by Pat Franklin
This is the story of old Mrs Brown. At 84 she knew she would never die!
The new minister got a bit of an earful when he visited her and told her she would soon die. 'I already died when I was baptized,' she said. 'They put me under the water to show I'd died. I died to the world, to selfishness.
'I can't die again, can I? I already died substitutionally. When I die, as you put it, I won't be dead. I'll be asleep and I'll be with the Lord in Paradise. And I'll be more alive than you are!'
I never had the privilege of meeting Mrs Brown, but I just love her! I heard the story of her spirited reply to the minister from another minister of the gospel - the evangelist Peter Brandon (83), who was preaching several nights at the fellowship we attend in England.
Peter added that if you wanted to prove the reality of Christianity to an atheist, go to the funeral of a Christian who had really been walking with God. The people would be rejoicing that their loved one was with the Lord. Yes, there would be tears when you lost someone you really loved, there would be sorrow. But there was also a wonderful sense of joy because that loved one was in the glory.
Peter said he had 54 years with his beloved wife Gwen. 'She revealed more of Christ to me than anyone in the world. I was shattered and stood at the grave weeping and the Lord said to me: "Would you like her to come back to this world?"
'I went home and got on my knees and asked forgiveness for my selfishness, and rejoiced that she was in Heaven. Thank God we can say that we don't sorrow like others - we have a hope.'
Peter said that as a young man he had doubts about the truth of the Bible. But then he saw: textual evidence; historical evidence; critical evidence; legal evidence; and experiential evidence.
It is all true, dear friends! Old Mrs Brown was so right! I want to give her a big hug in Heaven. And Peter Brandon was so right about Christian funerals. The non-Christian funerals I have been to have been awful. The Christian ones have been inspiring. We know, really know, where the person is and that they are enjoying the bliss of being with Jesus, seeing Him face to face, feeling the incredible sense of total love from Him, total acceptance, complete belonging, knowing the fullness of peace and absolute satisfaction.
Do you have this assurance for yourself, dear friend? You too can know the Lord Jesus and belong to Him. You can be one of His people. Why not open your heart to Him today?
Here is one way you might start off on that wonderful walk of faith which is the Christian life. Just talk to God like He was right there with you. Tell Him you want to join in on all this - you want to be one of His people. Ask Him to help you. Jesus said if you ask, you will receive!
How privileged we are to know the Lord. We are the most privileged people on earth. I would not change places with the richest person, the most famous starlet, the most talented musician, the most beautiful model - nothing can compare with the continual wonder and excitement of knowing Jesus Christ and having Him work in my life. Nothing can compare with knowing the truth. If you have been dragging your heels on this, thinking you might lose out somehow if you give your life to Jesus - how wrong can you be! You will gain everything!
Jesus Christ is building His church now; that is the mystery of the ages. And anyone can get in on it now. It is the best deal in the universe, the offer of free salvation. You just have to accept it; you can do nothing to buy it or earn it. Jesus has done all the work on the cross of Calvary. The church is the great masterpiece of the Lord and we will share all the glory which Jesus gained at Calvary.
As Peter Brandon put it: 'We are joint heirs with Christ; multi trillionaires!'
Don't let this moment pass, dear friends. Take up that offer of free salvation. Do not harden your heart or let Satan steal the moment from you. He hates you and wants you to end up in the Lake of Fire, like him. Do not let him steal your soul. Give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ today. Join yourself to Him. He said he would never turn anyone away. Never. And once you commit yourself to Him, He said no one could ever snatch you out of His hand.
Here is a good prayer: 'Lord Jesus, I want You in my life. I believe that You died for my sins; You were buried; and You rose on the third day. I want to belong to You. Please forgive my sins (name them; He already knows what they are). Please make me one of Your people.'