“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing on a Saturday night. Dressed as simply as imaginable, with dog hair on me as usual, my hair was brushed but that was about the extent of my efforts concerning my appearance, not dining out at some fancy New York City restaurant, not gathering at an outdoor coffee house with friends, not on a date with some gorgeous man, not inside eating a delicious meal watching a movie with friends, not doing what many might like to be doing and what I might have been doing some years ago, but kneeling in the park in a small gathering of people I had just met with a woman watching my wheelchair dogs while I placed my arm on the leg of a dying man and prayed for him and boldly, courageously, emphatically, vehemently told him that he is a sinner just like the rest of us, that intellectually believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for him and was raised from the dead is not enough, and that he needed to confess he is a sinner and commit his life to Christ. He adamantly told me he has never sinned, though at one point he admitted a sin before claiming again he is not a sinner.
He made clear he did not feel he needs a Savior, and proclaimed he desperately wants to go to heaven to be with his loved ones. He and his friends showed me parts of his body ravaged by disease, and explained how he had just gotten out of the hospital as he suffers from multiple diseases one of which is the direct consequence of a sinful lifestyle he refuses to turn away from. The park in which we were gathered was jam packed with people, and over and again people came up to me then and afterward to meet the dogs, but my focus was not on the dogs. I wanted this man to know, and I could not have been more strong in the way I spoke to the man and in the way I looked at him than I was in telling him he would end up suffering forever in hell apart from God if he does not commit his life to Jesus Christ as Lord. Did I think he would do it then and there? No. Did I care if he did? No.
I would rather know that he is totally sincere if and when he does. Did I want to know that he understands clearly that Jesus Christ is THE ONLY WAY to a forever relationship with God? YES! Did I give him scripture verses? Yes. Did I give him my Gospel tract? Yes. Did I give the tract to his friends and ask them to read it to him later? Yes. They were greatly concerned about his health and knew the gravity of his health. I was more concerned with his eternity because the physical disease at that point may have been unstoppable unless the Lord chose to stop its course. What mattered more than anything? That the Gospel message was presented to him so he understood he had a decision to make. To confess he is a sinner and that Jesus Christ is Lord and died on the cross to bear his sin penalty and was raised from the dead, genuinely committing his life to Christ, turning away from the way he’s been living – or hell and the lake of fire forever.
I walked away with such intense emotions in my heart, and with grief not just over this one man’s story, but over a world in which countless people are headed straight for hell and the lake of fire. Many people have never been presented with the truth because so many of Christ’s followers it seems don’t want to take the time and take the risk of what may come in sharing the Gospel with others. Many people have heard the Gospel message and refuse to confess they are sinners and commit their lives to Christ.
Friend, healthy or not, dying or not, whether we have one more hour on this earth or decades to come, every single human being, yes, every one of us, is a sinner in need of Jesus Christ who is Lord and Savior, and we all face the same decision. We will humble ourselves before God almighty and cry out to Jesus Christ to save us and to devote our lives to Him as Lord, turning from our old lifestyle to God and His ways forevermore, or we will hold onto our lifestyle of sin and self and walk down the broad highway filled with all those who are headed for an eternity of indescribable torment forever separated from God.
Heaven. Or hell. Jesus Christ as Lord, or eternal torment.
The decision is ours. Jesus Christ died for all, but the only ones who will be forgiven and given eternal life, a relationship with God on earth and forever in heaven, are those who proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and live their lives accordingly.
The decision is yours. And calling Jesus Christ Lord, going to church, reading the Bible, calling oneself a Christian, etc., no matter how important all of this is, is not the way to eternal life. The way to eternal life is through Jesus Christ who is Lord, as He is the only way, and a forever relationship with God begins with believing He died for us and was raised from the dead, repenting of a lifestyle of sin and genuinely turning our lives over to God forevermore.
The dying man’s decision is not a decision unique to him. What he will ultimately decide only the Lord knows.
The question for us is this. What will we decide?
If you have not made the decision, I pray to God you make it now. While there is yet time. And if you already belong to Christ as Lord, I pray you will boldly, courageously, no matter the cost, forsake your comfort, take the risk of whatever may come, and share the Gospel with a world in dire need of the Lord Jesus Christ and in exceeding need of hearing the Gospel message.