His Final Deal
by Theresa A. Campbell
“Today, I want to talk to you about redemption,” Bishop Hudson began. “Ephesians 1:7 says, ‘In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.’ Amen. Redemption is possible through the blood of Jesus! Hello, somebody? I said, you can be delivered from the bondage of sin and find peace with God. Am I speaking to somebody?”
“Amen, Pastor,” a member shouted from the front.
“You better speak to me, Bishop,” a young lady in the choir yelled.
Bishop Hudson paused, took off his jacket, and handed it to his assistant. He grabbed the microphone out of the stand and paced the pulpit. “We all are in need of redemption. You know why? Because we all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.”
Hmmm, interesting, Suave thought. Even Christians need redemption, too.
As if he read Suave’s mind, Bishop Hudson remarked, “So you can act like you were born holy, pure, and righteous all you want, but that’s not the case. We were able to become a child of God because Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross. His death was in exchange of our life.”
“Praise the Lord,” “Thank you, Jesus,” and “Hallelujah” rang throughout the church.
“Do you want to be free from the burden of guilt?” Bishop Hudson asked, looking out at the congregation.
Suave shifted in his seat, wondering why the bishop was looking at him.
“Do you want to be free from curses and bondage?” Bishop Hudson stepped down from the pulpit into the aisle. “God already purchased our freedom,” he said, his eyes wandering from one face to the other as he moved closer to the back.
He better stop picking on me, or else I’m stepping. With his arms folded and face screwed up like a dried apple, Suave defiantly stared at the bishop as he seemed to get closer. I’m no punk.
“I said, you can go from being a sinner to a saint if you accept God’s gift of eternal life.” Bishop Hudson was now at Suave’s bench where he paused.
Suave glanced at the bishop through the corner of his eyes, his head held straight. He didn’t acknowledge the bishop, and for his own sake, Suave was hoping the bishop wouldn’t acknowledge him.
“I’m glad to see you this morning, my brother.” Bishop Hudson looked down at Suave, who still wasn’t looking at him.
All eyes in the church turned toward the back where Suave sat. Alwayne and Annette held hands and nervously looked on. Bishop Hudson was known to prophesize to his members, revealing things that no one else knew but God. He would also predict certain happenings that always came true. This usually made some members excited about receiving a blessing, and others nervous when they hadn’t been walking on the “right” side.
“God is going to give you a second chance.” Bishop Hudson rested his hand on Suave’s shoulder. “Those demons that are haunting you are leading you down a narrow road.”
Suave’s heart began to gallop in his chest. He wanted to brush off the preacher’s hand, but he felt compelled to hear what the man had to say.
“Your mind gets so mixed up at times that you find it hard to differentiate between the real thing and your imagination. But God says to tell you that He is going to give you the victory.”
Some people were now standing on their feet clapping, some praying, and others speaking in tongues.
“Deliver him, Lord,” an elderly man shouted.
“Set your son free, Father Jesus,” screamed another member.
“God is going to right the wrong that was done to you, so you can be free to serve Him and His people.” Tears filled Bishop Hudson’s eyes as he leaned over to Suave, his face only inches away from Suave’s.
On a will of its own, Suave’s neck turned, and he locked eyes with the bishop. Suave’s tears betrayed him and seeped down his face.