May - 17 - Friday

The Lord is ... longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

An aged Christian gives this report:

“I had a comrade in the war who was always hostile when I spoke of my faith in Christ. He despised the Bible and thought, like so many people today, that all is over with death. He remained hostile after the war, too.

Years later my comrade fell seriously ill. At his sickbed I asked him, “Have you considered what will happen to you after death?” – “That occupies my mind day and night,” he replied. I explained how one can put things right with God by believing in Christ and thus being saved for eternity. I told him frankly, “You are a sinner. You have lived without God and haven’t asked what His will is. You need to turn to Him and confess your sins.”

That was just what he refused to concede: being a sinner and being saved solely through God's grace. He understood sinners to be those who were totally depraved.

At my next visit he was very dejected; there was no trace of self-righteousness. “What will become of me in eternity? I am terribly afraid.” I encouraged him “Confess your sins frankly to God. Tell Him what is on your heart. Pray simply like a child: ´Lord Jesus, I don’t know how I can come to you, but I would so like to be saved.”

The next day he died. The ward sister told me his last words were: “Jesus has forgiven me all my sins. I am going to Him. All my fear has gone.”