“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him” (Col. 1:21-22). It’s not often that you hear about lifelong friendships forming between people who once tried to kill each other, but a few years ago, I read a story that powerfully illustrates a paramount biblical truth.
Dan Cherry and Hong Nguyen were once enemies, fighting on opposite sides of the Vietnam War. “On April 16 of 1972, that’s when we first met,” Dan said. Dan was flying an American F-4 when he shot down a North Vietnamese MiG fighter, piloted by Hong. Dan said, “It was a very intense four-minute dog fight. Fortunately, I came out the victor on that one.”
After the war ended, Cherry often wondered about the man he shot down in Vietnam. “I wondered about what his name was and if he had a family?” he said. It was that curiosity that led Dan to search for and eventually find Hong.
Through nothing short of a miracle, the two men reunited in 2008 on a Vietnamese television show. Hong said he was excited that day to meet the American pilot. Dan extended his hand to Hong and he had a firm handshake and Hong said, “Welcome to my country. I’m glad to see that you are in good health. And I hope that we can be friends,” Cherry recalled.
After the TV show, the men became friends. Hong even traveled to Bowling Green, Kentucky, to visit Dan at his home. Two men who were once enemies became reconciled because one person took the initiative to seek out the other.
Dear friend, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the same thing has occurred between you and God. He sought after you and reconciled you to Himself although you were once His enemy. Scripture teaches that the unsaved are enemies of God (Rom. 5:10), warring against His nature, His laws, His purposes, and His rule. That’s who we all were before God saved us.
Paul in Colossians says we were alienated from God, hostile in our minds, and always doing evil deeds. We were separated from God, cut off from His loving presence and blessings. But through the death of Jesus Christ, our sins are paid for, and we can have a relationship with God. Praise the Lord that He took the initiative to seek after you. Instead of being God’s enemy, you are now His child and His friend.
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.