About five months ago I met Billy at an event called Live after Five. I gave Billy a gospel tract and talked to him about Jesus. He had been in a life of addiction but was getting back on his feet, had just started a new job and was on his way to being independent. But he was currently staying in the homeless shelter and only had 20 minutes to get there or he wouldn’t have a bed for the night. There’s no way he could make it in time. So me, James Goss and Billy power walked to my car and drove with purpose to the homeless shelter with a few minutes to spare. The whole way there Billy was thanking us and marveling that God would show him such mercy. He said he wanted to come to church but I tried to contact him for several weeks afterwards and he never returned my messages.
While I was on my way downtown to Live After Five yesterday afternoon I was remembering my encounter with Billy, so I thought I would just check his Facebook page to see if he was still in Baton Rouge and try to follow up on him again. What I found was that Billy died two weeks ago of a heart attack.
Life is a vapor.
Today my heart is heavy as I have been considering two lives that were cut short in the last few weeks. One of them was an 18 year old boy that I didn’t know, murdered by his “friend” only 900 feet from my house. The other was a 53 year old man that I did know whose body was found less than a mile from my house. It’s a very strange feeling to realize that someone’s life ended so close to where you live. So far in 2017, Baton Rouge has had 65 homicides. That’s 65 people suddenly forced into eternity.
God wasn’t joking when He said life is a vapor. It can be gone so suddenly. That truth should affect the way we live every day.
If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, let that affect your heart, your priorities, your activities and your words. When you look at people, let it be with the realization that they could step into eternity before the day is over. So say the important things to them…..the eternally meaningful things.
We must be ready to meet God. For all of you who may be somewhere between spiritually indifferent and counting the cost of a full surrender to Jesus Christ — please don’t continue in a state that leaves you unprepared for eternity. It could be closer than you think.
Yesterday morning at 4:35 AM there was a double murder .6 miles from my house. I was in my house reading my Bible at 4:35 AM while those 2 souls were crossing into eternity right down the street. There’s something quite unsettling about knowing this.
2 weeks ago, a 28 year old man jumped (or fell) from the top of the 10 story building that I work in.
All around us, everyone we see is potentially moments away from death. It is a very sobering thought. And it certainly underscores the importance of being faithful to share the gospel.
We must work the works of Him who has sent us while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4)