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Did you know the real story of Ben Hur?

Lew Wallace. Library of Congress description: ...Lew Wallace. Library of Congress description: "Gen. Lew Wallace" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bob Barney

The Rest of the Story (Ben Hur) inspired by the late Paul Harvey

A New "Ben Hur" Movie has been released. In no way does it match Heston's Original Classic, but do you know the story behind Ben Hur?   It is an amazing story of an atheist finding GOD!

Bob Barney

Most folks my age know the story of Ben Hur, maybe some of the younger generations out there have not read the book or had a chance to watch the movie; but I highly recommend it!  This classic book was written by a Civil War general, named Lew Wallace in 1899. His story became movie starring Charlton Heston which won the Academy Award for best movie in 1959. It is a towering story of love, of suffering and of the struggle of good against evil. 

Judah Ben Hur, the story’s hero, grows up with his childhood friend, Messala.  Judah is a Jew, and Messala is Roman. Judah is the heir of a very great and wealthy house in Jerusalem. Messala is a promising military man who trained in Rome as a soldier then returned to Jerusalem as the leader of the Roman occupation forces. Both are great friends, but fate intervenes and makes the two bitter enemies.

Judah Ben Hur is sent off to die in prison, but a thoughtful man gives him water to drink and that act of kindness leads to his will to survive. As fate would have it, he finds himself saving the admiral of the Roman fleet and thus thrusting Judah back into fame and fortune.

The story of Ben Hur is riveting and awe inspiring, but do you know the rest of the story about the AUTHOR, Lew Wallace?  You see General Wallace, like me started out as an atheist!  He began this book to show the silliness of the Christian faith. I started off on my spiritual journey to do the same. Back in 1975 I was hellbent on disproving Garner Ted Armstrong and his logical and methodical belief in God - The God of the Bible! This story has a special meaning to me because both Mr. Wallace and I had a date with destiny. Mine was just 70 years later than his! And the rest of the story ???????????????????  Click on Read More below

Judah returns to Jerusalem with all the wealth and power of his new identity. He confronts the astonished Messala, who assumed he had been dead for years. Ben Hur demanded that Messala find and release his mother and sister in prison. Messala obliges to go to the prison to look for them but finds they both have leprosy, so he whisks them away to the leper colony outside Jerusalem to live out their pitiful existence. Ben Hur is lied to and told that they are dead and in turn, his hate for Messala grew. There is a chariot race in which Messala and Judah Ben Hur are the primary figures and Messala is killed. In his last dying breath, Messala out of spite tells Judah the truth about his mother and sister.

Judah’s hatred now no longer has an object to focus on and he becomes a bitter shell of his former self. Finally, in desperation he goes to the leper colony to get his mother and his sister to take them to Jesus known as a great preacher who has been performing miracles. When they get to Jerusalem thinking they will find Him there, they discover that Jesus has just been crucified by the Roman soldiers. Now, all hope is gone, and despair settles over them. However, within hours, earthquakes rock the city and Judah’s mother and sister are instantly healed of the leprosy. Judah’s heart, along with his mother’s and sister’s, are turned to Jesus. Their faith, their health and their lives are restored.

Paul Harvey gave the rest of the story! When Lew Wallace set out to study the life of Christ, he was not a Christian. Wallace was antagonistic toward Christianity and determined he would study the life of Christ so thoroughly, and then write so convincingly, that he would be able to obliterate the story of Christ. He wanted to prove that Christianity was a hoax and that Jesus, if He had lived, was not God, but merely a man that never rose from the dead. I tried to do the same thing over four long years! My journey, like Lew Wallace’s, ended up like Judah Ben Hur's! Proving to me that Jesus is God and He is coming again as Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

Both Wallace and I fervently studied the Bible. This great and enormous subject drew us both further and further into our research until the evidence overwhelmed us. We both ended up dropping to our knees and crying out to Jesus to be our Savior and Lord. For Wallace, instead of authoring a book to prove to the world that Jesus was not God, he wrote Ben Hur, to try to prove to the world the complete opposite which is true! That Jesus is God.

And now you know The Rest of the Story!!!!!!!!!!!!