The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 2/21

Posted on | February 21, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 2/21

Scripture reading: Matthew 25:1–13

A Rendezvous with Death

Prepare to meet your God. (Amos 4:12)

 

Imagine yourself a prison chaplain. You have the opportunity to visit with a condemned prisoner on death row. He is to be executed tomorrow. This is your final chance to talk with him. What will you say? Now imagine yourself a pastor of a church. Tomorrow is Sunday and you have to preach. Several hundred congregants will gather for the worship service. Some are fighting disease, others are confronting big decisions, others are paralyzed by fear, and many are oblivious to their true spiritual condition. All are sinners facing eternity. What will you say?

The truth is, both the chaplain and the pastor are facing similar situations. Every human being is, in a sense, on “death row.” We are all condemned sinners awaiting judgment. Without the Gospel, there is no hope.

In eighteenth century England, John Wesley was both a chaplain and a pastor. He often visited with condemned prisoners before they were executed, sometimes riding in the wagon with them on the way to the scaffold. It was his awareness of the urgency of the Gospel message that caused him to write an evangelistic tract entitled A Word to a Condemned Malefactor. He knew that only a few dozen condemned prisoners would ever read a tract like this, but he hoped that thousands of “law abiding citizens” would read it and benefit from a message addressed to those under the sentence of death.

What a condition you are in! The sentence is passed; you are condemned to die; and this sentence is to be executed shortly! You have no way to escape

. . . Therefore, die you must . . . But, O, how will you stand before God: the great, the holy, the just, the terrible God? . . . You have done evil exceedingly; your sins against God and man are more than the hairs of your head

. . . Even the men that know not God declare you are not fit to live upon the earth. O repent, repent! Know yourself; see and feel what a sinner you are

. . . So you are utterly sinful, guilty, helpless! What can you do to be saved?

One thing is needful: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved!” . . . See all your sins on Jesus laid. God laid on him the iniquities of us all. . . . He bore our sins in his own body on the tree. He was wounded for your sins; he was bruised for your iniquities. “Behold the Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world!”

Believe in him with your whole heart. Cast your whole soul upon his love. Trust Him alone; love Him alone; fear Him alone; and cleave to Him alone; till He shall say to you, as to the dying malefactor of old, “This day you will be with me in paradise.” (Works, Vol. XI)

What about you, fellow prisoner? You too have a rendezvous with death. The appointment is nearer than you think. Are you ready to meet your God?

 

The hope of dying is the only thing that keeps me alive. —Vance  Havner

 

point to ponder Only those who are prepared to die are prepared to live.

prayer focus For someone you know who is facing death.

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