Despite the pace of scientific and technological advances made over the past 50 years, we still live in a very dangerous world, and we can face deadly peril, even in what may seem some perfectly harmless settings.
The sudden, heart-rending sight of a young, ultra-fit, professional footballer having to receive CPR on the pitch during European Finals is surely a brutal reminder of the sheer fragility of life. But can I suggest that it's also far more than that. It's surely a wake-up call to those of us who are not yet ready to meet our Maker... and at perhaps no more than a moment's notice.
So with all this in mind, can I share with you something I heard from an elderly lady in my church who's now in heaven...
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING READY
Brenda was in her mid 20's and had been married only a few years. Although her husband came from Scotland she was English and her family lived down south.
It was the early years of World War 2 and for some reason it was necessary for the couple to visit Brenda's parents in London for a few days. One evening, whilst they themselves were out, there was, unexpectedly, a very heavy bombing raid and her parent's house received a direct hit. In fact, it was the only one in the street that night which suffered in this way. Brenda's mother, father and brother were all killed outright and Brenda, though she hadn't been there when the bomb fell, lost the baby she'd been carrying.
Now the family members were well known by neighbours to have been followers of Jesus, and a few days after the tragedy Brenda was asked a very difficult question by one of them. The question was, 'Why do you think your God saw fit to allow your family home to have been destroyed in the way it had?' Brenda went on to tell me that she couldn't think of anything to say other than, 'Well, I suppose He knew they were ready.' And, on reflection, there probably was no better answer than this.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING READY
And of course, given all the uncertainties of life today it wouldn't be a bad idea to be asking ourselves if we're ready to be suddenly thrust into Eternity? But please don't get me wrong, I certainly have no death-wish and am not suggesting that you should have one either. But it's all so easy to put off planning for the hereafter. So many have died thinking that they had plenty of time and faced the great unknown simply hoping for the best, or wrongly assuming they'll automatically be transported to heaven. Of course a growing number of us these days think that this life is all there is and sadly don't realise that death isn't a dead end, but a fork in the road. The fact is, even if we've received our telegram from the Queen, this life will be no more than a drop in a bucket in the context of Eternity. And this is a long, long time to suffer everlasting torment if you've rejected His loving offer of salvation.
So if you haven't already found peace with God do please think about it sooner rather than later. After all...
...how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?
And that's His warning on the matter, not mine!