Acts 13:47 “For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
Dearly Beloved: May GOD’s grace, peace, courage, strength and LOVE be ever upon you. This is a very sad time for me. My eldest brother passed away on November 19th. I did not find out until two days ago. He had been estranged from the family. I loved him very much, though I did not show it enough. I deeply regret not getting to know him better. We did not grow up together. He was nearly twenty years older than I. In his youth, my father immigrated to Africa in search of a better life for his brothers and sisters. His parents had both died, leaving him as the eldest sibling, to raise his brothers and sister. It was there in Senegal, Africa where my eldest brother was born. My brother was the spitting image of my father. My father sired a large family in Africa before immigrating to America where myself and my two younger siblings were born. My mother is a Caucasian-American. My father worked very hard and saved his money. Eventually, he earned enough to bring his African born children to America. I remember meeting my older brothers for the first time. I was five years old at the time. I had stared at their pictures before they came. Father told me lots of heart-warming stories about them. They were like rock stars to me. And when the day came where I finally got to meet them, I was so excited. I remember teaching them English and playing with them for hours on end. They were all musical prodigies. They had been performing since they were knee high to a grasshopper. I loved watching them perform. They would practice for shows at my Dad’s house. Those were great times.
My eldest brother was the last one to arrive state side. The day I met him, he bought me my first basketball from the old Ames department store. He and I played and it was a lot of fun. As I grew up and had my own kids, I saw less and less of him. We only got together at major family functions. The last time I saw him was at our fathers funeral. Both he and I were close to my dad. We both took his death very hard. In honor of our father, he wore black for thirty days straight to mourn his passing. There were a couple phone calls after that, but I am ashamed to say that I had not spoken to him in at least fourteen years – a fact that I deeply regret. We can never get back the time we lose with our loved ones. Once its gone, its gone. My father was a believer and I know he is in heaven, but I never asked my brother where he stood with the LORD. (As I am writing, tears are flowing.) I never will have that opportunity again. That is a very painful thought.
Folks, I want you to think about all the missed opportunities you have had to share the saving knowledge of CHRIST! It is painful to wonder if your deceased loved one is in heaven or not. Very painful!!! And what about those of us who lived or are living a sinful life. I am a CHRISTIAN now, but the last time my brother saw my face was on a TV screen being sentenced to die in prison. Granted I am innocent of the crimes that I have been wrongfully convicted of and I am sure he knew that, but he also knew that I sold drugs and that my drug activity led me to my current predicament. I can only imagine the pain I caused him. I missed the opportunity to show him how much I have changed. I can never get it back.
Some of you are unsaved. I want you to think of the pain you are causing the people who love you!! Imagine how they must feel watching you self destruct – especially the ones who are Christians and believe in heaven. What if you die? Imagine how awful it will be for them knowing they will not see you in heaven!! Think about that.
Now I am speaking to my brothers and sisters in CHRIST. How many opportunities have you missed? How many of the people you love have died leaving you wondering what their ultimate fate is?? How many more are you going to miss opportunities with??
To all of you who are unsaved, I want you to repent and join us now. NOW IS THE TIME, for we are not promised tomorrow. We are not even promised the next minute. Please, for your soul and the people who love you, repeat the following prayer:
“Dear Jesus, I know that because of my sin I need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins. I believe You rose again so I could live with You. I want to stop living for myself and start living for You. I want Your peace in my life. I want forgiveness for my sins. Please come into my heart and change my life. I want to live with You forever. I want You to be my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
If you said it and you meant it, then you are my brother or sister in CHRIST and I love you and welcome you. Please contact us. We want to help you in your walk with CHRIST.
Beloved, I love you and I want to be in heaven with all of you. Please don’t miss anymore opportunities. You will be brushed off more often than not, but GOD doesn’t expect us to save people. We are not JESUS. HE wants us to present the gospel truth in hopes that the unbeliever may recognize the truth and come to the saving knowledge of CHRIST. We fail at many things, but we feel better when we know that we tried our best. Just do your best. That’s all GOD asks of you.
Ephesians 2:1-5 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”
May GOD bless and keep you! May you consider the people you love! May you not miss opportunities! Amen!
Love in Christ,
(A man who regrets the opportunities he missed)