I was watching a Christmas special on TV with my husband a few days before Christmas. In the story, the little girl asked her mother, “Is there really a Santa Claus, mommy?” The mother answered,” You can believe anything you want, honey.”
Sounds like America today, doesn’t it? We used to be a Christian nation, but now we believe whatever we want. I had the opportunity to contemplate that concept thoroughly for eleven days in November. I was hospitalized at a Medical Center in St. Louis, with time on my hands.
I had been sick most of the summer, and in and out of a small town hospital, diagnosed with “pancreatitis.” Finally my children convinced me to go to a Medical Center in St. Louis, where I was diagnosed with a bleeding duodenal ulcer. Thankfully, a very wise doctor insisted I be admitted right to the ICU. Twelve hours later the ulcer totally blew out, and my hemoglobin rapidly dropped to 4mg. The medical team worked very fast. Three coils were inserted in my intestine to stem the bleeding. I received eight units of blood.
Of course, I knew nothing of this and was breathing by a ventilator for three days. Later my daughter, who was faithfully by my side, recounted the facts to me. When I finally woke up the ICU nurse informed me that I had to stay in bed, and there was an alarm that would ring if I tried to get up. I was further informed that the doctor had ordered me to be NPO (nothing by mouth).
As time wore on, I decided I would at least like to dangle my feet over the side of the bed. Big mistake! The alarm rang and three people rushed into my room. I was castigated and warned not to try that again. I apologized profusely. Meanwhile, I became very thirsty. As I gazed at the four or five IV bottles flowing into at least three different veins in my arms and neck, I reasoned like this, “I know I’m getting enough fluids, because I see all those bottles However, I am sooo thirsty.”
Not having anything to drink for a week in the ICU may seem like a small inconvenience, when my life hung in the balance. Nevertheless, my desire for ice chips or water became overwhelming for those few days.
I had a lot of time to think, and all I wanted to do was go home, and be on my own again. I wanted to be free to walk around and drink water whenever I felt like it. These desires became the focus of much of my thinking. More importantly, longing for a little cup of ice chips caused me ultimately to consider the plight of souls in hell. If I was so focused on freedom after such a short time-and in a very nice, modern hospital where they were trying to help me get well-what is life like for those poor lost souls in hell?
Eternal life in a bed, or cell or jail or whatever they’re in, with no hope of freedom, EVER. No water to satisfy an eternal and constant thirst, as Jesus explained in the story of the rich man and Lazarus.
I purposed in my heart I would double my efforts to pray for and win the lost while there is still time. We must care about the eternal destiny of fellow human beings. Jesus loves them as much as He loves us. Too many people really think: “You can believe whatever you want.” However, our right to believe any doctrine we want ends at the moment we draw our last breath!
John 3:16 says this:
John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not PERISH but have everlasting life.
Focus for a minute on that word “perish.” Who are perishing? Those who believe Jesus death on the cross was “foolishness.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are PERISHING, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Be sure you are saved. Invite Jesus into your heart, and He will assure you of your grand destiny with Him in heaven forever!