Yesterday I went with a dear friend to visit with her brother who’s dying of liver cancer. It’s so sad to see someone who’s body is riddled, and frail with disease. Knowing that, even though their mind is slipping and they can’t always communicate properly, you can look into their eyes and tell that their suffering is great. It made me tired just watching the family do everything in their power to make their loved one comfortable, even though they’d had very little sleep and was exhausted.
I can tell you that, in this situation, there are probably those who would say that this man is getting what he deserves. He’s led a less than exemplary life. Afflicted by the torment of addiction, he’s deeply hurt the people he loves the most, and kept others at bay. However, in visiting with him before he became so ill, it was obvious that I was talking with a man who truly wanted to love and be loved. It was also obvious that he sincerely regretted having lived that kind of life.
I spoke with him a couple weeks after our visit. We talked about how God had been gracious by letting him know he didn’t have much time left here on this earth, which granted him the privilege to make amends where he needed. I told him I needed to make sure that he knew where he was going to go when he died. I asked him if he realized how much God loved him, and if he’d made things right with Him. He assured me that he had and that things were good between him and Jesus, which made me feel much better.
Just because a person may struggle with addiction doesn’t mean that they can’t love The Lord. When a person is in active addiction, their outward appearances, and/or actions, could be a coverup for deep seeded pain. Not to mention a tactic for keeping others at arm’s length so as not to hurt them! Maybe, when they’re all alone, they’re crying out to God? Or, maybe they are just a downright bad person. Either way, they’re never too far gone for God to reach, and we should never look down on them! If we’ve had to create boundaries with a person, then we should passionately pray for them! If a person is sick or dying and can’t communicate and you’re worried about their salvation? Don’t think for one minute God’s not big enough to get through to them! Talk to them! Tell them bout Jesus! Make sure they’ve accepted Him as their savior! Their response to you doesn’t matter! What matters is their response to God! And they need not be able to speak to respond to Him!
As long as a person is breathing, and if there’s any doubt whatsoever about their salvation, we should never let them slip on into eternity without saying something! It’s awkward sometimes, and sometimes we’re not sure what to say, but the Holy Spirit will take care of our spiritual clumsiness! Just make an effort! Let’s make Heaven full!!
If you’re the person stuck in the cycle of addiction, don’t wait until your time is up to make amends! Seek help! You can be delivered! He may not extend you the courtesy of knowing you’re going to die! Don’t have to look back at your life with regret! God can heal and restore! The earthly consequences might be there, but avoiding them is hardly worth avoiding true peace not to mention not going to Heaven!
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. Romans 10:1