Early on June 26, a man who had been sleeping on the South Miami Avenue bridge over the Miami River got a rude awakening as the drawbridge started to raise to allow a boat to pass underneath. Witness Khadijah Andrews had seen the man as she was walking to an early yoga class, she told WSVN TV, and she looked for him when the bridge began rising. Fortunately, he woke up after sliding down a ways and was able to hold on until the bridge was lowered. Andrews said the unnamed man walked away with no apparent injuries: “You think you’re about to watch a man lose his life. It’s just terrifying. I never want to see that again.” [WSVN, 6/26/2018]
Can you imagine the horror of watching someone die? Sure we witness death all the time on TV and in movies, but it’s one thing to watch an actor portray death and another to actually witness the real thing. To be there the moment someone takes their last breath is something that stays with you.
As a young preacher, I remember having an elderly man in our congregation pass away and being asked to conduct the funeral. He was a widower who had no children and no family to speak of. In fact the closest thing to family he had was his full-time nurse. I remember visiting with her at the funeral home as we discussed the services and I’ll never forget her telling me about the moment this man died. She said that he had this real panicked look and she asked him “Are you ok?” And with fear in his eyes he said, “It’s not good!” And he died. You see, this man hadn’t been faithful to the Lord in many years and he died an unfaithful child of God and as he breathed his last breath the realization of judgment was upon him (cf. Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10)
It’s terrifying to watch someone die, especially when it’s under abnormal circumstances, but even more terrifying is to die outside of the Lord. Sadly, you and I are witnesses to people who are dying outside of Christ every day and how many have we watched lose their eternal lives without speaking a word. You see, it’s not on us to save a soul, but to warn a soul and to guide that soul to that which can save them (Cf. Ezekiel 33:1-9; Acts 2:36-42). The question is will we stand by and watch as others lose their eternal life or will we “shout out” a warning in hopes that their life might be saved?
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”