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700 Club Interactive - March 30, 2018

A dying 3-year old is miraculously healed on Easter; plus, a violent crime committed on Easter is forgiven exactly 5 years later. Read Transcript


Gordon: A 3-YEAR-OLD

FIGHTS FOR LIFE WITH SOME

HELP.

I KNOW, GOD TOLD ME

THIS BABY IS GOING TO BE

FINE.

Gordon: PLUS...

I'LL PROBABLY SPEND THE

REST OF MY LIFE IN PRISON

FOR MISTAKES THAT I'VE

MADE.

Gordon: ONE FELON'S

EASTER REVELATION.

I SAID, GOD JUST SAVED

ME, AND I'M GOING TO LIVE

THE REST OF MY LIFE FOR

GOD.

Gordon: ON TODAY'S

"700 CLUB INTERACTIVE."

> EASTER IS JUST A FEW

DAYS AWAY, BUT FIFTH

GRADER JACKSON TURNER HAS

BEEN MAKING EASTER

PREPARATIONS FOR SEVERAL

WEEKS.

Terry: FOR HIS 11th

BIRTHDAY, HE SET UP A GO

FUND ME ACCOUNT TO RAISE

$5,000 TO FEED 350

HOMELESS PEOPLE ON

EASTERLY.

HERE IS WHY: JACKSON GREW

UP IN A FAMILY THAT ALWAYS

MADE A BIG DEAL ABOUT

SUNDAY DINNERS.

JACKSON'S MOM IS A GREAT

COOK, AND HE IS TH HER NUMBER

ONE HELPER IN THE KITCHEN.

HE WANTED TO GIVE THAT

NUMBER ONE EXPERIENCE TO

PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE IT.

Gordon: THE COMMUNITY

RESPONDED TO HIS BIRTHDAY

PROJECT IN A BIG WAY.

HE HAS MET CITY LEADERS

AND BUSINESS OWNERS ALL

OVER TOWN, EACH ONE

DONATING TO THE CAUSE.

HE HAS RAISED ALMOST

$13,000, SO MUCH SO THAT

JACKSON POSTED HIS UPDATE

TO HIS MOM'S Facebook

PAGE.

MY BIRTHDAY PROJECT HAS

EXCEEDED ITS GOAL, AND

THAT REALLY MEANS A LOT.

AND I WANT TO THANK GOD

FOR BLESSING MY BIRTHDAY

PROJECT, BLESSING PEOPLE

TO DONATE AND SHARE ON

THEIR PAGE, ENCOURAGE ME.

AND NOW PEOPLE WILL TALK

TO ME AND BE VERY KIND AND

POLITE.

I FEEL LIKE GOD HAS TURNED

NEGATIVITY TO PO POSITIVE AND

TURNED EVERYONE'S FROWN

UPSIDE DOWN.

Gordon: WE NEED TO

BRING BACK SUNDAY SUPPER.

GROWING UP, THAT WAS THE

BIG DEAL, THE BIG MEAL,

AND EVERYBODY GATHERED

AROUND.

AND WE DIDN'T HAVE

SMARTPHONES, SO THERE

WEREN'T ANY DISTRACTIONS.

Terry: THERE IS A

REASON GOD GAVE US THE

SABBATH.

Gordon: MOM WOULD PUT

THE SUNDAY DINNER IN THE

OVEN AND WE WOULD GO TO

CHURCH --

Terry: PART OF THE

REASON THAT WORKED SO WELL

IS BECAUSE NOTHING ELSE

WAS OPENED.

SERIOUSLY, EVERYBODY

HONORED IT.

IT WAS A DAY OF REST, AND

EVERYBODY KNEW IT.

MERCHANTS WEREN'T OPEN FOR

BUSINESS.

Gordon: THERE WASN'T

ANYTHING ELSE TO DO.

AS A KID, I REALLY LIKED

THAT, BECAUSE ALSO, I

COULD SAY TO DAD, I DON'T

HAVE TO DO YARD WORK

TODAY.

IT IS THE SABBATH.

Terry: EVEN THEN HE

WAS WORKING A DEAL.

Gordon: YOU'VE GOT TO

WORK A DEAL.

Terry: WELL, IF YOU

NEED SOMETHING TO GET YOU

INTO THE EASTER SPIRIT, WE

HAVE JUST THE THING.

Gordon: AN ELDERLY

WOMAN WALKED INTO A

RESTAURANT, SAT DOWN AT

THE PIANO, AND THANKFULLY

SOMEONE CAPTURED IT ON

VIDEO.

OVER 13 MILLION PEOPLE

HAVE CAPTURED HER PLAYING

"BECAUSE HE LIVES."

*

*

Terry: WOW!

Gordon: THAT IS

REALLY GOOD.

Terry: YOU KNOW HOW

HARD IT IS TO GET A "LIKE"

ON SOMETHING?

13 MILLION PEOPLE SAYING

THEY LIKED IT.

Gordon: I'VE GOT TO

START TAKING LESSONS

AGAIN.

THAT WAS PRETTY AWESOME.

> A WAL-MART IN GEORGIA

PUT UP AN INSPIRED PEPSI

DISPLAY.

IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY AT THE

GREEN MOUNTAIN DEW BOXES,

YOU'LL SEE THREE CROSSES.

Terry: THE DISPLAY

HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN, BUT

THE MANAGER SAYS IT WAS

ONLY BECAUSE THEY HAD TO

GET READY FOR THE NEXT

PROMOTION.

BUT KUDOS TO THEM.

THAT'S AWESOME.

Gordon: LET'S BRING

IT BACK EVERY YEAR, AROUND

THE SAME TIME.

> IN 1979, LEE STROBEL

WAS AN ATHEIST AND A SWORN

ENEMY OF RELIGION.

AND THEN HIS WIFE BECAME A

CHRISTIAN.

SO LEE WENT ON A TWO-YEAR

INVESTIGATION TO PROVE

THAT HER FAITH WAS PAVED

ON A WORK OF FICTION.

WELL, INSTEAD, HE

DISCOVERED THE

RESURRECTION REALLY

HAPPENED.

Terry: LEE'S REAL

LIFE CONVERSION TO

CHRISTIANITY WAS CAPTURED

IN THE FILM "THE CASE FOR

CHRIST."

HERE IS LEE WITH FOUR

REASONS THE RESURRECTION

IS ABSOLUTE FACT.

WHEN I WAS AN ATHEIST

AND LEGAL EDITOR OF THE

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, I WOULD

HAVE SMIRKED AT THE FACT

THAT EASTER THIS YEAR

FALLS ON APRIL FOOL'S DAY.

BECAUSE BACK THEN I

THOUGHT THAT ANYONE WOULD

HAVE TO BE A FOOL TO THINK

THAT JESUS LITERALLY ROSE

FROM THE DEAD.

WELL, ONE DAY MY WIFE GAVE

ME THE NEWS SHE HAD BECOME

A CHRISTIAN.

SO I DECIDED TO TAKE MY

JOURNALISM TRAINING AND

LEGAL TRAINING AND DEBUNK

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS.

SO I SPENT TWO YEARS OF MY

LIFE ANALYZING THE

HISTORICAL DATA.

AND WHAT I FOUND REALLY

SHOCKED ME.

I RECOUNT IT IN MY BOOK

"THE CASE FOR MIRACLES."

FIRST OF ALL, I FOUND

THERE IS NO DISPUTE AMONG

SCHOLARS THAT JESUS WAS

DEAD AFTER BEING

CRUCIFIED.

THE JOURNAL OF THE

AMERICAN MEDICAL

ASSOCIATION SAYS THAT

BASED ON THE HISTORICAL

AND MEDICAL EVIDENCE, THAT

JESUS WAS CLEARLY DEAD

EVEN BEFORE THE WOUND TO

HIS SIDE WAS INFLICTED.

SECOND, WE HAVE EARLY

REPORTS OF THE

RESURRECTION OF JESUS,

REPORTS THAT COME SO

QUICKLY YOU CAN'T JUST

WRITE THEM OFF AS BEING A

LEGEND.

IN FACT, WE HAVE ONE

REPORT OF THE

RESURRECTION, INCLUDING

NAMED EYE WITNESSES, THAT

HAS BEEN DATED BACK BY

SCHOLARS TO WITHIN MONTHS

OF THE DEATH OF JESUS.

FRIENDS, THAT IS

HISTORICAL GOLD.

THIRD, WE HAVE THE EMPTY

TOMB.

AND I FOUND EVEN THE

OPPONENTS OF JESUS

EXPLICITLY CONCEDED THAT

THE TOMB OF JESUS WAS

EMPTY.

AND FOURTH, WE HAVE NINE

ANCIENT SOURCES, INSIDE

AND OUTSIDE THE NEW

TESTAMENT, CONFIRMING AND

CORROBORATING THE

CONVICTION OF THE

DISCIPLES THAT THEY

ENCOUNTERED THE

RESURRECTED JESUS.

FRIENDS, THAT IS AN

AVALANCHE OF HISTORICAL

DATA.

AND WE HAVE SEVEN SOURCES

THAT CONFIRMED THAT THE

DISCIPLES HAD LIVES OF

DEPRIVATION AND SUFFERING

AS A RESULT OF THEIR

PROCLAMATION THAT JESUS

HAD RISEN.

WHY WERE THEY WILLING TO

DO THAT?

BECAUSE THEY HEARD A RUMOR

HE HAD RISEN?

NO.

BECAUSE THEY WERE THERE.

THEY TOUCHED HIM.

THEY ATE WITH HIM.

THEY TALKED WITH HIM.

THEY KNEW THE TRUTH, AND

KNOWING THE TRUTH, THEY

WERE WILLING TO PROCLAIM

IT, EVEN DESPITE THE

SUFFERING THEY ENDURED.

FRIENDS, I SPENT TWO YEARS

INVESTIGATING THIS

EVIDENCE.

IT CAME DOWN TO ONE DAY

WHEN I REFUTE IT ALL, AND

I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW WHAT?

BASED ON THE HISTORICAL

DATA, MY VERDICT IS THAT

JESUS NOT ONLY CLAIMED TO

BE THE SON OF GOD, HE

BACKED UP THAT CLAIM BY

RETURNING FROM THE DEAD.

AND THAT'S THE MOMENT I

DECIDED TO CONFESS MY SIN,

TO TURN FROM THAT, TO

RECEIVE THIS FREE GIFT OF

FORGIVENESS AND ETERNAL

LIFE THAT JESUS PURCHASED

FOR ME ON THE CROSS.

AND AT THAT MOMENT, I

BECAME A CHILD OF GOD.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE A RUSH OF

EMOTION AT THAT MOMENT.

I DIDN'T.

YOU KNOW WHAT I HAD?

I HAD THE RUSH OF REASON.

BECAUSE THE RESURRECTION

OF JESUS IS NOT SOME APRIL

FOOL'S DAY JOKE.

IT IS AN HISTORICAL

REALITY.

BASED NOT ON THEOLOGY OR

MAKE-BELIEVE OR WISHFUL

THINKING, BUT A SOLID

FOUNDATION OF HISTORICAL

TRUTH.

Gordon: AND OUR

FOUNDATION IS SECURE.

AND WHEN YOU HEAR SOMEONE

LIKE LEE TALK ABOUT HIS

INVESTIGATION OF IT, YOU

JUST ARE ENCOURAGED.

IF YOU'RE NOT A BELIEVER,

HERE IS THE WAY TO GET

PROOF FOR YOURSELF.

ASK JESUS TO SHOW UP FOR

YOU.

DON'T DO IT JOKINGLY.

THIS ISN'T SOMETHING YOU

KID ABOUT, BUT THE BIBLE

SAYS THAT WHEN YOU SEEK ME

WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART,

THEN YOU'LL FIND ME.

AND YOU CAN HAVE YOUR OWN

EVIDENCE OF THE

RESURRECTION BECAUSE HE

WILL SHOW UP FOR YOU.

Terry: ABSOLUTELY.

Gordon: WELL, UP

NEXT, A 3-YEAR-OLD GIRL IS

GIVEN THREE YEARS TO LIVE.

WATCH HOW SHE BEAT THE

ODDS THROUGH THE POWER OF

PRAYER.

DON'T GO AWAY.

Terry: FOR THE MAC

ELROY FAMILY, I WAS LOVE

AT FIRST SIGHT.

AS SOON AS THEY SAW AN

ABANDONED BABY GIRL FROM

CHINA, THEY KNEW SHE HAD

TO BE A PART OF THEIR

FAMILY.

BUT SOON THEIR JOY TURNED

TO FEAR WHEN THEIR NEW

DAUGHTER WAS STRICKEN WITH

A FATAL CONDITION.

WHEN I LOOK AT

MAKALYNNE'S PICTURE, I

KNEW I WAS HER MOM BECAUSE

I DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING, ANY

IMPERFECTIONS IN HER.

I LOOKED STRAIGHT INTO

THOSE EYES OF HER, AND

FROM THE MOMENT I SAW HER

AND LOOKED AT THOSE EYES,

I KNEW I WAS HER MOM

BECAUSE MOTHERS DON'T SEE

IMPERFECTIONS IN THEIR

CHILDREN.

Reporter: JENELLE

McELROY AND HER HUSBAND

HAD TWO SONS WHEN THEY

ADOPTED MAKALYNNE, A BABY

WHO HAD BEEN ABANDONED AT

A CHINESE ORPHANAGE.

I KNEW SHE WAS THE ONE

THAT GOD INTENDED FOR ME.

Reporter: WHEN THEY

BROUGHT HER HOME AT 18

MONTHS, SHE NEEDED SURGERY

FOR HER CLEFT PALATE.

SHE WAS MALNOURISHED, AND

HER DEVELOPMENT WAS

DELAYED.

SHE ALSO TESTEDE TESTED POSITIVE

FOR HEPATITIS "B," BUT

SHOWED NO SYMPTOMS.

AS JENELLE AND THE FAMILY

BROUGHT HER BACK TO

HEALTH...

BY THE TIME SHE WAS 2

AND A HALF YEARS OLD, SHE

WAS HAPPY AND HEALTHY AND

JUST AS NORMAL AS ANY

OTHER 2 AND A

HALF-YEAR-OLD COULD BE.

THEN I NOTICED SHE WAS

HAVING SOME SWELLING

PARTICULARLY AROUND HER

EYES, AND SHE HAD REALLY

DARK, CON STRAIGHTED

URINE CONCENTRATED URINE.

Reporter: THE DOCTORS

CONFIRMED IT WAS HEPATITIS

"B."

HER LIVER AND KIDNEYS WERE

FAILING.

TOO YOUNG TO UNDERGO

TRANSPLANTS, SHE WAS SENT

HOME WITH ONLY THREE YEARS

TO LIVE.

IT WAS VERY HARD.

I REMEMBER I CRIED OUT TO

THE LORD ON THIS ON MANY

OCCASIONS AND SAID, GOD,

WHY?

WHY WOULD YOU GIVE HER TO

ME AND NOW TURN AROUND AND

TAKE HER AWAY?

WHY WOULD YOU BRING HER

ALL THE WAY HERE, LET HER

HAVE LIVED THROUGH ALL OF

THIS AND HAVE OVERCOME ALL

OF THIS TO TURN AROUND NOW

AND LET HER DIE?

WHY?

I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

Reporter: THE COUPLE

CALLED ON FAMILY AND

FRIENDS TO SPREAD THE WORD

AND PRAY FOR MAKALYNNE'S

HEALING.

IN THE MEANTIME, DOCTORS

PRESCRIBED AN ANTI-VIRAL

MEDICATION TO HELP MANAGE

HER CONDITION.

BUT JENELLE SAYS SHE

DIDN'T FILL THE

PRESCRIPTION BECAUSE

SOMETHING TOLD HER TO HOLD

OFF.

I DID, AT THAT TIME,

FEEL LIKE IT WAS GOD

TELLING ME ALMOST, PEACE

BE STILL.

JUST WAIT A MINUTE.

Reporter: AT THE

TIME, IT WAS EASTER

SEASON, AND JENELLE'S

FAMILY KEPT WITH THEIR

DECISION OF GOING TO A

"PASSION OF CHRIST" PLAY

BY STUDENTS AT THE

UNIVERSITY OF MOBILE.

HER GRANDMOTHER, DR. CATHY

SHEPHERD, SAYS THIS YEAR

THE PLAY TOOK ON A WHOLE

NEW MEANING.

AND I JUST LOOKED UP,

AND THE YOUNG MAN THAT WAS

PLAYING JESUS LOOKED OUT

INTO THE AUDIENCE, AND

WHAT I SAW WAS THOSE

CRYSTAL BLUE EYES.

AND I SAW JESUS.

HE SPOKE TO MY HEART.

I JUST FELT A CONTACT WITH

JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THANKS TO CATHY, I SEE

YOU.

I'VE GOT THIS.

IT WASHED ALL OVER ME,

HE'S GOT THIS.

SHE WAS THAT CONFIDENT

WHEN SHE SPOKE TO ME.

THERE WAS NO, I THINK I

HEARD, OR I FEEL I HEARD.

IT WAS, I HEARD.

I KNOW.

GOD TOLD ME THIS BABY IS

GOING TO BE FINE.

Reporter: JENELLE

HELD ON TO THAT PROMISE AS

PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE

WORLD PRAYED.

OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL

MONTHS, TESTS SHOWED

MAKALYNNE'S ENZYMES

STARTED DROPPING.

I REMEMBER TALKING TO

MY NEPHROLOGIST, AND HE

SAID, I DON'T EVEN KNOW

HOW TO EXPLAIN THIS.

AND I SAID, WELL, I DO.

IT'S A MIRACLE.

BECAUSE SHE WAS SICK AND

NOW SHE IS SO HEALTHY.

Reporter: MAKALYNNE

CONTINUED TO GET BETTER.

AND TODAY HER LIVER AND

KIDNEYS ARE HEALED.

AND SHE IS PROGRESSING

THROUGH THE STAGES OF

RECOVERY THROUGH HEPATITIS

"B."

I'M JUST SO THANKFUL.

I'VE SEEN JESUS.

I'VE SEEN HIS WORK.

HE DOES MIRACLES TODAY.

THERE WAS NOTHING THE

MEDICAL PROFESSION HAD

DONE TO TURN HER AROUND.

IT WAS A TOUCH FROM JESUS

HIMSELF.

I DO HAVE THAT COMPLETE

FAMILY I HAVE ALWAYS

WANTED.

MAKALYNNE IS SASSY, SHE IS

PRISSY, SHE IS SWEET.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

FIVE.

AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

CHINA.

AND WHERE WERE YOU?

WERE YOU IN MOMMY'S TUMMY?

NO.

WHERE WERE YOU?

HEART.

IN THE HEART?

I SEE WHAT GOD DID FOR US,

AND IT MAKES HIS

RESURRECTION EVEN MORE

PARAMOUNT IN MY EYES AND

IN MY HEART BECAUSE I SEE

ALL THAT HE WENT THROUGH,

BUT THAT HE EVER CAME --

AND I KNOW HE DID --

BECAUSE I EVIDENCE,

TANGIBLE EVIDENCE IN MY

LITTLE GIRL, THAT I REALLY

FEEL WITHOUT GOD'S GRACE

AND MERCY SHE WOULD NOT BE

HERE.

Terry: TANGIBLE

EVIDENCE FOR MAKALYNNE,

BUT ALSO A MESSAGE FOR ALL

OF US.

I LOVE WHAT HER

GRANDMOTHER SAID, I KNEW

THAT HE WAS SAYING, I SEE

YOU AND I'VE GOT THIS.

AND I BELIEVE THAT GOD IS

SAYING THAT TO YOU RIGHT

NOW, WITH WHATEVER

CIRCUMSTANCES YOU MIGHT BE

FACING.

HE SEES YOU AND HE HAS GOT

IT.

LET HIM TAKE IT.

LET HIM TAKE YOUR BURDEN

AND WALK IN THE JOY AND

PEACE THAT HE OFFERS IN

RETURN TO YOU.

THAT'S YOUR COMMITMENT BUT

IT IS ALSO YOUR PRIVILEGE

AS A CHILD OF GOD.

ACCEPT IT.

> COMING UP, A VICTIM

AND HIS WOULD-BE KILLER

ARE REC SIZE RECONCILED ON EASTER

SUNDAY.

YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS

THIS INCREDIBLE STORY.

Gordon: ONE EASTER

SUNDAY, JOHN SAW SOMEONE

AT CHURCH HE THOUGHT HE

RECOGNIZED.

THE MAN HAD A FAMILIAR

SCAR ON HIS FACE.

THAT'S WHEN JOHN REALIZED

HE WAS THE SAME MAN THAT

JOHN LEFT FOR DEAD FIVE

YEARS EARLIER ON EASTER

MORNING.

Reporter: SOME CALL

THEM JOURNALS, SOME CALL

THEM DIARIES.

WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL

THEM, THEY ARE, FOR BETTER

OR WORSE, A RECORD OF OUR

LIVES.

JOHN SKIPWORTH HAS CHRON

NELCHRONICLED HIS LIFE.

I UNDERSTOOD THAT GOD

HAD A SON AND HE DIED FOR

ME AND I COULD BE FORGIVEN

OF MY SINS.

Reporter: JOHN TRIED

TO GROW IN HIS NEW FAITH,

BUT THAT DIDN'T LAST LONG.

AS FAR AS A BIBLICAL

TYPE OF BELIEF THAT

PRODUCES AN ACTION, I

DON'T BELIEVE ANYONE IN

OUR HOUSEHOLD HAD THAT.

I DON'T WANT TO BLAME

ANYBODY, BUT I JUST DIDN'T

FOLLOW THROUGH WITH WHAT I

SAID AT 12 YEARS OLD.

Reporter: JOHN'S

PARENTS HAD DIVORCED WHEN

HE WAS TWO YEARS OLD.

WHEN HIS MOTHER AND

STEPFATHER DIVORCED TWO

YEARS LATER, JOHN DECIDED

TO LIVE WITH HIS

STEPFATHER.

AT 16 YEARS OLD, I

BECAME THE DE DESIGNATED

DRIVER.

I DROVE HIM AFTER HE WENT

TO THE BOTTLE BEING

BROKENHEARTED.

AT 17 YEARS OLD I STARTED

MARIJUANA AND I

IMMEDIATELY RAN INTO

SOMEBODY THAT WAS DOING

COCAINE.

AND 90 DAYS LATER, I WAS

AN I.V. DRUG ADDICT,

STICKING NEEDLES IN MY

ARM, SHOOTING UP DRUGS.

I THINK IT WAS AN INTERNAL

VOID IN ME, LOOKING FOR

SOMEWHERE TO BELONG.

Reporter: JOHN THE

ADDICT SOON BECAME JOHN

THE DEALER.

I MAY BE SELLING POT,

BUT I WAS USING AS MUCH

METHAMPHETAMINE IN ONE DAY

AS I COULD MAKE MONEY

SELLING POT IN A WEEK.

Reporter: DURING ONE

DRUG DEAL, THINGS WENT

BACK VERY QUICKLY.

THE SELLERS MET JOHN AND

THE OTHER BUYERS THE AT A

HOTEL ROOM.

WE WERE READY TO

EXPEDITE THE DEAL.

LET'S GET IT OVER WITH.

GET THE DRUGS BOUGHT AND

GET THEM OUT OF HERE

BEFORE SOMETHING REALLY

BAD HAPPENS.

ONE THING LED TO ANOTHER.

AND A FIGHT BROKE OUT.

I RAN OVER TO A BED AND

GRABBED S PILLOW CASE OFF

OF THE BED.

AND EVERYBODY IS STILL

FIGHTING.

I HAD BEEN FIGHTING, AND

EVERYBODY IS FIGHTING.

AND THEY WERE TRYING TO

GET OUT OF THE DOOR.

AND I GRABBED A GUY.

ONE GUY -- I DIDN'T KNOW

HIM AT THE TIME.

I GRABBED HIM WHEN HE WAS

TRYING TO RUN OUT OF THE

DOOR WITH A PILLOW CASE.

AND I DRUG HIM OUT OF THE

ROOM.

AND THEN MY BUDDIES

IMMEDIATELY RAN TO THE

DOOR.

AND WE GOT THE GUY DOWN ON

THE HOTEL FLOOR AND GAVE

HIM A BEATING THAT WAS

PRETTY SEVERE.

Reporter: THE YOUNG

MAN, J.P., WAS BEATEN

UNTIL HE WAS UNCONSCIOUS.

JOHN AND HIS BUDDIES

PANICKED, AND THEY WRAPPED

HIM UP IN A SHEET AND

DROVE TO THE WOODS AND

LEFT THE BODY THERE.

J.P. GOT UP AND STARTED

FIGHTING AGAIN.

AND SO I HIT HIM AND

KNOCKED HIM DOWN.

I GOT MY FRIEND FREE FROM

HIM.

AND I'M WALKING AWAY, AND

I LOOKED AT MY FRIEND, AND

I SAID, JUST CUT HIS

THROAT.

AND BEFORE EITHER OF US

KNEW WHAT HAPPENED, BOTH

ON DRUGS, BOTH OUT OF OUR

MIND, I'M STANDING THERE

10-FOOT FROM HIM, AND ALL

OF A SUDDEN BLOOD JUST

WENT ALL UP ONE SIDE OF

ME.

AND YOU KNOW, WE WERE

LIVING IN A MAKE-BELIEVE,

TOUGH-GUY, DRUG,

SUBCONSCIOUS WORLD THAT

BECAME VERY REAL.

Reporter: THE NEXT

MORNING A PASTOR WAS

WORKING BEHIND HIS CHURCH.

AND HE WAS SETTING UP

CHAIRS NEXT TO THAT CANAL

FOR SUNRISE SERVICE.

AND HE HEARD J.P. MOANING,

AND HE FOUND J.P.

WHEN HE FOUND J.P. WITH

HIS THROAT CUT, HE

NOTIFIED THE AUTHORITIES.

THE AUTHORITIES SHOWED UP,

AND WHEN THE FRIENDS WERE

TRAVELLING, THEY SAW ALL

OF THE EMERGENCY SERVICES

AND THEY WENT AND FOUND

THEIR FRIEND.

THEY SAW THE WHITE

BEDSHEET.

AND THE AUTHORITIES SAID,

DID YOU KNOW HIM?

AND THEY SAID THEY KNEW

HIM.

AND THEY SAID, WHERE DID

THIS HAPPEN?

AND THEY SAID, A FIGHT

HAPPENED AT THE HOTEL

ROOM.

AND THEY ARRESTED

EVERYBODY IN THE ROOM.

Reporter: JOHN WENT

TO JAIL FOR 72 DAYS.

HE WAS IN AND OUT OF JAIL

FOR FOUR YEARS.

AFTER A HIGH-SPEED CHASE

IN 2002, JOHN GOT 20 YEARS

IN PRISON BECAUSE HE WAS A

THIRD-STRIKE FELON.

I LAID DOWN ON THE

FLOOR, AND I JUST WAS

CRYING.

I WAS BROKEN, AND I JUST

STARTED TELLING GOD HOW

DISAPPOINTED I WAS WITH

MYSELF, HOW DISAPPOINTED I

WAS WITH MY LIFE.

I WAS SORRY FOR HURTING MY

MOM.

I WAS SORRY FOR HURTING MY

DAD.

I WAS SORRY FOR HURTING

THAT GUY IN THE HOTEL

ROOM.

I WAS TIRED OF BEING A

DRUG ADDICT AND A THIEF

AND A LIAR.

AND IT SEEMED JUST LIKE A

FEW MINUTES, AND IT SEEMS

JUST AS REAL TODAY, I JUST

LAID THERE AND I HEARD THE

CLICK, CLICK, CLICK OF THE

ELECTRONIC DOOR.

AND THEY SAID, CHURCH

CALL.

AND I JUST REMEMBER

GETTING UP OUT OF MY CELL,

AND I WALKED DOWN THERE TO

CHURCH, AND THIS LITTLE

PASTOR, HE CAME SO

FAITHFULLY.

AND HE ALWAYS OPENED THE

SERVICE, AND HE SAID, DOES

ANYBODY WANT TO GIVE A

TESTIMONY.

AND PEOPLE WOULD GIVE UP

AND SAY, I'M GOING HOME.

OR MY MAMA GOT HEALED OF

CANCER.

AND I WALKED UP, AND THERE

WERE 200, RAPISTS,

MURDERERS, GANG-BANGERS,

KILLERS -- I WALKED UP

THERE, AND I SAID, I JUST

WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT

TODAY I WENT TO COURT AND

FOUND I'M GOING TO RECEIVE

A MULTIPLE SENTENCE, AND

I'LL PROBABLY RECEIVE A

LIFE SENTENCE FOR ALL OF

THE MISTAKES I HAVE MADE.

BUT RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT

JAIL CELL, GOD JUST SAVED

ME AND I'M GOING TO SPEND

THE REST OF MY LIFE

SERVING GOD.

Reporter: IN 2003,

THE OVERCOMERS GROUP WAS

ALLOWED TO GO TO CHURCH.

WHILE WAITING FOR A RIDE

BACK TO PRISON, JOHN

RECOGNIZED A FAMILIAR

FACE.

I LOOKED DOWN THE

CORRIDOR AND I SAW A

GENTLEMAN KIND OF LIMPING,

AND HE WAS GETTING CLOSER

AND CLOSER AND CLOSER.

AND THE CLOSER HE GOT, I

STARTED BEING ABLE TO SEE

A VISIBLE SCAR ON HIS

NECK.

IMMEDIATELY I REALIZED IT

WAS J.P.

AND HE WALKED UP TO ME AND

HE STUCK OUT HIS HAND.

AND THE WEIGHT OF ALL OF

THAT RESPONSIBILITY JUST

GRIPPED ME.

AND IT WASN'T THE TIME TO

BE A TOUGH GUY.

I JUST BROKE DOWN AND

STARTED CRYING.

AND HE SAID, OH, MAN, I

FORGIVE YOU, JOHN.

OH, I LOVE YOU, MAN.

I'M GLAD YOU'RE HERE.

GOD IS ABOUT TO CHANGE

YOUR LIFE.

GOD IS GOING TO USE YOU TO

DO GREAT THINGS.

AND HE GRABBED ME AND

HUGGED ME THAT NIGHT, AND

HE SAID, I'M GLAD YOU'RE

HERE.

IT WAS EASTER SUNDAY.

FIVE YEARS TO THE DAY THAT

THE PASTOR FOUND HIM

SETTING UP FOR SUNRISE

SERVICE ON RESURRECTION

MORNING.

Reporter: JOHN LATER

FOUND OUT THAT J.P.'S

PARENTS HAD BEEN PRAYING

FOR HIM FOR YEARS.

AFTER COMPLETING HIS TIME

WITH OVERCOMERS, THE JUDGE

GAVE JOHN SEVEN YEARS,

INSTEAD OF THE 20 HE WAS

EXPECTING.

JOHN HAS BEEN OUT OF

PRISON FORTUNATE THREE

YEARFOR THREE YEARSNOW.

HE MET BROOK AT CHURCH IN

2009, AND THEY MARRIED HIM

ONE YEAR LATER.

I KNOW HE HAD A PAST,

BUT I HAVE NEVER SEEN HIM

THAT WAY.

AND IT IS HARD FOR ME TO

BELIEVE IT BECAUSE I KNOW

WHO HE IS AFTER CHRIST.

Reporter: TODAY JOHN

IS A PASTOR.

HE CONTINUES TO WRITE

ABOUT HIS JOURNEY AND HOW

GOD CONTINUES TO WORK IN

HIS LEGION.

THE LARGEST CHANGE IN

ME IS MY IDENTITY.

WHO I AM, AND WHO I AM

FLOWS OUT OF WHO I AM IN

CHRIST.

AND SLOWLY, YEAR BY YEAR,

MORE AND MORE OF THAT IS

BEGINNING TO COME OUT OF

ME.

Gordon: DID YOU HEAR

THAT?

THE LARGEST THING, THE

BIGGEST THING THAT CHANGED

IN MY LIFE WAS MY

IDENTITY.

WHO AM I IN CHRIST?

WHEN YOU GET THAT

IDENTITY, WHEN YOU

UNDERSTAND YOU ARE A CHILD

OF GOD, YOU ARE FEARFULLY

AND WONDERFULLY MADE, HE

HAS CREATED GOOD THINGS,

GOOD WORKS, FOR YOU TO

WALK INTO.

HE HAS SO SHAPED THINGS

AROUND YOU THAT HE WANTS

TO SATISFY THE DESIRES OF

YOUR HEART.

NOW, HERE IS JOHN, AND HE

IS WRAPPED UP IN DRUGS, HE

IS WRAPPED UP IN A LIFE OF

CRIME.

HE IS IN AND OUT OF JAIL.

FINALLY HE GETS THE THIRD

STRIKE, AND HE IS FACING

20 YEARS.

AND THAT'S THE POINT IN

TIME WHERE HE SAYS, I

SURRENDER.

GOD, I'M SORRY.

I'M SORRY FOR THE THINGS

I'VE DONE.

CAN YOU COME AND SAVE ME?

AND THEN HIS

DECLARATION -- I DON'T

CARE IF I'VE GOT TO CLEAN

SHOWERS IN THIS PRISON FOR

THE NEXT 20 YEARS.

I WANT TO LIVE FOR HIM.

THAT LED TO HIS CHANGE.

WHAT'S IT GOING TO TAKE

FOR YOU?

RIGHT NOW YOU CAN CHANGE.

YOU CAN HAVE THAT.

YOU CAN HAVE THAT NEW

IDENTITY IN HIM.

YOU CAN LEAVE ADDICTION.

YOU CAN LEAVE CRIME.

YOU CAN LEAVE ALL OF THE

THINGS THAT YOU'RE ASHAMED

OF AND EMBRACE A NEW LIFE

WITH HIM.

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK

FOR IT.

IF THIS IS FOR YOU, BOW

YOUR HEAD WITH ME AND

LET'S PRAY A VERY SIMPLE

PRAYER AND LET JESUS DO

ALL THE REST.

DO THE SAME THING JOHN

DID.

HE PRAYED.

HE GOT AN ANSWER.

YOU WILL, TOO.

JESUS -- THAT'S RIGHT,

JUST SAY HIS NAME.

JESUS, I COME TO YOU, AND

I ASK FOR FORGIVENESS.

I ASK THAT YOU CHANGE ME,

THAT YOU MAKE ME NEW, AND

THAT YOU RELEASE ME FROM

ALL THE THINGS THAT I HAVE

DONE WRONG.

AND IF YOU'LL DO THIS FOR

ME, I WANT TO FOLLOW YOU

ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE.

HEAR MY PRAYER, FOR I PRAY

IT IN JESUS' NAME.

AMEN.

IF YOU PRAYED WITH ME, LET

ME KNOW.

GIVE ME A CALL:

1-800-700-7000.

JUST SAY, I PRAYED, I

ASKED FOR JESUS TO COME

INTO MY HEART.

HERE IS A WORD FOR YOU:

"JESUS TOLD HER, I AM THE

RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.

ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN ME

WILL LIVE, EVEN AFTER

DYING."

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