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The worst atheist at Johns Hopkins meets his match

We got to know Ed MacQueen as he participated on AIM missions projects. He has since become radicalized, ministering to unreached people in the Amazon jungle. Here’s his story: “You’re off your rocker!” my brother Ian said to me that August afternoon as I told him I had begun to …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

We got to know
Ed MacQueen as he participated on AIM missions projects. He has since become radicalized, ministering
to unreached people in the Amazon jungle.
Here’s his story:

“You’re off your rocker!” my brother Ian
said to me that August afternoon as I told him I had begun to follow
Jesus. Even though he was clearly
flabbergasted, having grown up as my best friend and knowing me closely, no one
could have been more surprised than myself that I had become a Christian. As an adamant atheist for years, and as one
who had happily made sin his life, believing in God was the last thing I
thought I would ever do. Yet as is his
glorious way, when two people began to pray for me to be saved, God saw fit to
do just that!

That May a college pastor and teammate had decided to
pick the football player who was least likely to come to the Lord. Out of ninety football players, they picked
me as the furthest from God, and set about to pray for me to be saved. For three months they prayed, and saw no
fruit at all; if anything, my life of steadily-increasing evil that summer
should only have frustrated and disheartened them, but they continued to pray.

I returned to college that August for preseason, and
was there only two days when my relationship with my girlfriend (the idol
around which my life had revolved for years) came crashing to the ground. The pain of hearing the closest person to me
say, “I hate you and wish we had never met.
I regret every word we ever shared” was unthinkably crushing. And yet the pain was still magnified by
knowing that it was all my fault. God
made it clear that I alone, by my inability to make the right decisions, had
destroyed what mattered most to me. I
didn’t understand it at the time, but the Holy Spirit was convicting me of my
sin and bringing me to the point where I had no where to turn but to God.

As only our sovereign God could orchestrate, my
roommate at this time had been dramatically saved only two months earlier. He was a brand new Christian, full of fire,
and the only guy I knew well enough to share what I was going through. He said the Bible had my answer, and as I
read the it for the first time, and learned about the father’s forgiveness for
the prodigal son, I knew that God was speaking directly to me of my
situation. It was a time when no one
else should have forgiven me, but God, the very one whom I had scorned for
years, was offering the greatest forgiveness of all. In a desperate cry for that forgiveness, and
in an excitement that God would lead my life for me when I had failed so
miserably, I put all my faith and hope in Jesus and was soundly born
again.

I hardly knew what I was getting into as I started to
walk with God! Thankfully, the Lord
instantly put a hedge of solid and sweet fellowship around me. To this day, I believe that the most powerful
means of his grace to me has been the fellowship of sincere people who want to
know Jesus more than
anything else in life.

After growing in Christ for some time, I decided to
work for a summer with my local church.
Going with them to Mexico,
where I learned the glorious truth that neither I nor America was so important, was the
first step of many that led me to lose all desire for the typical American
life. With one short life to live, I now
want to spend it so that by his mercy, the fruit of my hands will glorify him
and matter eternally. I consider that to
labor for anything else would be an utter waste, guaranteed to end in shame and
sadness in that one, unavoidable moment when the Lord will bring his fire to test
each man’s work. As I think of how God
has loved and carried me in my Christian life, I am overwhelmed.

Tomorrow: the rest of the story – into the jungle

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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