Stephen Haskell and the Blessed Hope
by Chantal J. Klingbeil
When Stephen Haskell was 19 years old he heard a sermon about Jesus’ second coming. He was fascinated by the wonderful idea that Jesus was coming again and called this the “blessed hope.” He spoke about this blessed hope whenever he could. While speaking to a friend one day, he shared how Bible prophecies had all been fulfilled.
The friend interrupted and said, “Stephen, why don’t you preach? You should hire a hall and begin preaching.”
Stephen didn’t take the friend’s suggestion very seriously. After all, he was not a preacher. He actually made soap and sold his wares door to door. Who would come to hear a soap salesman preach? And even if he could preach, he would never have the money to hire a hall!
So Stephen just said, “Sure, I’ll do the preaching if you hire the hall.”
Stephen smiled to himself as he thought about how quickly he had ended his friend’s nagging with his quick comeback.
Stephen didn’t get to smile for long. Just a few days later the same friend came back to him.
“We have the hall; now we want you to preach for us!” Stephen quickly realized that this was no joke. His friend had already invited a lot of other young people to come. What would he do? He didn’t know how to preach. He knew only one sermon about Jesus’ second coming. But Stephen summoned up his courage and bravely went to the hall. The place was packed! Friends had told other friends, and now many people were there.
Stephen began preaching. Although he was really nervous as he began to talk about Jesus, something strange happened to him. A happiness filled his heart and he forgot his fear. His face glowed with excitement and he spoke with enthusiasm.
Stephen discovered that when we are motivated by Jesus’ love we can do great things for God we never would have dreamed of. Stephen Haskell became a lifelong preacher and was the first to make an around-the-world mission trip for the church that took almost two years.
—You can read this story in S. N. Haskell, Man of Action, by Ella M. Robinson, on pages 15-17.