Some truths are best told in a straightforward way. One day at a country-church funeral, a preacher stood up to speak. He pounded on the pulpit and looked over at the casket. Then he said, “It’s too late for Joe. He might have wanted to get his life together. He might have wanted to spend more time with his family. He might have wanted to do that, but he’s dead now. It is too late for him, but it is not too late for you. There is still time for you. You still can decide. You still are alive. It is not too late for you. Today is the day of decision.”

Then the preacher told the people about a time when a Greyhound bus ran into a funeral procession as it made its way to a cemetery, and he reminded everyone that the same thing could happen to them. He concluded by saying, “You should decide today. Today is the day to get your life together. Too late for old Joe, but it’s not too late for you.”

One of the guests at the funeral was a pastor who told his wife afterward, “Have you ever seen anything as manipulative and as insensitive to that poor family? I found it disgusting.”

His wife said, “I’ve never heard anything like that. It was manipulative. It was disgusting. It was insensitive. Worst of all, it was also true.”

The preacher was right about old Joe. He didn’t have any more time to make a decision about Christ. The Bible says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) The moment Joe died, he was in the presence of God, and he had to give an account for all of his sins. But there is still time for you. While you are still alive, you can make a decision whether or not you will put your trust in Christ. Have you made this decision yet?

We are all going to die someday as the natural consequence of our sins. This truth may come across as being manipulative or insensitive, but we cannot ignore it. God said it, and we’d better believe and act upon it. Do you know where you will spend eternity when you die? Are you telling others how they can know this for sure? Don’t delay because tomorrow may be too late.


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Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder