People die every day all across the world with very little notice. But death hits home the hardest when someone we know or love dies before our very eyes.
It is especially tragic when that someone is barely 21 years old and has his whole life ahead of him. Such is the story of the young pictured above in the center with his hands folded and his head bowed.
His name is Eric and when I first met him he was under house arrest while awaiting the dismissal of pending criminal charges stemming from a burglary ring which involved many of his friends.
It was obvious that he was worried about the charges and what they might mean to his future. But, he seemed to stay positive about his circumstances as he believed that he was only guilty by association and was confident the charges would be dismissed.
I had the opportunity to speak with Eric on several occasions while he attended a bible study I was conducting in a trailer park in Bowling Green, KY. After one of our bible studies we decided to drive to a local creek to baptize some new believers in Jesus Christ.
On the ride to the creek I remember asking Eric if he was ready to trust in Christ for the forgiveness of his sins but he stated that he just wasn’t sure. So we continued to drive to our destination until when we arrived everyone proceeded to line up near the waters edge as I gave one last plea to Eric and others who were undecided to turn from their sins and to trust in Christ.
So I waded out into the water and proceeded to baptize new believers when Eric who was standing by the waters edge took off his outer garments and jumped into the water.
When Eric arrived at the place where we were baptizing I looked at him and asked him if he was ready to turn from his sin and to trust in Jesus Christ unto everlasting life. I then looked deeper into his eyes and asked him if he believed that Jesus was God in flesh, the Messiah of Israel who came to this world to redeem mankind from sin. He said, yes he believed in Jesus, and so I proceeded to baptize him.
After that fateful evening I only saw Eric a handful of times before he moved out of state upon the dismissal of the burglary charges. However, on one occasion I did briefly speak with him as he thanked me for helping him during his difficult time.
Unfortunately I was saddened because It didn’t seem that his life changed very much since his profession of faith. I remember praying for him that the Lord might turn him around soon.
Then, several months later I received news that almost one year to the day after his baptism Eric was killed in a car accident. Needless to say this shook me to the core as I instantly thought back to that day when I laid Eric in the water.
I asked myself if he really believed in Jesus and was he with our Lord right now? I also wondered if not, did he have enough time to call upon the name of Jesus before his life was so violently taken from him?
Obviously I cannot answer these questions but I can tell you with confidence that no one knows the day nor the hour when his or her life might be called to account by our Lord. The Bible says that it is appointed for man to die once and then comes the judgement.
I sure hope Eric was ready and that his profession of faith was sincere and binding according to the grace of God. But if not, though there is no longer time for Eric, it is not too late for you.
Also, I might add that there is nothing that you have done that is so bad that God would reject you if you would just come to him humbly as a child asking Him to forgive you of your sin and to give you His Holy Spirit.
And though you too might think that you have plenty of time to make this decision, the truth is that none of us are promised tomorrow and therefore we should not presume upon the grace of God while the call to repentance is so clear in our mind and impressed upon our heart.
So go ahead, don’t delay, ask God to forgive you of your sins and to give you His Holy Spirit so that you may resist the wiles of the devil and live with Christ for all eternity. This is the only way to ensure that you will live with God eternally in heaven.
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