2 Timothy 4:6-7
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
I’ve had the sobering experience of witnessing to people on their deathbeds, and I have yet to hear one of them say they wished they had made more money in their lives. None were concerned with how much they didn’t make. Their only concern at that time was what was going to happen to them after they died. Where would they go? Would it be in the presence of Jesus? Would it be hell? Jesus spoke twice as much about hell as He ever did the kingdom of heaven. Why? Because He didn’t want anyone to go there, and God desires that none should perish apart from being saved (2 Peter 3:9), which should be our desire, too. What about you? What are you most concerned about today? A new car, a new job, more pay, a bigger home? That won’t matter one bit on the day of your death. We all have an appointment with death and, after that, the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Our elder’s wife had her father move into her home so that she could take care of him since he was dying. Being a nurse, she was qualified to care for him, and she didn’t want to move him to a nursing home, sensing that he didn’t have much time left–she was right. She had the skills to take care of him and also the tender heart to know that he wasn’t saved. A few visits from the chaplain didn’t get through to this man. Our elder wasn’t able to talk to him about knowing Christ. I decided to visit him on a Monday and asked him some questions: Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe that Jesus was sinless and died for your sins and for those who would trust in Him? Do you believe that He was raised from the dead? We went through what is called “the Roman Road” and verses like Romans 3:10-12, 3:23, 10:9-13 and Romans 6:23. He finally believed after a long lifetime, and even though he was too weak to be baptized, that man died in the faith. I visited with him on Monday to share the Gospel. On Friday he was gone.
In talking with our elder’s father-in-law, I noticed he never said that he wished he had a nicer car in life, and he never mentioned he wished he had a better job or a bigger home. His only regret I think was that he hadn’t spent more time with his family and that he hadn’t wasted his life, but I reminded him of the thief on the cross. He never had a chance to attend a temple service, and he didn’t have a chance to do any good works for God, yet he was saved on the very last day of his life. Jesus told him he would be with Him that very day in paradise (Luke 23:43). What about you? Have you ever heard anyone on their deathbed say they wished they had accumulated more wealth and possessions? Probably not.
A Closing Prayer
Father, You are so merciful to so many, just like you were to me. You didn’t give me what I truly deserved (called mercy) and then gave me what I didn’t deserve (called grace), and for that most precious of all gifts, I thank You in Jesus’ holy name.
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