The story is told of an author, William Saroyan, who had achieved great success in his field. His works had been acclaimed in the literary world, his name was a familiar entry on best-seller lists, and he had even been awarded a Pulitzer Prize. But now he lay dying in New York City of cancer, which had spread to several of his vital organs. One evening, as Saroyan reflected on his condition and what the future held for him, he placed a phone call to Associated Press. After identifying himself to the reporter who answered his call, he posed a question that revealed the honest searching sensitivity that had characterized his career. It was a final statement to be used after his death, which occurred later in May of 1981. He said, “Everybody has got to die. But I have always believed an exception would be made in my case…Now what?” And then he hung up the phone. (Cited in Reader’s Digest; December 1981; p. 136).
Literature is filled with the expressions of fear about death that grip the hearts of unbelievers. Socrates said, “No one knows whether death…may not be the greatest of all good,” but men “in their fear apprehend it to be the greatest evil.” Francis Bacon wrote, “Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark…” Samuel Johnson told of his horror at the death of a friend. “At the sight of this last conflict, I felt a sensation never known to me before: a confusion of passions, an awful stillness of sorrow, a gloomy terror without a name.”
Bruce Wilkinson writes in his book, “A Life God Rewards” (Multnomah Publishers; 2002; p. 21) that there are six main events in our life. 1. Life. You are created in the image of God for a life of purpose. 2. Death. You die physically, but not spiritually. 3. Destination. You reach your destination after death which is determined by what you believed on earth. 4. Resurrection. You receive a resurrected body. 5. Repayment. You receive your reward or your retribution for eternity based on what you did on earth. 6. Eternity. You will live forever in the presence or absence of God, reaping the consequences of your beliefs and actions on earth.
Mr. Wilkinson goes on to say that your life on earth is compared to a small dot on a piece of paper, but your eternity is like a line that stretches out across the page, going on and on without end and what you do in the dot determines everything that happens on the line. Jesus Christ taught that an eternal existence awaits everyone. Those who have rejected Him “will go into everlasting punishment,” while those who have chosen Him will experience eternal life in God’s presence.
The eternity that Jesus reveals is not just an existence or state of mind, but a real life in a real place. So, what’s next? Since the dot stands for your whole life on earth and the line represents your life after death in eternity shouldn’t you be concerned about living the rest of your life, in the dot, for Christ? You can find out more online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.