Friday, December 18, 2015

Death Bed Salvation

My father was married four times. My mother was his second wife. My mother filed for a divorce while she was still pregnant with me and received the divorce about nine months after I was born.

After the divorce my father married a woman by the name of Judy. They had a daughter. Her name is Linda.

My father was a Chef - Restaurant owner and he and Judy spent a great deal of time working the restaurant. My father was not a religious man and Judy was a Jew but not a practicing Jew. They wanted Linda to grow up with some religious and moral instruction so they sent her to a private Catholic School.

After elementary school Linda wanted to go to a regular public school. While she was in High School she started attending a Baptist Church at the invitation of one of her friends. In college she joined the Campus Crusade for Christ organization and eventually got saved.

Linda left college and went to work. She had worked for the police department as a dispatcher and worked on Sundays.

One day she announced to her mother that she was not going to work on Sunday anymore because she was going to go to Church. Sometime afterwards , on an Easter morning, she went forward during invitation time and recommitted her life to Jesus.

Some years later her mother came down with breast cancer. She had surgery and the cancer was gone. However, some time afterwards the cancer came back but this time it was in her bones. Judy was on her death bed.

Linda became panicky because she knew her mother wasn't saved and would perish if she died. She witnessed to her mom and Judy prayed the sinners prayer.

Judy didn't die but instead got better. She moved into a Jewish retirement home. Linda tried to get Judy to attend Church with her but her mother refused. Instead Judy attended the Jewish Services at the retirement home. Occasionally on Sunday she would attend the Christian Services. Linda told her that it was either Jesus or Judaism and that it could not be both. Judy said that she was trying to cover her bases.

Well, Judy continued to get better. Her cancer went into remission. She went from being confined to a wheelchair, to walking with a cane, to walking without assistance. She went out shopping and lived life like she hadn't been sick with bone cancer.

After about two years Judy's cancer came back. She again was on her death bed.

Linda called my brother, Earl, to let him know that she was dying. She told him that if he wanted to see her mother he would have to come now.

My brother made arraignments to go. For a week he and Linda would go see Judy in the hospital.
Judy had gone into a coma. The hospital called Linda one night and said that her mother would be dead by morning and if she wanted to see her mother she had to come now.

Linda and Earl went to see Judy. They reminisced about the past. They asked Judy to wiggle her toes, or move a finger, or blink her eyes or make some kind of movement that would let them know that she could hear them. She made no response.

After awhile Linda felt led to witness again to her mother. She told Judy that her time had come. She told her that she had to make a decision; it was either going to be Jesus or Judaism. It could not be both.

Linda told her mother that if she wanted Jesus to pray the sinner's prayer with her. Linda bowed her head, closed her eyes, and prayed the sinner's prayer. Earl had his eyes open and watching Judy as Linda prayed.

Then Linda said, "Mom, Jesus is here. His hand is stretched out to you. If you want Jesus, lift your arm and place your hand into His and He will take you home." Immediately, Earl said, "Look Linda!" as Judy raised her arm and breathed her last breath.

Though Judy had asked Jesus to save her a couple of years before she died she did not live for God nor did she show much interest in her new found faith but instead sought out the religion she was born into.

Judy was not right with God. Had she died in the state she was in she would have perished. But God is a good God. In His mercy and grace He gave Judy a second chance to decide for Him.

You may have family, friends, or acquaintances that are lost or that are backslidden Christians. You may be worried about where they will spend their eternity. You may have been praying for them to get saved or to repent and turn back to the Lord. They may be nearing death; they may be in a coma, like Judy was. You may feel like there is no more hope for them to get right with God before they die because you feel like they can't be reached and are not able to make a decision for Jesus.

They can be reached. They can make a decision for Jesus.

Those in a coma can hear and understand you but they just can't physically indicate that.

Pray for them. Give them the gospel. Invite them to receive Christ or to recommit their life to Jesus.

Never give up on them because they can be reached with the gospel and can be saved if that is the desire of their heart.

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