On November 26, 2012 by Bobby Blakey

It was just after midnight when I received the following text message from one of my students:

“I am kind of confused at the moment of where I am at.”

“What do you mean?” I texted back.

“I don’t really know. After the sermon, I was looking for more info on it because I was convicted. So I looked in the back of my Johnny Mac Study Bible to the page on genuine salvation and as I read through it, some of the fruit I have and some not and others I don’t really understand. I was wondering if I could meet with you to discuss this?”

The sermon was on phony conversions. I preached about young people who have “salvation by association.” They assume they are okay because they are connected with Christianity, but they don’t really know Christ. I referenced Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

The student and I met the next day in my office.

“I guess I am not really sure if I am saved,” he said.

“Well, let’s go through the book of 1st John together,” I replied.

1st John is the book of the Bible I turn to with those who are doubting their salvation, or perhaps should be. This book is written “…to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).” As Christians, we can be sure that we are saved.

1st John is a classic example of what I like to call “back door evangelism.” This student and I had talked many times before. In fact, just the day before he had been in my office applying for student leadership! He had a testimony of salvation from one of our summer camps. He could explain to me the gospel and talk about our response of repentance and faith. But 1st John does not knock on your front door and ask you what you believe. It comes around the back door and sees how you are living.

As we read through the verses and talked through them together, I could see the conviction on his heart by the expression on his face.

“So, what do you think?” I asked when we were done.

“I guess my belief in Jesus is just knowing the facts and my love for others is just being nice,” he said, “I am not saved.”

“What do you want to do about it?”

“I’m not sure…” He hesitated.

“Do you know the gospel?” I asked.


“Do you know how to respond?”


“Then what’s holding you back?”

I got another strong sense of hesitation. Up until this point I thought this meeting was going to end with the angels in heaven rejoicing over one more sinner who repents, but now I wasn’t so sure.

“If you are ready to say you haven’t been living like a saved person, do you want to say what sins you have been in?

“I’m angry all the time,” he said. “Like just yesterday I was angry at my parents on the way to church…” He began to tell me all about it but I could tell there was more. We talked about not evangelizing and not really reading his Bible, but still I had the sense he was holding back. I kept asking and finally he said,


“Is it on your iPod?” I asked since I know this is the most common source of this temptation for young men today.

“Yes,” he admitted.

Tension seemed to fill the room like it was coming out of the air conditioning vent. We had gotten to the heart of the issue.

“Are you ready to cut off this sin like Jesus says to in Matthew 5?”

He did not respond.

For a horrifying second I thought he was going to get up and walk out of my office down the long hallway to nowhere.

But then everything changed. His shoulders relaxed. It was like a burden had been lifted off him. Suddenly he wanted to pray to the Lord together. He started talking about living for Jesus and loving his family. There was an excitement as we walked out of my office together. He had a passion in his step and a smile on his face. We walked down the hallway like he was going somewhere now!

A few weeks later he was baptized. He started serving on our student leadership team. He tells me about things he is reading in the Scripture and evangelism conversations he is having at school. Phony is the last word I would use to describe his walk with Jesus.

Before he left my office he pulled his iPod out of his pocket. It had been there in the room with us the whole time, like a huge weight holding him back. He handed it to me like he never wanted to see it again. To this day, it is buried deep in my desk drawer.

8 Responses to “THE iPOD IN HIS POCKET”

  • Sharon

    Praising God for another soul saved!!!

  • Shane Rouland

    Such an awesome testimony of God’s power to save!

  • Andee Quist

    This pumps me up – – – so good! Salvation changes people from the inside out, he was willing not only to stop looking at this iPod, but gave it up entirely! I immediately think of Matt 5:27-30! He understood that it was far better for him to lose his iPod than to lose his life in hell! THIS is an awesome story; thanks for sharing Pastor Bobby!

  • Stacy Petersen

    ONLY JESUS CHRIST can do this. I have tears of joy and deep gratitude-not just for this guuy, but for what God did to save ME from MY sin. Like Andee said, “This pumps me up!”

  • Hunter Adamske

    So glad I read this Pastor Bobby!

  • Jasmine Dougherty

    This is so encouraging to read! It just shows that God can save. Praising God for salvation!

  • Emily Clark

    Wow what an awesome God we have who saves. This is so encouraging to hear testimonies of students literally leaving their life (desires) behind and following after Christ! Thanks for sharing Pastor Bobby!

  • Olivia Martin

    This is so amazing, I love learning about and seeing stories like this! I pray for whomever that is that he would continue to grow in his faith and stay the course!

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