Dad was a really decent man and a good Dad.
As we stood by him at
his death bed, he gave his "famous last words."
"I have never wronged any
I don't doubt the truth of his words, in any significant sense.
However, I have to say, with considerable sadness, these should not be the final words of a man redeemed
by the Lord Jesus Christ and indwelled by him.
Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, being hasseled, speaking in
the Holy Spirit, in chapter 20 said:
8 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried
violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made
a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.
Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name.
But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones,
and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
Jesus Christ, indwelling a New Testament believer, cannot be stifled - he will SHOW THROUGH - he will
leak out, at least a little.
Especially at his time
of death, there should have been some mention of Jesus.
I never saw any thing of this nature from my Dad in his life nor at the time of death.
I and my believing brothers did witness to him regarding Jesus Christ.
Though we were not close, he was a good Dad and I have significant memories of my times
I would always check with him at voting times.
was a lawyer and knew all the candidates and issues - I would just check off my absentee ballot.
So, again, I say these things with sadness.
My saved brother and
I had made considerable effort to present the Gospel to him, over many years.
his response, was always luke-warm.
Reminds me of the passage in Revelation
Jesus is speaking to the "lukewarm" Laodicean Church: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in
to him, and will sup (commune) with him, and he with me.
The Laodiceans had many worldly assets, but many had no vital life in Christ.
Revelation chapter 2:
14 And unto the angel of the church of
the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither
cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and
increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind,
counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed,
and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come
in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with
me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
saith unto the churches.
WE "OVERCOME" ONLY BY EMBRACING
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THUS BEING IN HIM.To become a Christian see my pages They Came to Jesus, and Jesus Gets a Visitor in the Night.
see my page on the Resurrection.
|St Johns Episcopal Church - Detroit
We grew up in the Episcopal Church -- I would not give two cents for that church today,
ordaining gay clergy, etc.
But, as a kid, 50 years ago (hate to say it) it was not that bad.
And 30 years before that, when my Dad was growing up, it was even good.
Having been in
both liturgical and non liturgical Churches - I say, each has pros and cons.
I like it, though,
that liturgical churches have a deliberate Bible reading time in each service - usually an Old Testament reading, and
one or two New Testament readings.
I distinctly remember John 3:3 (shown below) being read and
puzzling for years over what "born again" meant, realizing that Jesus said it was
required for salvation, and wondering just how to do it.
I came to realize one had to
embrace the Lord Jesus Christ by faith.
So surely my Dad must have heard this verse read as
well as many others, which should have prompted him to investigate how to be saved, or redeemed.
grew up in the hey day of the teaching of Darwinism or Evolution with the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" trial in Tennessee, which
made Bible believers look like monkeys or complete fools.
In those days you did NOT have
CNN or FoxNews shoving a camera and mike in somebody's face and getting the scoup.
had left wing newspaper writers, writing all the lies they wanted, with few in the public having the means
to check the accuracy of the facts from their sources.
Dad, attended a susposedly
excellent High School, where, I am sure, Evolution was pushed as SCIENCE.
Dad, I am sure, absolutely,
voraciously, devoured, this huge, monstrous, LIE.
As many Creationist experts say, "Evolution
is a Fairytale -- for grownups."
So, I think these factors made him think that the Gospel
was just so much foolishness, until Satan sprung the final, fatal, trap.
New Testament passage
Hebrews 3 says:
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while
it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold
the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
attending Sunday School, my Dad may well have had child-like faith, early-on, in Jesus Christ, which was then destroyed by
being immersed in Evolutionary dogma during that heady time for that horrible heresy.
or Book of John chapter 3:
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler
of the Jews:
2 The same came
to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles
that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into
his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God.
which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest
the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Many times I visited, even riding my bicycle the 17 miles to Grandma and Grandpa's house (Dad's parents).
My Grandma, like my Dad, as far as I could tell, was NOT a true believer, but was a church goer, early in life.
My Grandpa was a genuine believer and the indwelling Jesus Christ, SHOWED, and leaked out.
should not have married an unbeliever, but having met her in the Episcopal Church, he naturally ASSUMED she was a Christian.
An unbelieving Mom was, I would say, as a huge a nail in Dad's coffin, as was the raging Darwinian Evolution
In contrast we see Timothy's wonderful rearing environment in 2 Timothy 1:5:
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt
first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
I mentioned that my Grandpa was a genuine believer.
One clear, unmistakable, evidence - He offered us kids a quarter if we would memorize John 3:16:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
THIS IS OFTEN CALLED THE "GOSPEL IN A NUTSHELL."
A quarter was worth something then.
prayed at dinner, and in his conversation, his deep, simple, sincere, faith was conspicuous.
He often mentioned evangelist, Billy Graham, for whom he obviously had tremendous
I witnessed Grandpa, still, in subtle ways trying
to nudge my Dad in the Jesus' direction, but to no avail.
was a blue collar worker, a union member, and a Mason (low level), as some Christians, in ignorance of their true "god"
So, I would say Dad had positives in the Jesus Christ
direction, and negatives.
The negatives seem to have won.
By cell phone from the hospital, my brother said to come right over.
Somehow the whole thing seemed surreal.
The nurse said that Dad did not want unnatural life prolonging treatment.
As we gathered at his bedside, he took off his oxygen tube, which was prolonging his life.
He gave us his famous last words, "I have never wronged any man."
My brother tried to put the tube back on, showing it had not sunk into him, NOR into
me that Dad had decided to go away for good.
Dad was somewhat
angry at our misunderstanding.
As I said, it was rather surreal.
Strangely, the nurse asked me if I knew my Dad would die - when she saw me checking my
email on my laptop.
I said I knew he would die sometime.
"TODAY!" she said. I realise now, she may well have been a Christian,
prompting me to witness to Dad.
Dad did us
a big favor leaving us nice inheritances, which he could well have spent prolonging his life.
Toward the end, it seems like my brother stepped out - like he could not take it anymore.
Dad asked me to hold his hand.
was stunned, shell-shocked, like the deer frozen in the headlights.
I hadn't held Dad's hand in 50 years.
While I hesitated,
my wife jumped in and held his hand.
Looking back, I sometimes
have regrets about this.
But, he had disregarded Jesus
Christ in his life, and in his last words.
So, I sensed that
I would be betraying God and Jesus Christ, at that point, to give aid and comfort to someone rejecting Christ.
On the other hand, maybe I could have led him to Salvation in Christ in those last desperate moments.
As I said, it was all strangely surreal.
I must believe that God guided my actions, causing me to effect his will.
I did not feel God prompting me to give it one last ditch effort with
Not long and Dad lost consciousness.
I wish I had prepared better
for this situation - I should have known it would come some day.
But it caught me
If I had to do it over again --
I would have attempted
to carefully explain the Gospel to him while conscious and, even in his unconscious state.
heard that people who have been in such states and re-awakened, and have said they could hear during the time in coma or unconsciousness,
or whatever it is.
I do say that Dad did have sufficient spiritual light via
years of church bible readings, his Dad, and we believing kids.
It's noteworthy -- I do not remember
a single sermon I have ever heard in church.
But I DO REMEMBER MANY BIBLE VERSES
READ IN THOSE CHURCH BIBLE READINGS.
This is a HUGE good reason for the use of the King
James Bible in many churches in the past.
The use of ONE bible had, in the past,
embedded the very, exact, WORDS deep into people's minds.
The current use of
many, many, MODERN bibles, and the frequent move to the latest modern bible, has DESTROYED that wonderful situation.
People's minds have been turned to MUSH, their VERBAL grasp of God's Word badly damaged by
the periodic transition, by their churches to the LATEST MODERN bible, every ten years or so.
The different physiology in each new modern versions makes verbal remembrance very difficult for most folks.
See my page on the King James Bible for more details.
Shortly after this, Dad's body began to jump up and down on the bed rather
violently for perhaps 15 seconds.
I was certainly watching, but I wish I had moved in closer and
watched more intently.
This must have been the angels extracting his soul.
It seems clear that Dad was fighting this with all the determination he could muster.
should be led to saving faith in Jesus Christ, by their parents, as early as possible.
bible reading and teaching -- I like doing this at meals at the dinner table -- is imperative.
Christ said, in:
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the
kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mark 10:15 says:
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not
Luke 18:17 says:Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as
a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
Hebrews 3 mentions a hardening process through the deceitfulness of sin:
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief,
in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the
deceitfulness of sin.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
To become a Christian see my pages They Came to Jesus, and Jesus Gets a Visitor in the Night.
Also see my page on the Resurrection.