Keeping it real, here’s how it happened: I was on our weekly conference call prayer meeting with guys from both coasts and across the pond. One of the brothers’ dad is knocking on death’s door and is only now open to hear about the love of God. So his children are flying out to see him, say ‘good bye’, and hopefully, point him toward Heaven!
Now - imagine that you are my 'brother' approaching the hospital bed, knowing that the days could be short and you are desperate to know that your Dad comes to know Jesus before he passes into eternity. What would you say to him?
Funny thing, I had been bedside 13 years ago with another of my corporate brother’s dad. Truth is, there is no ‘one right way’ to have this discussion, but this is how I did it. Having not met Rod before, I was clergy, and given entrance into his CICU room. A few hours later, I would be taking the stage at a women’s conference I was leading, so I dressed to do just that in a white lace top and linen skirt. Huh, I remember his eyes fluttering open and then blinking hard a couple times as I approached the bed.
Introducing myself, I told him that Jeff had asked if I would meet him. In short order, I said, ‘You know, Rod, sooner or later all of us will take our last breath on this earth . . .’ he absorbed that, nodding deliberately.
‘Just curious - do you know where you will take your next breath?’ I asked.
‘Heaven, I hope.’
‘Do you wonder whether or not God will let you into Heaven?’
‘Well, I think so,’ he answered thoughtfully, then added, ‘I’ve been a good person.’
I listened and nodded, ‘Ah, well how good do you think you have to be?’ I pressed in, ‘like 66% good? What if God requires 73% good, what then?’
All quiet on the western front.
‘Well, then I’m not sure,’ he said.
‘But Rod, did you know you can be sure? See we all live our lives according some standard whether or not we realize it; I happen to put stock into the words of Scripture because I have done the research and it is TRUTH.’
‘Being sure is about Jesus’ goodness, not ours - no matter the percentage. Scripture says ‘to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God.’’ John 1.12
I continued, ‘the great thing about that is it doesn’t require baptism, joining a church, even going to church . . .’ I swear he leaned in at that point. ‘I guess you wouldn’t have any issue in admitting you’ve sinned?’ He swallowed, blinked and shook his head ever so slightly.
‘And I’m sure you probably heard the world-famous verse that shows up on Major League Baseball signs in the outfield, and on In-n-Out cups - John 3.16? For God loved us so much he gave us his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins, so that we will not be separated from him forever, but instead have eternal life--that is to say, to be with God forever. Only God,’ I said and I shook my head then, thinking of that amazing truth. ‘So Rod, I have four kids, three of them sons, and I wouldn’t let them die on account of someone else, but God the Father did.’ Then I was quiet for a bit. Questions and quiet are vital to this conversation,
‘Here’s the thing: if you want to be sure that when you take your last breath on earth that you will take your next breath in Heaven, you have to receive that gift God gave, Jesus. Just give him the nod - he will never force himself on you; it is 100% your choice.’
What do you think he did?
And you ... could you do that - could you lead someone over the finish line of faith so that they will live with God for-e-v-e-r? Becoming a Christian/being saved/becoming born again all refer to the same acknowledgment that
-Jesus came to earth, died on the cross for us and wants a relationship with us
-it is an admission that each of us sins and Christ alone can forgive us of those sins and set us free--and get this, no matter what we have done!
-It means never being alone again - forever.
If you help someone pray to receive Christ or become a believer in Jesus, you really can't mess it up! It is not about the words that you feed the person but rather the honest sincerity of that person's heart.
Have you done it?
Could you do it? Oh, nothing is better . . . I'm telling you!
May this be your one thing!
A song: Best Day Ever, Mercy Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acbcKrnnJAk