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The Bus Driver Tests the Preacher


We received this e-mail:

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas .

Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area.

When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, ‘You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.’ Then he thought, ‘Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter.

Who would worry about this little amount?

Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it.
Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet.’

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, ‘Here, you gave me too much change.’

The driver, with a smile, replied, ‘Aren’ t you the new preacher in town?

I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship.
I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.’

When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, ‘Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.’

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.

This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians and will put us to the test!

Always be on guard — and remember — You carry the name of Christ on your Shoulders when you call yourself ‘Christian.’

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

I’m glad a friend forwarded to me as a reminder. God bless you; I hope you are having a wonderful day!

If you pass this on you will have ministered to someone. The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not PROTECT
you… Stay FAITHFUL and Be GRATEFUL.

The Will of God will never take you where His grace won’t protect you.

Our reply:

What is the intent of the storyteller here, and what message is he or she trying to convey? Is it a worthwhile one? Some questions are in order to determine the answer:

What would the driver have surmised if the preacher was not paying attention to his change and did not return the quarter?

Was the driver judging after the appearance? How would he know if the preacher was a Pharisee in spirit, one who gave alms, fasted, prayed, “tithed mint, rue, and cumin,” returned unwarranted change, but ignored the weightier matters of the Law?

What kind of Savior is Jesus Christ if the driver should stumble over an error or deliberate offense on the part of the preacher? What chance is there for mankind if it is dependent upon the virtue of mankind?

Is the salvation of another a matter of chance and human virtue, or is it guaranteed by the finished work of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection?

Is Jesus Christ supposed to be saving the driver, or is the preacher supposed to be saving Jesus Christ?

Had the driver never experienced anyone not professing faith in Christ returning that which did not belong to them? Perhaps it could be argued that the driver was merely preliminarily testing the waters.

If the driver was looking for a place to worship, should not the preacher have been speaking the truth of John 4 to him?:

“Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither worship the Father in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24 MKJV).

If Jesus could save us when we were yet sinners – His enemies, caring nothing for Him, indeed, hating Him – need we live in fear, anxiously grasping lampposts once we are His, lest we should offend?

Will He only have strength to carry us so far, compelling us to take responsibility for the rest of the way, or is He as He declared Himself to be, the Alpha and the Omega, the Author and Finisher of our faith?

This story is another primo sappy story, very fleshly. It is unreal and manipulative. The bus driver’s conclusions about the preacher are not valid, and the preacher’s conclusions about the Lord and the bus driver are not valid.

Many people would give the quarter back. Catch Hitler at the right moment, and he would, too. So do you go follow him as a man of God? The driver, or more truthfully, the storyteller, is caught by his cleverness, going by his own signs and criteria, not God’s. Satan can be very clever and moralistic, especially if it involves and celebrates the righteousness of man. In this respect, the driver and the preacher, creations of our storyteller, are two peas in a pod. Both are walking in their own righteousness. This story is a promotion of false Christianity, that is, man made.

The preacher could not sell what he did not have. He did not have the Lord. What he was wrestling with was his conscience. He may have sold his conscience for a quarter, but not God’s Son. And had the preacher sold his conscience, failing the bus driver’s test, the bus driver would only have missed going to that preacher’s service. Presumably, he would not have stopped looking for a church to attend.

Imagine Jesus grasping a lamppost, so relieved He had not almost blown it! That could never happen to an omnipotent, holy Savior. So those who are Christ’s true ministers have their faith in Him, and not in their fallibility to represent Him; they know better, knowing Him. Neither do true ministers of Christ permit or indulge seekers to place their faith in them.

But that still does not ensure that the bus driver was looking for God; in fact, the driver’s criteria to discern true worth in an alleged man of God could very well say otherwise. If God were drawing him, he would not have been testing anyone in that way – God would have inspired him differently. If a man is truly searching for God, he is not looking for a man or church. Neither will a thousand lying preachers and angels keep him away from Christ, because God is drawing him, and who or what can prevent God? Darkness compels the true seeker towards the Light.

To paraphrase the Scriptures, man’s unrighteousness commends God’s righteousness, and the Truth of God abounds through men’s lies (Romans 3:3 and following).

As for the “Watch your whatevers” at the end of this document, it is true that thoughts may lead to words and actions, actions to habits, habits to character, and we become what we choose to think, speak, and do. It is true that we serve as examples for others and should therefore be careful that we are not a cause of stumbling.

Now what shall we do? Shall we trust in our own strength, or shall we trust the Lord to deliver us because we are without strength? Is He in our hands, or are we in His? Just who is the potter, and who is the clay?

Victor Hafichuk
Paul Cohen

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