By: George Zellar
The life of Saul of Tarsus exemplified the transforming power of the gospel: “He which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed” (Gal. 1:23). The church’s greatest enemy became the church’s greatest preacher.
Jacob DeShazer was a sergeant with the Doolittle bombing raid of Japan. His plane landed in Japanese occupied China, and he was captured. He spent over three years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp where he was tortured and malnourished. He witnessed the killing of his friends. While in prison he obtained a Bible, read it and received Christ as his Savior. After the war he showed his love for his enemies by returning to Japan as a missionary, even starting a church in the city which he had bombed.
Mitsuo Fuchida was the commander in charge of the Pearl Harbor bombing. The Japanese considered Fuchida a national hero for his planning and execution of the Pearl Harbor attack. After the war, in 1947, Fuchida went to meet a group of returning Japanese prisoners and was surprised to learn they were not tortured or abused. He was also told of a young lady, Peggy Covell, who served them with the deepest love and respect, even though her missionary parents had been killed by Japanese soldiers. In 1949, he was handed a tract that Jacob DeShazer had written entitled, “I was a prisoner of Japan,” and this stirred him to read the Bible resulting in his conversion. He later met DeShazer they conducted evangelistic meetings in Japan. Fuchida also spent many years preaching in America. His testimony was titled, “From Pearl Harbor to Calvary” (later published as a book). By the power of the gospel, the man who coordinated such a brutal attack against America, devoted his life to preaching Christ in his homeland and in America.
George W. Zeller has served on the staff of the Middletown Bible Church for more than 40 years. He is a graduate of Grace Theological Seminary where he studied under Dr. John Whitcomb. He has written numerous Sunday School lessons, Bible study materials, doctrinal booklets, and various papers on a wide range of Biblical topics. These studies are accessible at www.middletownbiblechurch.org.
The Jump Start series runs every Monday. Click here to use this post as a church bulletin insert.