The Testimony of Tony

Tony is an example of someone who was seeking. The Lord brought him to our church through a good friend. It took him a while to digest how we approach studying the Word of God in its total context. But he caught on and it drove him to want a deeper relationship with Christ and to seek the truth. In the journey with Tony, we all learned a few things because he would compare what he had been taught having been raised a good Roman Catholic boy with what he was actually finding in the Bible. He would ask questions and draw his own conclusions, often excited that a truth had been revealed and confirmed in the Bible. He often said how fortunate he was to have found our little church.

In studying the Bible, Tony found that many things he had been taught as truth were not even found in the Bible. He would often speak of traditions, requirements, rituals that were taught as what he should believe, but upon review, they were extrabiblical. He said he was not encouraged to read the Bible, so he really didn’t know what was in it. He thought if he just went to mass and did what he was told to do, that he was OK. It wasn’t until he started coming to our church that he found that through seeking the truth, he could have an actual relationship with our Lord and Savior. He would get excited about discovering something, like not having to go through another man to relate to Christ. He would say, “I never knew that. This makes sense. It’s right here!”

Tony began to understand that when he passes on, no man will stand beside him to justify his life; that only Christ will be his advocate before God the Father. This realization encouraged Tony to be a truth seeker and to draw closer to Christ. The verse in John 14:6, where Christ says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me” gave Tony clarity and truth about his own life. He came to have a clearer understanding of what the Apostle Paul wrote of Christ in 1 Timothy 2:4,5, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I write these things to you today in great humility to encourage and strengthen you in your faith, in the truth of working out your salvation.

Tony was a good man. His relationships with others are testimony to his humor and kindness. His sons reflect good upbringing from a good father. But somewhere deep inside, Tony knew that just being good was not enough—that just checking the box of going to church and doing what others expected, fell short. There was more. You see, Tony, 85, lost his battle against cancer and other health issues last week, but he won the war over satan’s deception. Tony now stands before God with his testimony of working out his salvation by seeking, not the traditions of man, but the truth of God the Father. I’m confident he has heard the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” What a wonderful blessing—one in which we should all share and rejoice!

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Bill Wilson