Jerry Humphries preached the most stirring sermon I ever heard about the end of time. I had a date that night long ago. It was cold weather in Elba, AL and late winter. I was 19. With Jerry’s mannerisms and powerful voice, he rang the gospel out. I can still hear him proclaiming loudly that “time will be no more.” My heart pounded in my chest. He illustrated the fires of hell by telling of a man who worked in the steel mill in Birmingham, AL. They melted steel in large vats. Jerry told how hot the steel had to get to melt it. A man got too close and fell into the vat. He said the screams when his body hit that melting steel would make your blood run cold, but that hell would be much hotter. When the invitation song was being sung, I told my date I had to get out. He stepped back and let me go down to the front to obey the gospel.
I knew what I was doing when I obeyed the gospel. I remember the water wasn’t heated and it was icy cold. The church didn’t have swimming caps as they later started using, and I had long hair. I was so happy when I came up out of the water and wanted to hug Jerry, but he held me away and told me how wonderful it was to be a Christian. I thought he was afraid I would get him wet!
Later that night I sat in the car while my friend went into a house to visit someone. I sat in the car with my cold, wet hair. I prayed that night while he was gone. My heart was overflowing with thanksgiving. It still is.