“Tora, tora, tora!” The code words from the mouth of Japanese Commander Mitsuo Fuchida signaled a complete surprise. The Americans were caught off guard. Pearl Harbor was in shambles.
Fast forward eight years to 1949, when God made an invasion of his own. God dropped the gospel bombshell on Mitsuo Fuchida. Fuchida read a pamphlet written by an American bombardier. The bombardier had been shot down over Tokyo in 1942, and was captured and tortured by the Japanese before finally being released. The prisoner returned to Japan as a missionary. His pamphlet inspired Fuchida, a Buddhist, to purchase a Bible.
Reading the Bible, the man who had raided Pearl Harbor to destroy discovered the Man who raided history to save.
The gospel is God’s bolt from the blue. It is his power to break hardened hearts and to win the war for human souls. Paul knew firsthand of the gospel’s power. He wrote about it in his letter to Roman Christians.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 ESV
Paul’s words and Fuchida’s story remind me to pray for people who are far away from God. Too often I think they are beyond reach. They live behind the strong shelter of their comfortable lives. They are barricaded behind mistaken beliefs. Their defenses seem impenetrable. Then I remember Fuchida and Paul and the power of the gospel.
Easter is just days away. Why not reach out and invite a friend to church who is far away from God.
We often think,
- "That person will never come!"
- "She will never change!"
- "He's too far gone."
- "She's an agnostic and wants nothing to do with Christ!"
But the gospel of Jesus Christ breaks through the toughest defenses. So go ahead, make the invite, share a Christian pamphlet, tell someone the story of Jesus. Do it lovingly and do it with great hope. The gospel is God’s power to bring life.