“I was reading in Luke’s gospel the other day,” Stan commented, “about how the Holy Spirit said something to a man a long time ago that’s supposed to have an impact on me in my faith walk helping other people.”
“What’d the Holy Spirit say to someone that you think applies to you?” I asked. “What were you looking at?”
“Quick summary,” Stan replied. “Jesus had been born. In accordance with the law of Moses, His parents, Joseph and Mary, took Him to the temple and presented Him to the Lord. In the temple there was a man named Simeon. He had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Christ. He saw Jesus and held Him in his arms.”
“He held Jesus in his arms,” I said. “That must have been great!”
“Yeah,” Stan replied, “great and wonderful. It seems to me that’s supposed to apply in how people live their Christian lives, especially me.”
“What’s supposed to apply?” I asked.
“The part that people will not die until they have seen and held Jesus by embracing Him and the truth of the gospel,” Stan replied.
“Oh,” I said, “so they will have the assurance of everlasting life in God’s presence when their time on this side of eternity is completed. Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Once people have physically died on this side of eternity it’s too late to make a change in their eternal destination, so I think I’m to do what I can to help them with that before they die. Before it’s too late.”
“How you going to do that?” I asked.
“Pray for them to come to the truth,” Stan replied. “As well, I’m to do what I can to present to them the truth of the gospel so they have the opportunity to make the choice of embracing Jesus before their time here is finished and they step into eternity.”
“Give them the opportunity to see Jesus and make the choice to embrace Him,” I commented. “That seems like a good thing!”
“A vey good thing,” Stan replied. “So they can be just like Simeon!”
Bible verses to consider:
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout; looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Luke 2:25-26.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without the preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:13-15.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your gift of life eternally with you through the finished work of Jesus’ cross. Thank you for those who brought me to the truth before it was too late so I could accept it and know I will spend eternity in your presence. I confess that too often I don’t do what I can to help others come to the truth before it’s too late for them to make the crucial decision to see and to embrace Jesus. Please forgive me for not doing what I can to help others know the truth. Help me to follow every step of your lead so I do all I can to help others know the truth so they can accept it before it’s too late. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you seen Jesus and embraced Him so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when it’s time? If no, why have you not accepted God’s free and gracious provision? Is it because no one has told you the truth, or is it because you have not accepted it? Don’t wait until it’s too late! If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with telling others the truth of the gospel before it’s too late for them? If you sense the need for change in what you do to help others know the truth, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?