In The Northwest

Olde Tymer

Active member
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The letter to Hebrews reminds the Jews that there are time limits on some of the
things God's offers. For example Moses' people refused to enter the promised land
when He and God urged them too. When they changed their minds and assayed to
enter later on, God wouldn't let them.

The thing is; it's best to answer God's call when it's heard rather than put off
responding till some other time because there may never come another time. This
is something that no one should take for granted.

So: by what means might someone be called? Well; first and foremost by
preaching, and also by word of mouth.

For example; one day back in 1968 I was approached by a Protestant man at work
who asked me if I was prepared for Christ's return.

Well; I must've been either asleep or absent the day that the nuns talked about
Jesus coming back because that man's question was the very first time in my whole
life that I can remember somebody telling me.

My initial reaction was alarm because I instinctively knew that were I summoned for
a face-to-face with Jesus, it would not go well for me because I had a lot to answer
for. Well; I don't like being made to feel afraid so I became indignant and
demanded to know why Jesus would come back. That's when I found out for the
very first time that it was in the plan for Christ to take over the world. (I had
somehow missed that in catechism too.)

Then the Protestant asked me if I was going to Heaven. Well; of course I had no
clue because Catholics honestly don't know what to expect when they pass away. I
was crossing my fingers while in the back of my mind dreading the worst.

Then the man said; "Don't you know that Jesus died for you?"

Well; I had been taught in catechism that Jesus died for the sins of the world; that
much I knew; but honestly believed all along that he had been a victim of
unfortunate circumstances. It was a shock to discover that Jesus' trip to the cross
was deliberate, and that his Father was thinking of me when His son passed away,
viz: my sins were among the sins of the world that Jesus took to the cross with
him.

At that very instant-- scarcely a nanosecond --something took over in my mind as I
fully realized, to my great relief, that Heaven was no longer out of reach, rather,
well within my grasp!

That was an amazing experience. In just the two or three minutes of conversation
with that Protestant, I obtained an understanding of Jesus' crucifixion that many
tedious catechism classes had somehow failed to get across.

Long story short; I eventually went with that man to his church and, side by side
with him and a couple of elders, knelt at the rail down front and prayed a really
simple, naive prayer that went something like this:

"God, I know I'm a sinner. I would like to take advantage of your son's death"

My prayer wasn't much to brag about; but it was the smartest sixteen words I'd
ever spoken up to that time.

* There are folks at large who have never yet complied with the sermon on the
mount, and know in their hearts they never will. I highly recommend they follow
my example and speak with God by means of words similar to mine rather than risk
their chances at the great white throne event depicted by Rev 20:11-15 where the
lost will be terminated by a mode of death akin to a foundry worker falling into a
kettle of molten iron. Jesus' crucifixion has made it possible for God to get people
into a position of safety where they will never again be in danger of their worst
nightmare but they've got to RSVP, i.e. respond to God: reach out and take the
opportunity when it's presented, while it's still on the table.
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