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Discussion Forum : Miracles that follow the plow : How will it all end?

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ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4527


 How will it all end?

Quote:
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” – James 4:14



Over the past couple of months, I have been speaking with a new neighbor. He is a retired professor in his 80s. He moved to this area to undergo treatment for total kidney failure. He was a healthy man for most of his life. In fact, he was quite an athlete in his youth and even coached track and field on the side while in college. He said that he had a great family and spent quite a bit of time writing and acting in plays while working at the university.

We have spent some time getting to know one another. He has come to our home for tea several times and we invited him over for dinner on a couple of occasions. In addition, he recently gave up his car. So, I have been able to drive him to the grocery store or Walmart when he needs to pick some things up. During several of these occasions, we have discussed Eternity.

This man was Jewish by heritage but became a Catholic in order to marry a college sweetheart. After his wife passed away and his children grew up, he said that he began to feel “conflicted” about his religious decisions. He admitted to having felt like a “sellout” because of “converting” to a religion (at least in word) over a woman when he actually felt himself to be an “atheist” more than anything else.

During our conversations, I noticed some interesting things about this man. For instance, he holds a deep-seated animosity toward his adopted mother. She was quite abusive and he even joined the Marines to “escape” such an abusive home. The woman has been dead for decades, yet he still speaks of her with startling bitterness. In addition, I noticed that he has “cut the ties” with his family. He speaks highly of his children, yet he doesn’t communicate with them. I haven’t tried to pry into the reasons for this.

This man’s health is in decline. Even over the last couple of months, I noticed that his health seems to have declined rapidly. Last night, he had a minor medical emergency. He has been hemorrhaging quite a bit. I took him to the hospital and he allowed me to pray for him. For the most part, he is alone in the world. So, I wasn’t surprised when he called me this morning to let me know how he is doing. He even asked me to pray for him.

I am burdened for this man. I don’t believe that it is an accident that he moved next door. We have been able to discuss the things of the Lord and I have even been able to loan him some great books from my bookshelf. At first, he only wanted to borrow some of my university textbooks. However, I was able to loan him THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE, THE HIDING PLACE and NO COMPROMISE: THE LIFE STORY OF KEITH GREEN (and others). He has borrowed my Nook eReader which is filled with quite a few classic Christian books. These books seem to have had a great impact upon him. In fact, when he returns my Nook, I noticed that he was reading through the Bible and some Christian biographies.

This experience has caused me to think about the proximity of Eternity. I really haven’t known too many people close to me that have died. I suppose that, as we age, this will undoubtedly change over time. However, I have been praying quite a bit for this neighbor. I desperately want him to meet Jesus before he crosses through the “glass darkly.”

Last night, I was sitting in the waiting room while my neighbor was receiving his initial consultation with the doctor. On the television, there was a movie playing about a young man who wanted to see a STAR WARS film before he died of cancer. While I didn’t pay too much attention to the film, I was struck by how pointless such a dying wish would be in the face of Eternity. Yet, we read of Make-a-Wish foundation wishes that often include goals that are just as pointless when you realize that they come from individuals about to meet their Maker.

A few years ago, David Wilkerson spoke about an experience he had while sharing Christ on the streets of New York City. That night, Brother David was sharing the Gospel on the streets when he was approached by a young man. This young man realized that David Wilkerson was a preacher and asked if he would go and speak with his brother at a nearby hospital.

When he walked into the hospital room, Brother David noticed a young man that just reeked of death. He looked like his flesh was just hanging from the bones. The young man was obviously near death. So, Brother David began presenting the Gospel to this young man. However, he noticed that the sick young man was not paying attention. Instead, his attention was glued to a murder mystery show on television. Brother David tried to get his attention, but the young man didn’t care. At one point, someone opened the door and Brother David stepped aside. The young man grabbed the television (on a swinging arm) and placed it in front of his face.

Brother David was candid. He told the young man that he was just moments away from Eternity and seeing the face of God and that he was probably unprepared. He prayed for the young man who seemed more intent on finding out “who did it” than hearing about what lay just beyond death. After he prayed, Brother David left.

Sometime later that evening, the sick young man’s brother ran back to Brother David. The young man asked if he could come back to the hospital. Brother David thought that the young man may have had a change of mind and that the Spirit may have wooed his heart. However, the young man told him that his brother had just died.

When Brother Wilkerson shared his story, I was deeply moved by it. Imagine – you are just a few minutes away from Eternity and you are more interested in a TV show than in learning about God or surrendering your life to Him!

Sadly, I thought about all of the people who don’t have the opportunity to “count the days” until death. For many people, death often comes suddenly and unexpectedly. How many people die each year in accidents or murders? Most of them probably woke up that morning without even giving thought that this day might be their last. As a result, there was no time to think about “finding God”

A benefit from cancer?

This makes me think about individuals who are facing illness and disease in their lives. While we would never wish such a thing upon someone, it is possible to see a certain benefit from it. For instance, you have the opportunity to right any wrongs that you may have caused. I was listening to Brother Denny’s message last week and I was moved greatly by it. He was able to publicly repent of certain things. What an opportunity! You can make things right in the face of death!

The Book of Life is not the only book that will be opened in Eternity. It is simply the only book that matters in regard to your eternal status. There are other books as well. In fact, the Bible says that the dead will be judged out of the things written in those books Revelation 20:12). So, in a sense, you are writing your own life story...and we don't know when that last page will be "written."

Our life stories – those books – are filled with many, many things. There are moments of sorrow, pain, anger, frustration, tragedy and failure. However, there are also moments of happiness, love, laughter and faith. The story for believers is always the same: There is a moment in our life story in which we all turned to Christ Jesus. At the same time, if we are reading this, the conclusion of our life story has not yet been written. A lifetime of tragedy can always conclude with a wonderful epic finale. A man or woman can live an entire tragic life without Christ yet turn that story into something marvelous by turning to Christ.

My neighbor was a writer. Please pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will make sense to him and that he will be sincerely drawn to the Lord by the wooing of His Spirit. As his health has taken a turn, I feel even more desperate in this man’s eternal condition. Thank you for your prayers! While I hope that his body heals from what ails him, I am much more concerned with the condition of his soul. Please pray that the Lord is clearly revealed to him and that he reaches out to him.


_________________
Christopher

 2012/5/4 18:17Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re: How will it all end?

Brother Chris I just read your post and it truly was a blessing. I see God working through you to touch your neighbors life through the concern for him that God has laid upon your heart.

Your post is truly an inspiration for all to see and I pray to God that you will be able to soon tell us that God got a hold of him and he received a true salvation experience. Praise God for He does marvelous things!


Blessings...from brother rbanks

 2012/5/4 18:46Profile









 Re: How will it all end?

Some may frown on this Chris, but since he is reading your books and or reading your ereader, you could write in one of your books or put something in your ereader stating the sinners prayer. Many have been saved just be this simple introduction. Many don't know what to say to our Lord, something as simple as that that might help get the ball rolling. "how can Jesus save me? ask Him to forgive you of your sins and ask Him to come into your heart, take my life Lord I believe in you".

 2012/5/4 21:23
Trekker
Member



Joined: 2011/7/29
Posts: 683
northern USA

 Re: How will it all end?

Let us all pray for this dear neighbor of Chris' . Pray that God will give him more time, pray that God will give him a new heart and put a right spirit within him. Pray that Chris will remain a faithful and powerful light and witness.

Chris, may we have the man's first name to pray for him?
Unless you'd rather not.

Also, two other great books for him would be:

THE CASE FOR CHRIST by Lee STrobel (former atheist)

MORE THAN A CARPENTER by Josh McDowell (a nice short little paperback, very inexpensive)

God bless you in this endeavor to awaken this man to the Truth.

 2012/5/5 0:17Profile
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3420
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: How will it all end?


What a testimony/story! Thank you for sharing, I will be praying for the Holy Spirit to touch him mightily through you. You are probably the first New Testament that he's ever read.

It definitely is no accident God placed him next door to you!

God bless,
Lisa


_________________
Lisa

 2012/5/5 6:05Profile









 Re:

God bless you Chris - that could be my dad/uncle/fill in the blank that lives next door to you. God bless your heart in Jesus for caring for this man. That is what I love most to see your heart of compassion for this lost guy. I believe that is the heart of Jesus.

-Jim

 2012/5/5 9:27









 Re: How will it all end?

Chris,
God put you in the right place, didnt He?

when i was reading a story that has not ended, the Book of Jude came to my soul.

"And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh."
Jude 22-23

and what also came into my soul was a sermon i heard from Ian Paisley, early in his ministry, entitled "Sixty Minutes to Go"......i've listened to it, many times, and intend on listening to it now, as i do morning chores, i pray it blesses should deem to listen to it as well, Ian includes an antedote very similiar to your ongoing love for a dear soul seeking Succor. neil

http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=6860

 2012/5/5 10:04
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4527


 Re:

Thank you for your prayers and exhortations. My neighbor came home from the hospital today and is feeling better.

Quote:

Chris, may we have the man's first name to pray for him?
Unless you'd rather not.



Thank you. His name is "Will." BTW, I do have a copy of THE CASE FOR CHRIST. I just haven't had the opportunity to read it myself yet.


_________________
Christopher

 2012/5/5 21:52Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4527


 Re:

Quote:
Chris,
God put you in the right place, didnt He?

when i was reading a story that has not ended, the Book of Jude came to my soul.

"And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh."
Jude 22-23

and what also came into my soul was a sermon i heard from Ian Paisley, early in his ministry, entitled "Sixty Minutes to Go"......i've listened to it, many times, and intend on listening to it now, as i do morning chores, i pray it blesses should deem to listen to it as well, Ian includes an antedote very similiar to your ongoing love for a dear soul seeking Succor. neil

http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=6860


Thank you, my brother Neil. I hope to listen to this message tonight.


_________________
Christopher

 2012/5/5 21:54Profile





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