The following is a quote from Don Piper’s experience where he is talking about being ready to die. He says you must be always ready because you never know when it is your time to die. Don’s story is lengthy, persuasive, compelling and so true we must learn from this man’s experience when he was dead for 90 minutes in his crushed car on that narrow highway bridge NE of Houston, Texas in January 1989.
This is just part of Don’s incredible story published on his website “truthjourney.net”, Always Be Prepared to Die. His book 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven is Real are both must-reads. This is the part where he talks repeatedly to “always be prepared” for this life is like a twinkle of the eye, it will be over at any moment and when that happens to us, we MUST BE READY to meet Our Lord.
He compares his 18-year-old friend and his 81-year-old great grandmothers’ deaths – he met both in Heaven. He says unequivocally that we must be ready; ready to die because we may lose our way to Heaven if we don’t repent, pray and be ready to die for we never know when it will happen. Part of being ready is being ‘baptized” for we will not enter the Kingdom of God unless we are baptized with water.
Quote “This is not my reality. And you know its so real here. You know, hurricanes come through here. Tsunamis destroy half of a country. We got wars going on here. This is happening. This is very real. I mean, my father is at the end of his Earthly life. I know I’m going to get the phone call every day. And my daughter just had a baby two days ago. But, you know, life goes on. But, now, this is not it. I mean, this is so temporary. This is so fleeting. This is just a twinkle in God’s eye. This is a vapor. And we know that. You know, and I feel like I just went to school. Just graduated from high school. And now I’m sixty years old. It all happened so fast.
The reason that matters is that you need to be ready. I mean, this life here won’t last. You have to be ready for what happens next because that lasts forever and ever. And Hell is just as real as Heaven. You have a choice to make. You want to be with God in Heaven with the angels dining at the Lord’s table and singing praises unto God and walking the streets of gold with Peter, Paul, and all those people and having them just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them? I mean, do you want that option or do you want eternal separation from God in a place that stinks, that’s dark and lonely. And, I mean, it’s a very clear cut thing.
You have to make a decision. And if you think you’re going to wait. You might as well say “No, not now”. Cause “not now” is no. You may not have a later. I got killed on my way to church. You have to be ready all the time. So, there’s a great urgency about this. And you need to come to Christ. If you know about Jesus, that’s not enough. You need to know him in your heart. You have to accept the salvation that he offers. That is the way to Heaven and that is the only way to Heaven. All paths do not lead to Heaven. Only one path leads to Heaven.
My friend that was at the gates was 18 when he died. A wonderful kid. A beautiful kid. Had a great life ahead of him. A very gifted athlete. And then one day coming home from a hunting trip his life was ended. You could imagine how devastated his 18 year old friends felt about that. My great grandmother was standing here. She was 81 when she died. She didn’t know she would live to be that old. But the truth is, they were both ready. Thank God they were both ready.
So you cant’ wait, hoping you will live long enough. Thinking you will give up whatever you need to give up so you can become a Christian. You need to do that now. Mike was 11 years old. Thank God he made that decision. I was 16 years old when I gave my heart to Jesus. It’s an urgent, current now thing. There’s an urgency about that. And you may live to be 100 here on Earth. But trust me. A hundred is nothing. It’s not even a twinkle in the eye of God. Because that will be over just like that.
So you have to be ready for whatever happens next. And you need to do it immediately. And then, it’s not like your life will be perfect after that, that you’ll have no problems. Actually you may have some of your most difficult problems later. But you’ll be ready when the time comes. And there’s a place prepared for you. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you”. And you have to be prepared for the place. So come to Christ.
You know, my friend Bill Wiese who wrote 23 Minutes in Hell. So, he talks about hell. He said, “If you go to a persons house, a beautiful house, a magnificent house, a mansion and you knock on the door and say, “Ah, can I come in”. And the person says, “Who are you”. You say, “Well I was good. I lived a good life. I did good things for other people”. “That’s nice but who are you”? You know he kind of goes through the whole process. And it’s a great illustration because God’s not going to let you in because you were good. You can’t get good enough to go to Heaven. It’s a perfect place. It’s a Holy place. Were not Holy. We know that. So, you say, “Well I was faithful to this religion”. We’ll that’s good. The religion probably has some good things about it. Most of them do.
But the Bible says in Acts, “There is not another name, not on Earth that will save you. There is no other name under Heaven and Earth whereby you might be saved. Jesus himself said, when he was asked, “How do I go to Heaven”. He said, “I am the way to Heaven”. And you can’t come to the Father unless you come through Jesus the Son. So nothing you can do is going to earn you a ticket to Heaven. Except give your heart to Christ. And Jesus already did that, paid the price. Which makes you eligible to stand in front of a Holy God, in a Holy condition. He forgives sin. What can wash away your sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. So you accept what he did on the cross. And that makes you eligible to stand in front of a Holy God and eat at His table forever.” unquote
Don Piper and Bill Wise are both right. We can not earn our way to Heaven, we must ask for Jesus to help us, repent and avoid all sin in the future. Catholics can repent directly to God but should go to confession (reconciliation) as soon as possible. This provides more grace or help from God for His help with our own salvation. Nonetheless, we must be ready at all times and repent immediately.