Did My Dad Really Believe?

My thirty-year-old prayer was answered: Dad made a profession of faith in Christ after 88 years of unbelief. He was no longer headed for Hell but would have eternal life in a place where there’s no more pain and no more tears. But did he, really? I had my doubts….

(Start at part 1 here.)

I was doubtful because he didn’t sound sincere when he believed. There was no contrition, so sorrowful weeping over all the years he had lived in rebellion to God’s laws. No joy either that his sins were washed away. Maybe he had “believed” because he wanted to please me.

Now my dad was in the Emergency Room because he refused to stay in bed and fell headlong onto the floor. He was barely conscious, had a nasty gash on his forehead and re-fractured his already broken shoulder. He would shout “Get me out of here! Get me out of here!” every time he awoke while trying to climb out of bed. The doctor informed me that this might be the last time I’d ever see him alive. I needed to confirm that his salvation was real, so I asked him if he had thought about our conversation the night before.

“Yes! I believe!” he replied.

“Believe what, Dad?” Then I rehearsed the Gospel again to him. “Do you believe that you are a sinner?”


And you need God’s forgiveness through Jesus?”


“You believe Jesus died for your sins, was buried and on the 3rd day rose from the dead?”

“Yes! Yes!”

“Dad, I love you, but are you just saying this to get me off your back?”

“No! You can take it to the bank!”

My Dad Finally Dies

A few days before Father’s Day I got a call from my stepmom: My 88-year-old dad was rushed to the hospital with congestive heart failure and pneumonia. In God’s providence, I had booked my flight to see him several months before and would be there to see him before he passed on; the prognosis didn’t sound good. I also hoped to celebrate his 89th birthday with him—if he lasted that long. But my main goal was to give him one last chance to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ so he wouldn’t go to Hell. (Read Part 1 here.)

When I wrote about visiting him last, I told how hard-hearted he had been about responding to the good news that Jesus saves sinners. For over 30 years I had spoken to him about his soul to no avail. Though he wasn’t antagonistic to the message, he wasn’t moved either. The last few years I had decided to live out the example of a good Christian pastor son. But now, the time was critical.

Will It Truly Be Father’s Day?

I got the call from my stepmom: My 88-year-old dad was rushed to the hospital with congestive heart failure. I rushed to see him on June 15, 2022 with one goal in mind: give him the Gospel of Jesus.

When I got saved in 1990, after a life of dissipation and sin, dad didn’t believe I had really changed. I couldn’t blame him. I was a bad, irresponsible son who cared not a whit for anybody, even my family. But God gave me a new heart and new desires; over time he has seen the change. But that wasn’t enough for him to believe in Jesus.

My dad is an agnostic who taught me that God could be a beer can when I was a child. So, of course, I worshiped and lived as one who serves a beer can. After I had put childish things away, my only desire was to prove to dad that Jesus is real. But he’s a stubborn guy. Like I was. Like I am. Like all of you.