I know personally of an unfortunate incident wherein some family members were mistakenly informed that a loved one had been found dead in her home. A daughter was nearly in shock by the time she reached the house and ran in crying, “Mother, Mother” and she was truly surprised to see her mother walking into the room to meet her. Confused about the emotional upheaval of her daughter, the mother in turn came to an unwarranted conclusion that someone else in the family had died. Eventually, the whole matter was solved. There were tears of sadness and joy. Tears of sadness in that it could have been true that the mother had died and tears of joy that the mother was alive.
I thought seriously concerning this bizarre incident and considered some important lessons that should be learned from this experience.
1. We must understand that life is very frail, brief and uncertain. Death can come so swiftly and when least expected (Hebrews 9:27; James 4:13, 14).
2. While we live on this side of eternity, we should all prepare ourselves to meet the Lord in the judgment (Hebrews 3:7, 15; Romans 14:12)
3. When the ‘grim reaper’ comes to call on us, it will then be too late to prepare for eternity (Hebrews 9:27).
4. At death, our eternity destiny is forever determined (Luke 19:26). We will be judged individually according to our abilities and opportunities and the word of God (2 Corinthians 5:10; John 12:48).
5. Sin will be not be overlooked by God in His divine justice that is not covered by the blood of His Son (Ephesians 1:7; I John 1:7-10).
6. We should be more concerned about the spiritual welfare of our loved ones and endeavor to lead them to Jesus like Andrew who brought his brother Simon to the Lord (John 1:40-42).
7. Though we are often discouraged in trying to get our unbelieving loved ones to live for Jesus, we should be steadfast and persistent in our efforts to influence them to obey the gospel.
8. We should give our ‘roses’ to others while we do have them with us. A word of encouragement, an expression of love and a gesture of good will should be done while we have the opportunity.
9. Whenever the spirit of a loved one has taken flight into a vast and never ending eternity, it is then too late for them to hear our expressions of kindness. The lifeless body of a family member lying in a coffin cannot hear what we are saying. Oh, how many times have we wished we had said some loving words to them while they were with us.
10. As you read this article, be assured that God, in His infinite mercy has permitted you another opportunity to obey and serve Him, if you have not already done so.
If you are not a Christian, you should study the word of God that you may become a believer in Christ (Romans 10:17; John 20:30). Also, God requires that all men repent of their sins (Acts 17:30, 31). In being submissive to the will of God, you should be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26, 27). The Lord will add you to His spiritual body which is His church (Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:18). We have the blessed assurance that if we live faithfully in Christ, He will grant us an entrance to the “everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10, 11; Revelation 2:10; I John 5:11, 12).