I implore you to just say it….
“I am a Christian! — I’ve been bought with the blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am going to live in heaven with Him through all eternity!”
I implore you to say it to yourself, to your spouse/loved one, to each of your children, to your Mom, to your Dad, to each one of your siblings, to your close friends, to your church family, to your coworkers…to every person you know and love, and even those you don’t!
The reason I am so adamant about this is this:
I look at the calendar and realize that it is nearing the 14th anniversary of my Dad’s death. He died at the age of 50 in 1993. I loved my Dad more than I could ever say. When he died, it just left an empty hole in my heart that hurts even now as I think about it. For almost a year after his death, as I drove home from work everyday, even the thought of it would send me into enough tears that I would have to pull over and just cry for a while. I was a “Daddy’s Girl”, and I’m not sure that I ever realized that so much until I lost him.
He taught me many things, one of which was to love the outdoors. I could shoot a can from a tree at a fair distance with my BB gun at the age of six! He took me fishing, deer hunting, and even spent three weeks camping through Colorado as a pre-teen. He protected me from the bad, and showed me what he knew was good. He used outdoor creations to teach me life’s lessons…..all without giving credit to the Creator.
He did not teach me about a relationship with Christ. He spent most of my life running from the Lord. I even remember him patting me on the back, saying, “I’m so sorry that your Mom makes you go to church all the time”. Yet, even during those times, my heart ached to know that He would turn his life around.
It wasn’t until he became a grandfather that, I believe, God began grabbing hold of his face, and pointing him toward the important things of life. He finally quit drinking, and even began the process to quit smoking. However, it was then that he found out about the lung cancer.
During his brief illness, I longed to know if he felt he had even known Christ at all, since the fruits of his life proved otherwise. I heard that he made a profession of faith as a teenager, but never knew anything that led me to know for sure.
Unfortunately, I was too scared to talk to him about it! Imagine that!….too scared to talk about the most important thing that could ever come out of my mouth!…the thing that would have helped my Dad the most!!? I finally got the courage up to write him a letter, including everything I ever knew about witnessing for the Lord. I must have sounded like a tele-evangelist as I poured my heart out to him that last Christmas when I gave him the letter. It was just a little over 2 months before he died.
I saw him read it, but he never talked to me about it. We were finally able to contact the preacher that he trusted years ago as a teenager, who came up to the hospital and talked with Daddy. The preacher later told us that Dad did acknowledge a relationship with the Lord, but knew that he had failed to live as he should.
That was somewhat comforting, but what I really yearned to hear was the voice of my OWN Dad telling me that. I think that is why I, even still, ache inside……not hearing those words from him myself. It pains me greatly to think of the possibility that my Dad is suffering in hell right now.
I wish I could rest on the words of that preacher, but not knowing for sure, I have resolved myself to just not think about it too much. That is the only way I know to accept my Dad’s death…to just push it aside and pray that somehow, God brought him to Him before he took his last breath. Until I know for sure….this is how I must deal with it.
But……the message I want to get out now is this: Tell your loved ones that you are saved. Don’t just assume that they know it. Live your life for Christ in deed AND words! It is so important that you SAY it with your own mouth! Spare your family and friends from wondering.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called, and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12
God graciously reminds me everyday that He is with me. He has helped me through these 14 years, becoming more and more my “Daddy” as well as my Father. He shows me daily that He will be with me for eternity.
Just the presence of his creations, remind me of His love. As I sit at this computer today, I am hearing His presence. The beautiful spring-like day; the singing birds, the peaceful sound of quiet. He is audible. He speaks his assurance of life to me. He tells me, out loud, that He loves me and will be with me forever.
I encourage you to do the same. Don’t let another day go by without telling your family, with words, that you will be seeing them in heaven some day. Prayerfully, I will be able to introduce my Dad to you when we all get there, too.