An old story you may have heard is really true, although the epitaph seems to change a bit with the re-telling. One tombstone reads: “STOP MY FRIEND, AS YOU PASS BY. AS YOU ARE NOW, SO ONCE WAS I. AS I AM NOW, YOU SOON WILL BE, SO COME ON FRIEND AND FOLLOW ME.” Etched at the bottom is the hand written line of a thoughtful reader: “TO FOLLOW YOU I’M NOT CONTENT, UNTIL I KNOW, WHICH WAY YOU WENT.”
There are few things in life that are certain, but one is for sure, we will all leave this world. Some will leave all too early, some all too late, but few will say, for the “next adventure I just can’t wait.” The writer of Hebrews says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27. As unpleasant as it is to talk about for most, it is something that must be planned for. This life is where plans are made. When dad was in the hospital, and had already gone through 2 heart attacks, I asked him, How he was so calm about all of this?” He just said, “I prepared for this, son.” This is why he longed to ‘move on’ to his “next adventure”. This is the way he saw life and they way he viewed death. He asked me to read his favorite chapter, Romans 8. He sang his favorite songs, “Bless Be The Tie That binds”, “At The Cross”. His life was all about Jesus, he viewed his passing, the same way.
Preparing to go on a trip, or make a move to another location takes time. Usually we plan for these things weeks, months ahead. Yet when it comes to leaving this world, we do precious little. Perhaps it is time to change this. The writer of Hebrews continues in the next verse and says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” This is great news, that you and I do not have to pay the price for sin, because He already has.
What will people say about you when you die? Well, whatever they say, it won’t make any difference will it, accept to those who are alive. The words of comfort, the talk of a loving Savior, and His great grace, and heaven… all will sound good. I the preparation was not made it won’t change “where you went”. The time is now, to get out the Bible, and read for yourself what God says. We have prepared a Bible study on this website I hope you will enjoy to learn more about preparing for the life to come. The study is entitled “Redeemed”. If you need more help to study the Bible, just send me an email.
The epitaph on mom and dad’s grave marker is simple, “SAVED BY GRACE”. No matter the sin, Jesus paid the price for it, and God loves you tremendously, and just wants all to be saved. While you are alive, today, you will determine which way you will go when this life is over.