“Bad Bob”* rolled into his bunk on the submarine and opened the Bible. Another submariner had given it to him two years before, but he’d never looked inside. Now, he started at Genesis 1, planning to read it from cover to cover. His progress was slow. For a few years, he continued to read it off and on, but only while he was on patrol. During shore leave, he was too busy partying to give it a thought.
Then, Bob’s life took an unexpected and serious turn. He was arrested and charged with reckless driving and possession of drugs. Just being arrested on a drug charge was enough for him to lose his rank and be suspended from duties because, on patrol, he was responsible for nuclear weapons. While he was in custody, he prayed in desperation, “God, if You get me out of this, I’ll become a preacher!” Surprisingly, his submarine crew collected bail for him, and he was allowed to go straight out on patrol again. It was his last scheduled one before moving to shore duty.
After the patrol, Bob faced a court date. Strangely, although he had no defense lawyer and pleaded guilty, the judge himself advised Bob to plead Georgia’s “First Offender Act,” and he found himself released, still a petty officer, and given the best shore job available for that rank—an instructor. Bob was astounded! He wondered if reading the Bible had anything to do with this miracle and decided to read it more intently.
About this time, he finished the Old Testament and started into the Gospels. Suddenly, the “lights went on,” and even the simplest sayings of Jesus took on deep significance. The Holy Spirit was helping him to understand truth. He became so enthralled with the Bible that he only slept about two hours a night. He prayed he would never need to sleep again so that he could keep studying!
“Do you know any Christians here?” he asked his friends (who thought he’d gone crazy). They named a young man who was always reading his Bible, and Bob asked him to take him to church. At church he gave his life to the Lord and immediately began buying Bibles. Whenever he picked up hitchhikers, he’d recount his experience and offer them a Bible. He also went door to door with a church friend, explaining to people about Jesus. Bad Bob had found his Savior and a new, fulfilling life. He didn’t formally become a preacher, but he has never stopped sharing the life-changing truths he found in his once-neglected Bible
Who or what changed Bob? Was it the Holy Spirit, or was it the Bible? Let’s see how the Bible itself answers this question.
That’s a thought from the Search the Word section in our latest issue! Don’t miss out on all the relevant information found in “‘Bad Bob’ & the Bible.”
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*Bob’s nickname because of his wild exploits