I sat by her bedside holding tight to her weak and wrinkled hand. Each breath a labored gift of just a few more minutes of life. Tears slid softly and slowly from her tight clinched eyes as she fought hard to speak but the words wouldn’t come.
And so I spoke. Asking questions that really only matter when breathing is hard and life is fading fast.
Do you know that you know Jesus, Miss Anne?
A delayed nod yes – and then a pause – and a shake of her head. No. She wasn’t sure.
There was no time to share my testimony or to listen to her. Time had stolen her years and the number of her days had come to a close. Today. Maybe tomorrow was all she had left.
She wasn’t able to speak, so her fears remained silent within her.
She wasn’t sure. But I desperately wanted her to be. More importantly, God wanted her to be. (1 John 5:13)
Can I share with you what the Bible says about how to know you have been saved and that you have eternal life, Miss Anne?
A gentle nod yes as another tear slipped down her cheek.
Miss Anne, the Bible says that we are all sinners and need a Savior. Do you know that you’re a sinner Miss Anne?
She nodded yes and squeezed my hand tight.
And Miss Anne, the thing is, that our sins separate us from God. And the Bible says the wages of sin is death… but God loves us so much and He wants to not only give us abundant life on this earth, but eternal life with Him in heaven. That’s why He sent Jesus. To pay for our sins, so we can be forgiven and spend eternity with Him.
Miss Anne, the Bible tells us that if we call upon Jesus as Lord and believe that His death was payment for our sins and ask Him to forgive us of our sins, He will save us. Have you ever done that before Miss Anne?
Motioning yes with her head, her countenance changed. The look of fear on her face was beautifully transformed into confident faith.
With flowing tears and the most radiant smile you have ever seen, Miss Anne knew. She couldn’t speak but her face spoke louder than any words could convey. Miss Anne knew that she knew Jesus. And she was going to be more than okay. She was going to be with Jesus. Forever.
When you near your last breath, knowing is all that matters. Peace is only a possession of those who know. Miss Anne understood that and the peace she experienced carried her into the presence of Jesus.
Yet multitudes of people tend to ignore, avoid, or choose not to believe that they will one day be judged and spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Perhaps you know someone whose mind is bent on unbelief.
What we believe doesn’t validate its existence. But what we believe determines ours. Both in this life and the life to come.
That day, as I sat beside Miss Anne, I experienced the wonder of what happens when we know that we know we belong to Jesus. That He is ours and we are His. For all of eternity.
And so I began to read Scripture and sing some hymns – and although I couldn’t hear her, I know Miss Anne was singing with me. And I know it was the most beautiful sound I have never heard. A saint on her way to meet her Savior. Because she had given her life to Him years ago and she knew that she was eternally His.
When Miss Anne was facing her final moments, nothing else mattered. Her eternal destiny was all she cared about.
As we walk through this chapter, we are going to be treading some sacred and eternal ground. But knowing what God’s Word equips us to know where we will spend eternity as well as how to answer those who aren’t sure.
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