Famous Last Words
I am very interested in the thoughts of old people concerning life and how it should be lived. In fact, I am very interested in the “last” words that one speaks knowing he or she is on the threshold of death. For example,
Robert Ingersoll said, “O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul.” Thomas Payne said, “O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter?” Voltaire said to his doctor, “I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months to live.” When told that such was not possible, he said, “Then I shall die and go to hell.” As long as these men had vibrant life and strength, they were skeptical, agnostic, and irreligious. But when they were brought face to face with death, they found themselves ill prepared for what was ahead.
On the other hand, David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For you are with me…” (Psalm 23). Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Stephen said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59).
What will be our famous last words? If we shut God out of our lives, then our famous last words will be as sad and regretful as were Ingersoll’s, Payne’s, and Voltaire’s. But if we obey God and give Him His rightful place in our lives, then our famous last words will be as happy and hopeful as were David’s, Paul’s, and Stephen’s. What will be our famous last words?
- Jack Harriman, pulpit minister & teacher
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