Roy went to be with his Lord and Saviour this last week. He went in a manner that should be common with Christians. He also went in a manner that should cause the unsaved to seriously consider their eternal destiny.
My wife and I went up to the hospital when the family was called in. When we went into Roy's room, there were two Bibles there. I was told that the previous evening, he had talked of the angels there in his room, and he had quoted the twenty third Psalm, along with other passages of Scripture. The nurses then got some Bibles and was reading passages of Scripture to him.
I understand that Roy told two people who went to see to read a passage of Scripture. Roy said that was the way he felt. That passage was Ecc 11.
I am going to assume that he meant Ecc 11, though Ecc 3 would seem more applicable. We will not look at all of Ecc 11, for vv. 7-10 appear to be the passage he referred to:
Ecc 11:7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: 8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
Solomon said there that life is sweet and pleasant when the sun is shining. A man may live from his youth many years in the sun; he may have a good job, a nice family, a good home, an excellent retirement and savings plan. From his youth up, he may have followed his heart and did whatever he set his heart on; he might have even gain worldly wealth and acclaim through his efforts.
Live the good life; peruse the things you want to do; put the Lord on the shelf and say, "Maybe later, I will have more time for the Lord."
But Solomon said, All that cometh is vanity. In the end, it will all be gone.
Solomon said: the days of darkness will come, and know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Life may be good today; if not good, life may be tolerable, but there is an end coming. Roy met that end in confidence he was going to be with the Lord.
My message yesterday was to the family of a good man who went to be with his Lord. I assume his home was a Christian home.
So this morning I will again speak to those in here who have grown up in or are even now in Christian homes. I will again remind you who have Christian backgrounds and who know all the right Christian answers of what I went through as I grew up in a Christian home. I was around Christians and Churches for 35 years before I heard and understood the gospel.
My dad was a Baptist Pastor, ordained in Spencer, Indiana, in 1947. He pastored as a laypastor until just few years ago. He was always self-employed in construction.
My dad was gone most of the time because of his trade, so a lot of the responsibility fell to my mother. Obviously, our family went to church every time the doors were open.
I remember a revival meeting going on at one of the churches where my dad pastored, between Clay City and Spencer. I was about 9 at the time, and I remember very distinctly going forward one Sunday evening. I remember praying with the evangelist, but I have no idea what I did or said back there. I only remember the emotions that went with it. I did what was expected of me, for I was later baptized in a strip mine north of the church.
Through a series of circumstances, God directed us to Louisiana in 1975, where I was associate pastor for 7 years. At that church, I kept hearing that Christ died for our sins, which I was well versed in.
What was new to me was the message that a I hand to trust in Christ's payment for my sins. After a couple years under this message, I knew that when I had gone forward before, I had not understood the gospel: that is, that one must trust in the finished work of Christ to pay the penalty for his or her sins.
I was 35 at the time, so for 35 years around Christians and Churches, I had never heard the truth of the gospel.
And I know just as sure as I am standing here that there are folks here this morning whom I just described: You know all the answers now, but you did not at the time you made your profession. CARLA MCCLOUD is a good example, and I know that she is sitting in agreement with me today.
The verse that got my attention was,
Mat 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
This passage told me that no matter how much of a Christian background I had in a Christian family,
no matter how much I now enjoyed working in a church or even in studying my Bible and prayer,
no matter how many Scriptures I could quote,
no matter how many people I had witnessed to about the Lord,
no matter how regularly I attended church,
that would not see me through the final judgment.
Solomon said, All that cometh is vanity... That for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Rom 3:10, 11, As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:23, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 5:12, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Rom 6:23a, For the wages of sin is death; Rev 20:14, 15, Re 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The second death is the lake of fire.
Rom 6:23b, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 5:8, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 10:9, 10, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:13, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
But I believe in the Lord! Jas 2:19, Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
What does it mean to believe? Eph 1:12-14, That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Though I was raised in a Christian family and went to Church absolutely every time the doors were open, except for the time I was in the Navy Seabees, it took me over 30 years to learn what the gospel was.
1) one must realize that he or she is a sinner.
2) he or she must realize that the wages of sin is death, eternal damnation apart from God in the lake of fire.
3) he or she must realize that the only hope for the sinner is Christ, and that he or she has no hope without Christ.
4) then he or she must place his or her complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to pay his or her sin debt, in his or her place. The sinner must place all of his or her faith in Christ to be his or her substitute.
5) we are told in Acts 2:36, that Jesus us both Lord and Christ.
In other words, He does not offer FIRE AND LIFE INSURANCE. A key part of genuine salvation is REPENTANCE, being willing to turn from our own way to God's way as revealed in His Word. It involves, Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.
Job asked this question, If a man die, shall he live again? 14:14. Job answered his own question:
Job 19:25-27, For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Roy Crabtree now sees his redeemer with his own eyes. And if you want to see Roy again, it will be through the same faith in that Redeemer that Roy had.