“Look, I am coming soon, bringing My reward with Me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:12-13)
It’s about an 18-hour drive to visit my daughter, and though we break it up into two days of travel, it’s always a relief when we make that last turn into her driveway. Life is a journey that includes for every person a last turn. What will that turn look like for you? Will it be a long-awaited and welcomed end as your Savior welcomes you home? Or will it be a much-too-soon arrival at a destination that alarms and terrifies you?
Over the past week two separate stories have crossed my desk regarding what it’s going to be like when we die. Both persons had “near death” experiences and both told, at the end, of the peace they felt and the light that shone so brightly. As I listened to their stories, I kept asking the question: “Where is Jesus in this story?” Yes, we as Jesus-followers, often think of Him as “Light,” and that’s biblical, but if someone isn’t familiar with the Bible, what are they to conclude?
Yes, I’ve read books that tell stories of “dying” and coming back, but I’m cautious about believing anything that doesn’t align with Biblical truth. Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light and his business is lies and deceit. If he can persuade people to believe death holds no fear because everyone will enter a place of “light and peace,” many are going to be eternally lost.
The only way to know with certainty that our life’s “last turn” into eternity is positive and good, is to know Jesus. He alone is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). The Bible affirms in Acts 4:12: “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
Anna Kay Scott, a missionary to China, said: “I shall never lose life’s zest, because the last turn in the road will be the best.” With every “turn” in my life my confidence increases in the Name above all names. The closer I get to heaven the stronger my conviction that apart from Jesus there is no eternal life, there is no heaven without Jesus.
Jesus said in Mark 13:21-22: “Then (in the last days) if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.” One of the easiest ways to deceive someone is to make them comfortable believing a lie they already believe.
There’s no commitment required if I believe when I die, I’m going to see a bright light and have peace. One man who told his story even declared he believed there was a god. That’s admirable, but it’s not saving faith. James reminds us in 2:19: “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.”
Here’s the bottom line, at least for me: I believe we’re living in the last days. What does that mean? It means I believe that Jesus could literally come any day. But the plot thickens because He doesn’t have to come for everyone, He can just come for me. Worldwide roughly 160,000 people die every day. Studies have given evidence that a very high percentage of those who die don’t know Jesus.
That grieves the heart of God and the hearts of those of us who know Him. Too many people in our spheres of influence aren’t sure they’re going to heaven when they die. If you’re a Jesus follower, please pray, as I pray every morning, that the Lord would do what only He can do in the people’s hearts and minds that I know, but I also pray that He’ll give me understanding as to what only I can do to help them know Him. I don’t want anyone I know to make their life’s last turn without Jesus, and I’m quite certain that if you’re still reading this, you don’t either.
Blessings, Ed 😊