This post was written nearly three years ago….
It has been a couple of months since I posted anything on this blog. I have been busy with the task(s) of taking care of my family, taking care of myself, trying to study the Word more, and taking care of my family. Did I mention that I have been taking care of my family? I find that if I sit down to the computer I lose track of time. I plan to only check my email. But once I sit down, I think about the obituaries. (Yes, I am wierd like that. I used to check the obituaries years ago to see who had died so that I could go apply for their job. That is so morbid, I know. Now, it is just a habit.) So I will check the national news mediums to see who died overnight. Then I check the website for my hometown here in North Carolina to see who died. I do that because my relatives in my hometown are really bad at calling me to tell me that Aunt So-and-So died, and then in six months, when I am at home for a visit, I will ask about Aunt So-and-So, and someone will “shush” me and pull me into another room to break the news to me. So I just decided that if I check the obituaries myself, then I will know firsthand.
While checking the obituaries this week, unfortunately, a very good friend of mine passed away. I had not seen him in many years, but he was a special person to me nonetheless. When I saw his name in the obituary column, I was stunned. I had to sit there and just look at his name for a few minutes. It was a sad day for me. I have been sad ever since I read his name. I have thought so many times about his dear wife, and all the years that they spent together. Now she is alone, but not really alone. She is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, as he was, and so she is never really alone. And she has children and grandchildren who are close to her, and I know they will take good care of her. But he was a gentle, easy-going man, and I will always think the world of him for the good times that we spent together.
Sometimes, it startles me when I read about a famous person’s death. I mean, I know that we are all going to die one day, but just the news of it is sometimes surprising. I always think, when I read of a famous actor or actress or politician or singer who has died, I wonder if they knew Jesus…I guess I wonder that because ultimately that is the most important issue.
Recently, I heard a sermon entitled “One Minute After You Die”. The pastor was teaching through the book of Romans. It is so unsettling to think of those that you love, who do not know Jesus, even though people have shared the Lord with them, and the fact that they are going to die one day. Knowing that if they die in their present spiritual condition they will be lost forever is so heart-breaking. My parents are perfect examples. My father is one of the greatest men I have ever met. But he does not acknowledge Jesus as his Savior. If the Lord comes for him today, he will be lost in a fiery hell for all eternity. Do not think for a second that the thought of my daddy in hell does not disturb me to the greatest degree possible. It does. But I have shared Jesus with him. I have told him that he will end up in hell, and then the lake of fire, if he does not surrender his life to the Lord. I have told him that there is a peace that he does not know here on earth because he does not have an Advocate before the Father Who is interceding on his behalf. I have told him that he does not want to be like the deceiver, who does not care about him, and will be in torment himself forever and ever. Still nothing. My mother, on the other hand, is another story. She is as obstinate a woman as they come. She does not want to hear anything about a relationship with the Lord Jesus. She told me one year at Thanksgiving that I should just come home one year and not talk all that “Jesus” stuff. So that was the last year that I went home for Thanksgiving, because there is no way that I can be in a room with warm blooded people and not mention the Lord.
Nevertheless, I pray that the obituary column does not post my father or my mother’s names before they give their lives to the Lord. I pray that the Lord will give them enough chances until they surrender. I pray that He will not call them until they have decided that they do not want to spend eternity in hell.
By the way, if you are reading this and you do not know the Lord Jesus as your Savior, give your life to Him today. Do not let this moment pass. Tomorrow is not promised to you or anyone else. Romans 10:9 says “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Confess that Jesus is Lord. Confess that He died on the cross to wash away the sins of man. Confess that He was dead and buried, but then on the morning of the third day, He was resurrected to life by God the Father, and now He sits on the throne in heaven at God’s right hand, making intercession for the saints. Believe that in your heart, and the Bible says that you will be saved. You will be saved from a terrible judgment that you definitely deserve. But God is loving and so kind that He gave His Son’s life so that you would not have to suffer the judgement that you deserve. He gave His Son so that when your name is printed in the obituary column of your hometown newspaper, though everyone who reads it will think you are dead, you will be more alive than you have ever been before.