I lost my father to cancer. By the time the doctors found out what was wrong with him, the disease was so far advanced that the diagnosis was pretty much a death sentence. In the time leading up to his passing, we would occasionally speculate on what we thought might exist beyond the grave. These talks never included heaven, hell, judgment, forgiveness, or anything like that. We simply didn’t think in those terms. Looking back on our discussions, I am certain he had considerably more doubts and questions than anything that vaguely resembled beliefs or answers. Our last conversation about these kinds of things seemed to confirm that he had not made his peace with God. I do, however, leave room for the possibility that anything could have happened in the hours leading up to his death.
A few years later I had a dream that profoundly impacted my life.
The opening of this dream found me at a chapel awaiting the start of my dad’s funeral. As the dream unfolded, I realized that I was an observer rather than a participant in the event. The room we were in had two large sections of chairs in rows with an aisle in the center. As I looked around, I became aware that I had the ability to both hear the thoughts and experience the emotions of those in attendance simply by looking at them. I was completely engaged in this experience when I was suddenly startled by a scene that was more frightening and awesome than anything I had ever imagined before. Hollywood with all its special effects has never put together such a terrifying display.
I saw my dead father coming up the center aisle. He was being led forth as the prisoner of two terrible demons. Each of these demons held him securely by an arm as they escorted him towards the front of the room. While I observed this unearthly procession, I found that I was able to clearly hear my father’s thoughts and feel his emotions just as with the others in attendance.
Before I go on, I want to say that there are no earthly words that could adequately express the horror, pain, and absolute hopelessness that my father felt. It was completely overwhelming. His emotions registered far beyond the normal limits of human comprehension. His soul cried out in desperate anguish for mercy, yet he was encompassed by the complete absence of pity. He was utterly lost without remedy for all eternity, and he knew it.
Out of the middle of this terrible state of fear and torment came a clear and simple cry that cut through the chaos with great clarity. Horrified and stunned, he kept repeating, “I did not even believe in this!”
I then glanced over at the demonic creatures that accompanied him, and I found I was able to hear their thoughts as well. As I listened, they clearly revealed the strategy that had been used against my father. You see, my dad was not an axe murderer or a Satanic worshiper. He was just an ordinary guy. Their plan for him was simply to keep his eyes covered long enough for him to step into eternity without ever knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord.
When I woke up from this dream, I knew for a fact that everyone I would see for the rest of my life — at a concert, at a school, on the street, at the grocery store — every person who draws a breath on the earth will spend eternity in one of two places. They will either spend forever engulfed in the joy and splendor of the presence of a holy and loving God who will care for their every need or be eternally separated from Him in unending torment beyond our human comprehension.
Today is the day for you to take off the blindfold. You are going to exist forever. That is not up to you. Where you exist, however, is completely up to you.
God has made a way for us that we could never earn. Salvation was purchased with the blood of his one and only Son, Jesus. The Bible says in Isaiah 53:5:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Who could even imagine a thing like that? He was completely innocent, yet he knowingly took the punishment that we deserved. He willingly endured physical pain as His body was pierced and crushed for our compromise and deceit. In doing so, Jesus paid the penalty for every single unholy thought, word, and deed that we would ever employ. The innocent One was punished in place of the guilty ones: not by mistake, but by His own choosing. Jesus died for you.
Please don’t take this sacrifice lightly! There is no escape from God’s wrath for those who choose to “ignore so great a salvation.” (Hebrews 2:3) Even now I pray that the Holy Spirit of God will not allow you to ignore it, but rather that He will open your eyes and your heart so that you may clearly see how much you need Him.
Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The truths behind these words have the literal power of everlasting life in them.
Why not do it right now? Acknowledge your guilt and cry out to the One who longs to pardon you. Open your mouth and say, “Jesus, You are the Lord. I bring my life to You and put it in Your hands. I believe You died on a cross, but God raised You from the dead. I choose to repent and turn away from my sin. I will follow You with all my heart as You give me grace to know You more.”
Use these words to cry out or use your own, but you must come on His terms. Surrender your old life and embrace the One who paid for your sin with His own blood so that you might truly live. Remember, it is not a religion or a philosophy that you are calling out to, but rather it is an actual person. His name is Jesus. He is very much alive, and He will hear you this very second if you will call out to Him.
Don’t wait another second. The choice is yours. Choose to believe!