation. They looked at one another, then at me, and both said yes, while nodding their heads in agreement (conviction; Mat. 7:21). This was real progress, since they both entered the study believing that one could be saved without being baptized. Or, in other words, they did not believe that baptism was for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Now they did.

Our study ended that morning on the subject of the differences between denominational baptisms and the one baptism of biblical Christianity (Eph. 4:5), since they had both been denominationally baptized before. After looking at Acts 19:1-5, we concluded with a final thought and question for our future study, “Is it possible for one to be taught wrong and baptized right?” We then dismissed with prayer, shook hands, and hugged.

The wonderful couple also stayed for the worship service. They, along with our other visitors, were acknowledged at the end of our services. They smiled and said how happy they were to be with us. Before leaving, they told us how much they enjoyed the study, our services, our friendliness, and vowed to continue coming and studying the Bible with us.

I guess this was one time when a wrong number was actually the right one. Because a connection with Bible truth is never wrong. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32; cf. Eph. 4:21).

Please say a prayer for them and for us.

Richard preaches with the Beckley Heights congregation in Dallas, Tex.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

7 thoughts on “Wrong phone number turns into Bible study

  1. What a wonderful story to wake up to this morning. Brother Richard must have saving souls on his mind about all the time and that is commendable to him. May God bless us with a commitment to take advantage of every opportunity to teach the word. Thank you brother Richard for this fine example.

  2. It is fantastic what the Truth will do to hearts that are honestly seeking it. Thanks for sharing this great story. It is an encouragement and a reminder to all that there are many ways to plant the seed and we should be constantly mindful of – and praying for – opportunities to do so. Conversions can start out in many unusual ways. Mine began in the seat of a barber shop in a new town in a new state. This one was a “wrong number” that was really the right number. God’s providence will always guide those with “good ground” (Matt.13:8, 32) where they need to go. Then good saints like Brother Richard do the work by continuing to carry out the great commission (Matt.28:19, 20) and our Father then has the opportunity to give “the increase” (1Cor.3:6). I have a big smile on my face and I am overjoyed that 2 more precious souls have been guided onto the narrow way and toward the narrow gate. Thank you for your work in the kingdom and God bless you.

  3. This is a wonderful story of being alert, being “ready always to give answer to every man concerning the hope that lies within us.” I commend brother Richard for making a difference in eternity for this soul. And I commend BROTHERHOOD NEWS for telling the good story about this event in fishing for men. I have about 30 stories like this that I call Fishin’ Trip #22, etc.

  4. Brother Stevens has shown to us, we need to keep our ears ready to hear and our minds ready to teach. We must make use of all opportunities and he has proven it can be done. May this couple continue to study, then, obey the gospel. I appreciate Richard’s question: “Is it possible for one to be taught wrong and baptized right?” I have used this for good through many years. Also good to read the words of an “old” friend Ted Knight!

  5. Thank you for the kind words, my friends. These events have inspired me to personally do more in the way of evangelism. Thank you for posting the story, Randal. I pray it will encourage all of us. Continue to pray for the study. God bless you all!

  6. We never know when an opportunity may come along for us to share our faith. May we all take advantage of those opportunites. I know I have not always taken advantage of some because I did not realize it was an opportunity until a little latter when I was thinking about it. I truly believe that if a lost person is truly seeking the truth that God will put someone in their path that can tell them the truth if they are willing to take the opportunity to teach.

Reaction?