Daily Devotional for Wednesday July 30, 2003
Thanks for the memories, but then what?
( 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Luke 16:19-31 )
Thanks for the memories, but then what? Sunday night, the world lost one of the greatest entertainers of all time, Bob Hope. Growing up, I had the joy of watching Bob Hope perform on TV and in the movies, and of course, his annual Christmas Special that was always part of the holidays at my home. While our nation and the world mourns his passing, the only thing I could focus on when I heard the news, was, "Where is Bob Hope going to spend eternity?" Yes, Bob Hope was one of the most gifted entertainers of all time, yet he was also a man like you and I. He lived as a man, he died as a man, and like ALL men, the moment he died, he was eternally with, or eternally separated from God.
The Bible, which is our final authority in ALL matters is very clear on death. It is final. There is no such thing as reincarnation, we are not coming back as a petunia. We don't die and go to some special place where people can pray us into Heaven over time. The moment we die, our body is no longer of any use, and our soul lives on for eternity, either forever with God, or forever separated from Him. That eternal destination is determined by only ONE THING, our relationship with Jesus Christ. Being a member of a certain church CANNOT save you. Being baptized as a baby CANNOT save you. The faith of your parents CANNOT save you. Good works CANNOT save you. A pastor or priest simply praying over you while you are dying CANNOT save you. The ONLY THING that can save you is putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. It is a choice, a conscious choice, that YOU and YOU ALONE have to make BEFORE you die.
In talking to several dear friends in Los Angles that are very close to the entertainment industry, as well as several that have written books on Bob Hope's life, I can only pray that at some point later in his life he made that choice to accept Christ as his savior. He was baptized as a baby in the Catholic church. However, baptism does not make you a Christian. His wife is a devout Catholic, but Bob did not share that faith, although he was given many awards by the Catholic church over the years for his humanitarian service. But again, good works cannot save you. No doubt a man as well traveled as Bob Hope, had to come across many people over the years that shared with him that faith in Jesus Christ is the only road to Heaven. Only God knows our heart, and only God knows if at some point in his life Bob made a commitment to Christ. But let me reiterate, as great of a life as he had, as loved as he was, it all meant nothing the moment he died. If Bob Hope died without confessing Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior, he is lost for eternity!
I have no doubt that somewhere in the world, within a few minutes of the passing of Bob Hope, a man that had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior also died. This man was not known by the world, he did not have great wealth, but death is the great equalizer. If Bob Hope died without Christ, this man that was known and loved by the world, this man that had all the wealth this world could offer, was instantly cast into eternal darkness. At the same time, the man who DID know Jesus, who had no fame or fortune in this life, was instantly ushered into the presence of Almighty God for eternity. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?" (Luke 16:19-31)
I love you and care about you so much. The world was made a better place because of the great gift God gave to Bob Hope. He will be missed. But being great in this life does NOT guarantee you anything when this brief journey is over. Each person is responsible for their own eternal destination by their choice in regard to Jesus Christ. You see, it was Jesus that died on a cross 2,000 years ago for your sins and mine. That is why only faith in Jesus can save you.
If right now, this very moment, you do not have the assurance that when your life is over, you will be forever with God, the Bible says that TODAY is the day of salvation. You never have to doubt or wonder again, Bow your head right now, ask God to open your heart, and read the words at this following link: www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.html . I will be praying for you as you make the most important decision that you will make in this life, where you will spend eternity. Only God knows for sure if Bob Hope is in Heaven. If he is, it is not because he was a great entertainer, but ONLY because he had accepted Jesus Christ into his heart and life by faith. That is the same choice EVERY person must make before they die.
***Let me say a VERY special thanks to everyone that was able to donate this month. With just two days left, we are only $1,900 short of meeting all of our obligations for the month of July. THANK YOU! God is good! It is YOUR prayers, and YOUR gifts that make this ministry possible literally 24/7/365 for just under 2 million worldwide every day! If you have not given this month, and want to help me in clearing up the balance, you can make a gift to Liveprayer on your major credit card at our website www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" button, or you can give using your PayPal account through my email address email@example.com , or you can mail a gift to: Liveprayer 6660 46th Avenue North St. Petersburg, Florida 33709 All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
May the Lord richly bless you for standing with me in HIS work here at Liveprayer. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of people for eternity. As great as an entertainer as Bob Hope was, what he did helped people through this brief journey here. HOWEVER, THE GREATEST THING THAT YOU CAN DO IN THIS LIFE IS IMPACT SOMEONE FOR ETERNITY!!! The memories of this life will one day be gone, but eternity is forever!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller