Which Road Are You On?
by Scott Franklin, Navajo Nation
Life wasn’t easy for me. There were temptations and troubles in my home. There were tears and sorrows in my heart, and my pride was very hurt by my failures. But I tried to keep faith in the Indian religion of my fathers. I prayed to the mountains and trees. I prayed to the animals which are considered sacred. I prayed to the sun, the moon, the earth, and all nature. I prayed to all kinds of images and idols. I went to the medicine men for counseling and guidance. Yet I found no peace or joy or comfort.
My Early Life
I was born in 1921 on the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. My parents were uneducated and did not know the Christian’s God. My father taught me how to live a “righteous life” when I was old enough to understand. As the time went on, he reminded me about the great need of our Indian people for educated leaders, to meet the challenge of the white man’s laws and society. He had a great desire to see me become a leader of my people. During my later youth I realized what my father was trying to tell me. I had all kinds of ideas going through my mind as to how I could help my people in their needs. I had a hard time finishing school, due to my poor health, but I completed High School in 1942, and had a great desire to continue my education. However, this was impossible, so I found a job at the Navajo Ordnance Depot, at Bellemont, Arizona, just outside Flagstaff.
Life Was Disappointing
I thought life would be easy after getting some education, and finding a job which was suitable for me. I got married and we made a home together. I tried to live a clean and peaceable life. I became a strong follower of my people’s religion, and sought to know more and more about its teachings, for I was confident it was the truth I longed to know. I tried to put into practice the ways I was taught, with assurance that no evil thing would defeat me or misguide me. But as the days and months went by, the journey seemed to grow harder, and I was disappointed by my religion. One day I curiously asked one of my relatives about witchcraft as my people practiced it. He told me that all Medicine Men, no matter how little they know, have something of witchcraft in their doctrines. I thought about this for some time. I thought, why have medicine to cure sickness in one hand, and witchcraft to destroy in the other hand? It didn’t make sense to me. I realized, too, that my people did all kinds of sin in their ceremonial and religious rites which they called sacred. At such times they drank, they gambled, they fought, and did many other sins. All these things were very unpleasant and troublesome to me, and I gradually lost faith in the religion of my fathers.
The Call of Christ
The more I thought about it, the more I began to see that the real truth must be found in the Holy Bible. So I began to think about the Word of God, and to seek the real truth and spiritual help from God. But I was ashamed to be seen going to the Christian Church. The devil tried to make it hard for me to find Christianity, but finally I began going to Church whenever possible. I had a great load upon my heart, and I knew I needed help. I was convinced that the Christian way was the true way, but how could I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior? The sermon had been preached about how God the Heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son for us, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
I believed, and I opened my heart, and the Savior came in. The minute I did that, and spoke to Him with humility for the first time and asked Him to forgive my sins, my tears burst out and my soul leaped for joy. It was the happiest experience of my entire life.
A Changed Man
I found I was a changed man. My heart felt relieved of the burden of sin, and it felt clean for the first time. Oh how I praised God that night for His salvation! I promised Him that I would serve Him and live always for Him. Since that day I have always peace, joy, hope, love, and patience in Christ. I am thrilled, day after day, as I read His precious Word in the Holy Bible. I just can’t leave the Bible alone…I have to read it every day, and I have spiritual reading material on hand at all times.
I am so thankful for everything Christ has done for me. The only thing I can do in return is to give all of myself to Him, and I have a great desire to serve Him in accordance with His will. Of course, I am going through trials and temptations, but I look always to my Lord, and know He is faithful, and the only One Who can give me victory and strength. I am willing to follow wherever He leads me, because I am sure He is the living God Who knows all things and Who never fails. He guides the way through the wilderness, and I have only to follow Him. Today I am pointing my people to the Lord Jesus Who is the only One that can meet their need and the need of mankind all over the world.
During the summer of 1951, I attended the Bible Conference of the Flagstaff Mission to the Navajos, and was able to learn much more about my new faith. The Lord taught me what happened at the beginning of all things, how He created us, how sin and death came upon mankind, and how His Son, Jesus Christ, came into this world to bring redemption to sinners. I learned we are now living in a period of Grace, and what will happen at the end of this age, and how Jesus Christ is coming back again.
These are things I had longed to know all my life, and truly God is the only One who could answer my questions.
My Message to You
Now let me tell you what I think is most important for you to know. This is my message to you: I have found eternal life at the Cross of Jesus Christ where His precious blood was shed for sinners: “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus suffered and died for me, but He arose the third day. Now our Lord is in Heaven as our great High Priest, acting as an Intercessor for us. He did this almost two thousand years ago. Best of all, He promised He is preparing a place for me, and He is coming back to receive me (and you) unto Himself, that where He is, there I may be also. With Him there will be no more sorrow, no tears, sickness, pain, nor death. And I know Heaven is a beautiful place awaiting me up yonder. Praise His Name!
Today, this Christ-rejecting world doesn’t know where it is heading, but my Lord knows, and He is made available unto those who believe, all wisdom, knowledge, truth, power, and glory.
My Friend … let me ask you a question. Which road are you on? My Lord said in Matthew 7:13, 14: “Enter in at the strait [narrow] gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in that way: because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” Are you on the road to life or the road to destruction? Those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are born again by the Spirit of God. They are walking on the road to eternal life. The rest of the people who reject Christ are walking on the road to destruction.
Surely no one wants to be cast into hell fire and take the consequences of a sinful life – eternal suffering. Without Jesus we cannot escape hell and the Great Judgment which is coming at the last day of this age. God says: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
My Friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, why don’t you receive Him now as your Redeemer and Lord? Now is the time, for God’s Word says: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
I must tell you that if a person refuses the eternal life given through Jesus Christ, we read of his fate in the Bible: “And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:12,14,15).
It was the Lord Jesus Himself Who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Hear this wonderful promise from the Bible: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).
*Scott Franklin was ushered into glory to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in September 2010. Surely he has left a remarkable legacy, and he will receive his reward. He is now enjoying eternal rest. (Used with permission, Flagstaff Mission to the Navajo)