Something Before


Paul Prather says that his father, who was a preacher, also did some substitute teaching. One day his father caught some boys playing poker at school. They admitted their guilt, but were surprised at the substitute teacher’s offer. He told the boys that if they could beat him in three out of five hands of poker, they could play cards any day that he subbed. However, if he beat them three out of five hands, they had to leave their cards at home.

“This will be easy,” they thought. “There is no way this preacher could beat us.”

Then came the catch—Mr. Prather would deal the cards.

They agreed, and the preacher dealt himself five great hands in succession, while giving the boys terrible cards.

One of the boys asked, “Mr. Prather, where did you learn to do that? I thought you were a preacher.”

Mr. Prather smiled and answered, “Son, we were all something before.”

No one’s history is spotless, and that young man still tells people, “We were all something before.”

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?…And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”—1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

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