The evening prior to my grandfather’s open-heart surgery, I sat at the foot of his hospital bed as he recounted the exchange he had had with his surgeon. “The doctor told me I might not live through the surgery tomorrow,” my grandfather explained, and then added “I told him don’t worry about a thing—I know where I’m going if I die.”
It was the last conversation I ever had with him and the last time I ever saw him alive. Within days of the surgery, he went home to be with the Lord forever. Grandpop died as he lived—knowing there is a God in heaven who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for his sins. Grandpop trusted God’s Word that promises in I John 5:13 “…that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Grandpop, the oldest of 11 kids—nine boys and two girls—grew up in a single-parent home and sought to provide for his mother and siblings during the Depression Era. A favorite memory of mine is the story he told me that, while dating my grandmother, he was forced to cancel a Saturday-night event because he had nothing acceptable to wear. He explained at her doorstep that he had gotten home late from work that day and his brothers had gone out before him and taken all of the shirts. Soon after that, my grandparents were married by the justice of the peace and spent the next 56 years together as husband and wife.
Though I haven’t seen it in years, I still remember Grandpop’s Bible. It sat on the end table next to his reading chair. The black leather cover reminded me of a catcher’s mitt that had endured a thousand fastballs. The Bible had become worn from years of use and countless journeys to church. To Grandpop, God’s name was not just idle talk at dinner tables or whispers in hushed corners. His name was to be proclaimed among men! Grandpop’s life’s focus was an enduring relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
What about you? Do you know for certain if you were to die today where you would go for eternity? Are you confident that you are going to heaven or does the thought of death lead to doubt and fear?
If doubt and fear have crept in, I have good news to share with you today! The Bible says in Luke 19:10 that Jesus is “come to seek and to save that which was lost.” The bad news is that because of mankind’s sin, every person is lost, and the Bible clearly states that “all have sinned” (see Romans 3:23). This sin is what creates a separation from God. Mankind’s attempt to bridge this separation by way of good works, religion, money or morality will never be successful. You must know that it is only by way of Jesus Christ’s paying the penalty by dying on the cross for our sin that the debt could be paid in full. The “bridge” to eternal life in heaven has been built by Christ and Christ alone! What’s left now for you to do? How do you cross that bridge to eternal life? Admit that you are a sinner and “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31).Article by Ray Clifford Ray helps in leading the College and Career ministry at Valley Forge Baptist.
Community Connection is an outreach magazine and blog from Valley Forge Baptist to provide relevant and uplifting articles for the families and homes of Collegeville, PA and area residents. Articles are not just from staff but from other community members who’s lives have been touched by Jesus Christ. If we have been an encouragement to you please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.