Yesterday I attended my former Co-Pastor's funeral. The funeral was an awesome celebration of the life of a great Spiritual Father, Mentor, Counselor, Intercessor, and Mechanic... This is who Pastor Willie Forts was to me. I was good until they rolled his body out, then I went back to the day when they rolled my daughter out and the tears began to flow. The reason why Pastor Willie’s and my daughter’s funeral was a celebration is because they were saved and lived a life for the Lord God!
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” ̶ Daniel 12:2-3 ESV
In the eulogy the preacher talked about the “dash” of our life. The dash that is located on a gravestone between the date of birth and the date of death is a powerful little line. In both celebrations, people stood up talked about how they allowed the Love of Christ shine through them, how they touched and changed the life of others. In Essence they laid their life down for those around them and it all started by BELIEVING and ACCEPTING Jesus Christ and REPENTING. What will people talk about at your funeral? What are you adding to your dash?
Let me tell you something.... life is too short for drama, division, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and such in your life. God is calling all men to repent while there is still time.
“30 Therefore, although God has overlooked such times of ignorance, he now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has set a day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising him from the dead.” − Acts 17:30-31 (NET Bible)
To repent means to change your mind from the embrace of sin and rejection of Christ to rejection of sin and embrace of Christ. All who refuse to repent and turn to Christ in faith will suffer eternal consequences. Jesus declares that “no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” The natural man has no ability to come to God, nor does he even have the desire to come because his heart is hard, his mind is darkened, and he is actually an enemy of God (Romans 5:10), so God does things to draw him, to urge him to seek Him, to encourage you to get on (or back on) on spiritual course.
Hell is a place just as is Heaven. Mankind in his unregenerate state is in a dire situation. He is on a fast course to hell. With this in mind why would anyone delay repentance? Why would anyone choose not to believe? Yet many do, even while admitting their sin and claiming to see their need for salvation. Many think they have time. The rich fool in Jesus’ parable thought he had plenty of time to enjoy life, but God had news for him: “This very night your life will be demanded from you” (verse 20). (Luke 12:16–20)
We have today—we have the present—and we should use it wisely. Is God calling you unto Him? Has Jesus been trying to reach you? Trying to encourage you to follow Him? Have you been we begin to feel a strong sense of emptiness, as if something important is missing from your life. This is an example of God’s drawing. Sometimes God will send people into your life to share His Love with you. Don’t close them off, listening to what the people in your life have to say, especially the spiritual ones. Don't let the enemy rob you of the Love that God has provided you with in your family and friends, and most of all the Love on the Cross by giving you His Son as a Scapegoat. Life is short .... time is winding up.... it is time to get your life in order, to get right with God through Christ today.
While it is true that God is gracious to us and that a person may be able to repent up until the day he dies. But we are not guaranteed tomorrow. My daughter was 35, Pastor Willie was 76. You don't know if you have tomorrow. You don’t know if you will have another chance to make things right with God! James 4:17 says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” Once we know what is right, we are responsible to do it. And once we know something is sin, we are responsible to repent of it and forsake it. We dare not delay repentance. Remember the Flood? Noah warned people for years and they did not listen. The time came for the rain to be released and the Lord shut the door of the ark, and the flood swept everyone outside the ark away (Genesis 7:16). Is God Calling you unto Him?
BELIEVE ON AND ACCEPT Jesus Christ's sacrifice ...REPENT ...ask God to forgive you for your sins... TURN AWAY FROM ANY AND EVERYTHING THAT REJECTS CHRIST AS THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.... and then get yourself into a bible-based church... meaning a church that focuses on teaching you about Christ and who you are in Christ.