“Before we moved here,” Stan began, “we had a neighbor who became very ill. He was a mess. He knew he was dying and he was really afraid.”
“Was he a believer?” I asked.
“He was not,” Stan replied, “and that’s why he was so afraid. He didn’t know what was going to happen when he stepped into eternity, and he was afraid of the unknown.”
“Did you try to help him?” I asked.
“Many times,” Stan responded, “both before he was in the hospital the final time, and while he was there waiting to die.”
Continuing, he said, “I went through God’s plan of salvation many times. I talked with him about what Jesus said about how a person will not die. I told him that it was a fact that Jesus was and is who He says, but that it’s a choice whether or not a person chooses life in and through Him.”
“Did he come to salvation before he passed into eternity?” I asked.
“He did!” Stan exclaimed. “Just a few hours before he died physically, he accepted God’s provision for life eternally with Him.”
“What a joy that must have been,” I replied.
“A fabulous joy for him,” Stan replied. “His fear of death was gone. He was looking forward to getting on the train because he knew where he was going.”
“In addition to seeing the joy and difference in him,” Stan continued, “there was the wonder of something he said that had a real impact on me.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“He said,” Stan replied, “something like, ‘Why did I wait so long? What have I missed?’ In the short time he had been a believer, even though he did not have the opportunity to live it out before he stepped into eternity, he knew the truth that he had missed having a personal relationship with the One who took away his fear.”
Continuing, he added, “And what this man then said to me, and I really think it was God speaking through him, has had a lasting impact on me and my faith walk.”
“What did he say?” I asked.
“With tears in his eyes,” Stan responded, “he told me to never stop telling the truth of the choice of life, the truth that overcomes all fear. Keep saying it so that those who come to faith will have longer to live in that joy while still here.”
“While they are waiting for the train,” I replied.
Jesus said to her (Martha) “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25, 26.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life with you when it’s time to step into eternity, all through the life, death, and resurrection of your Son. Thank you for those who brought me to that truth. Thank you, too, for leaving me on this side of eternity so that I can work out the salvation you have worked in and tell others the truth before it’s time for them to step into eternity. I confess that too often I do not tell and manifest the truth in the way you intend. Please help me in following every step of your lead in being only who and in doing only what you intend for me as long as you keep me here. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the assurance of knowing where you’re going when it’s time? If not, do you want that assurance? It’s available for the asking. If you do have that assurance, are there people in your life who are afraid of dying because they don’t know where they are going when they step into eternity? What would it take for you to help them to have the joy of knowing? Is that something you want to do? Why or why not?