Never forget how you feared death before you became a Christian. The Bible says that until we come to Christ, we are "subject to the fear of death all of our lifetime." When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, God places a shield of faith in our hands so that we can combat the sharp and fiery arrows of fear. We can look death in the faith and say, "You no longer have any power over me!"
Think of two men in a plane. One has no faith in the pilot, and one does. The man without faith opens himself to fear. The less faith he has, the more susceptible he will be to fear if there is severe turbulence. However, the man with faith in the pilot will have no fear, as long as he keeps that faith.
He who lives without faith in God is open to fiery darts of terror that will pierce him to the core. I once saw a man like that as he lay on his deathbed. He was consumed with terror. It was a horrible thing to see, and my heart went out to him. He lived his life with his back turned to God, and consequently, when he needed faith most, he had none.
So when you are sharing your faith, don't hesitate to tap into a powerful evangelistic tool that is often neglected--the sinner's will to live. He doesn't want to die. Don't be afraid to ask him if he is afraid of dying. It can often be a relief to talk about it, because the world avoids the question.
The king of interviewers, Larry King, once said, "Death is the hardest thing to deal with, from an interviewer's standpoint because no one really knows what's going to happen, and I don't care what anybody said, everybody's frightened." He says that, from the perspective of a man who lives without faith in Jesus. He makes the massive assumption that "no one knows what's going to happen," when that's just not true. Christians know what happens at death. We no longer walk in darkness as do the ungodly. Our understanding is no longer darkened, because we are no longer alienated from the life of God. He is frightened, because he has no faith.
Let me ask you a thought-provoking question. What is the most important moment in the life of any human being? Is it the moment of birth? That certainly is an important moment. Is it the moment he or she is married, or the moment they arrived on a new job? Those are big moments, but the most important moment, without a doubt, is the moment you and I die. That's the moment for which we all wait with bated* and it draws closer and closer, like the ticking of an untimely clock, with every beat of our heart.
Such are fearful thoughts . . . if we have no faith. Never let that happen. Have faith in God. He is trustworthy. If you trust Him, He will be there for you at the moment you pass from this problem and pain-filled life into eternity. Until that happens, seek those who live without faith, and plead with them to get right with God. Let your heart go out to them, to a point where you go out to them, regularly.
Every now and then you and I see faith shine in this dark world. Just after the tragic shooting of 19 people in Tucson, Arizona, one elderly man died while using his body to shield his precious wife. At a news conference, his daughter had a shining faith in her eyes as she boldly proclaimed, "What a way to go home!" How true. How wonderfully true. Those who trust in Jesus don't die. They go Home.
* EDIT, sp. correction
I wrote a book once, called, 101 of the Dumbest Things People Have Done. It's a funny book. Adults do the dumbest things. The book's almost an autobiography, because most of it is about dumb things I have done. But I do take comfort in the fact that I'm not the only one in this world who messes up.
Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com
One of my friends is a school teacher. Just this morning he told me that he drove his wife's van to work. As he pulled into the school parking lot he noticed that his lips were dry, so he found his wife's Chap stick and gave a liberal application to his dried lips. He also applied it a little above and below his lips. He taught the first five minutes of class with red Avon lip balm lipstick all over his face. His students finally said something.
I could easily write book two. I have the material. Ask any of my friends about an average day. I walk into walls, hurt myself, hurt other people, drop things and knock things over. Just my presence can cause things to go wrong.
I have the combined virtues of being a klutz and of doing dumb things. For example, I stood up from a couch recently while holding a plate in one hand and a sandwich in the other. Suddenly I hit the floor like a ton of bricks. Both of my feet had become caught in a comforter that was on the floor. Sue couldn't believe how fast I went down and how fast our dog downed my food.
A few days earlier we had taken our thieving canine to get trimmed. This was to be a complimentary trim because the last time we took him in he came back looking like he had a fight with a lawn mower. The groomer had cut back his ears so much he looked more like a matador than a Bichon. It was so bad I wrote a polite letter of complaint to the lawnmower lady, and she called and sincerely apologized. When she asked when Sam would need another clip, I was tempted to say that it would be 15 years, because the last cut was so close.
I wasn't excited about his next trim, but the time came when the dog's eyes disappeared into his white fur. I suspected that if we didn't get him trimmed, we would soon have to send in a search-party to find him.
We made an appointment, and Sue decided that I should go in and personally make sure it was a free trim and that the fur-hater had been warned to cut back her enthusiasm. She wanted me to take the initiative because, as a man, I know how to do things right.
As she sat in the car and watched me take the lead and take the dog into the groomers, she noticed that I had walked into the wrong place. I had mistakenly gone into a pediatric clinic. This was no surprise to her. I was inside a little mystified as to why the groomers had changed their procedure and were having me sign in my name and the time I arrived.
It was when I was filling out the form that I heard her calling from the door "Wrong place!" The dog groomers was next door. I'm sure she would have said something more if I had come out of the place without the dog.
A little while after that, my Personal Assistant was able to secure an interview with a professor of evolutionary biology at Los Angeles' most prestigious university. He's a good researcher and is great with words. He was born in Mexico, raised in Canada, married a Russian, and lives in France.
I wanted to ask an "expert" on evolution about some of the serious difficulties I have with the theory. This was for an episode of Season Five of our television program called "Darwin, God, and the Bible."
The professor was very nice and the interview went well, so I decided to send him a fruit basket and a thank you card. I went on line, filled out all the details, and received confirmation that the order went through. There was only one problem. I couldn't remember typing in the professor's address. I had accidentally sent the fruit basket to myself. This was no surprise. I ordered a second basket and had this one sent to the professor.
Next week I will get a huge basket of dried fruits, some nuts, and a big thank you card for a great interview. I'm sure I will be encouraged.
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Good article! Thanks.
It seems that your dog is used to you . . . and quick! LOL
|Posted On: 01/20/11 01:24:47 PM
||Age 0, TX
I laughed outloud. ray, you make me laugh and also encourage me to walk by faith and share my faith.
good going. I am glad . keep it up !
|Posted On: 01/20/11 02:27:38 AM
||Age 0, MI