Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7
Colonel Ethan Allen, leader of the Green Mountain Boys, was a profound unbeliever, while his wife, a Christian woman, taught their daughter about Jesus and how He saves believers. The girl continued to live in this divided household until she became quite ill. As she neared the end, she asked, “Father, I am about to die. Shall I believe the principles you have taught or shall I believe what my mother has taught me?" Ethan wrestled with his conscience, and then searched to find the right words. Finally he answered his little girl: "Believe what your mother has taught you."
Strange, isn’t it? Ethan Allen was one of the most resourceful and courageous men of his age. Expeditions into the wilderness didn’t frighten him, nor did facing an armed enemy terrify him. Still, for all of his bravery and daring, he had no skill or ability able to defeat or even counter death as it approached the bedside of his little girl. Allen was forced to admit his helplessness and urged his daughter to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Jesus, her Savior, had the ability to help her through what lay ahead.
The same is true for you. The greatest genius, the most brilliant inventor, the most courageous soldier, and the most acclaimed statesman will someday know that skills are insufficient as we face death. A person cannot argue with death. It will come, and at that moment an individual must either rely most foolishly upon himself or, by the Spirit’s power, upon the Savior who died to take away the world’s sins.
This day, before death comes, I encourage you not to believe me or your mother or your father. Believe the Scriptures, which tell of how Jesus was born into this world, not because He had to be, but because His Father wanted to save the world. Believe that Jesus loved you enough to be perfect when you would have been impious, caring when you would have been cold, holy when you would be hateful. Believe that Jesus took your place, died your death, and then rose to show the truth of His words and all that He had done. Believe that.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on July 18, 2004
THE PRAYER: Dear God, You were born into this world, not because You had to be, but because Your Father wanted to save the world. Thank you for taking my place, dying my death, and rising to show the truth of Your words and deeds. I believe, Lord. In Jesus' Name. Amen.