Last week I was asked to visit a man who dying in the hospital. He had no family in this area. His daughter came in from Colorado to be with him. I was unable to speak with the gentleman because he was asleep. The daughter was joyful. Why? She trusted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior at the age of 7. For the next 45 years she prayed for the salvation of her father. That prayer was answered the day before.
The Bible tells us to “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Paul admonishes us to “…Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:18)
This man will never be baptized, witness to others, enjoy the sweet fellowship with believers in Christ, read the Holy Scriptures, or view God’s creative works. This man, by trusting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, will soon pass from this world of pain, sorrow, corruption, deceit, worldly sin and will enter heaven and be greeted by His Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. No more sin, pain, sorrow, temptations, but holiness, perfection, beauty, love, and being in the presence of God. All this happened in a moment.
There are 2 things we need to learn from this.
First, persevere in prayer. Never quit praying for the salvation of loved ones. God hears every prayer that a believer prays. He may grant our request, deny our request, or tell us to wait, but continue to pray. This daughter fervently prayed for 45 years. God answered her prayer.
Second, we need to understand salvation is immediate. When someone trusts Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are saved. Certainly, it is our desire for them to be baptized, read and learn the Bible, to obey it, and ultimately to tell others about the Good News of Jesus Christ. This gentleman is saved and will soon be with his Lord Jesus in heaven.
That is cause for great rejoicing. That is why the daughter could rejoice and find encouragement in this time of grief and sadness.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001