My father was concerned for his ailing sister, who appeared not to have much longer to live, so one day, he and I went to visit her. Aunty B. was what we called her, even though her name was Betty Ann. Upon greeting her, I knew too that she didn’t have long to live. It was just that obvious. It had been a long time since we met, and Aunty B. was certainly not well. It was not easy seeing her in this condition. How long would it be before she died? I didn’t say anything to my father just then, but probably we were both thinking the same thing. So it wasn’t surprising to either of us, when, later on that week, she was admitted to the hospital, once again. Only this time, it would be her final visit, for it was it was there that she would die in about 6 weeks time.
Where was my aunt going to spend eternity? I was concerned for her. Graciously, I excused myself from their presence, in order to pray. I remember kneeling down that day right next to the laundry hamper in her bathroom and placing my elbows on it. I needed these minutes to be able to pray for my aunt. Her eternal future was my main concern. I prayed, with a sense of earnestness, “Dear God, don’t let Aunty B. die before she knows you!” This, really, was my only prayer. It was most important to my heart, and I think it was most important to God’s heart, as well. No doubt, he was the one who was motivating me to pray for her.
Although she was about 62 at the time, she had yet to accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of her life. Yes, she had yet to do this, but this was the one thing that she needed to do more than any one thing! That is why I prayed, “Dear God, don’t let Aunty B. die before she knows you!” As incredible as it may seem, according to the Bible, the one thing that would determine my aunt’s eternal future when she died was whether or not she had established a personal relationship with God through faith in what Jesus Christ did for her at the cross. (Romans 10:9-10,John 3:16) She needed to do this before she died — not afterwards! Afterwards, it would be too late! (Hebrews 9:27) Thus, if there was ever a time to be concerned for my aunt, and especially for what would happen to her after she died, this was it!
Upon first visiting her in the hospital, I thought to myself, “I need to share with her the message about Jesus Christ, how he is able to forgive her for her sins.” But I didn’t know when I would be able to do this. Would it be possible to do this now, right away, on my first visit? I brought a Bible, just in case I sensed an opening to share with her. But as it was, on that first visit, I was only able to visibly display my love towards her, with a hug and a kiss, a word of kindness, offering her perhaps a glimmer of hope. Would there be another time? I didn’t know. By God’s grace, however, I was able to visit her three more times.
Finally, after another visit, then, on the third visit, something special happened. My aunt must have sensed something special about my concern for her, and about Jesus Christ’s ability to rescue her from her present condition, for she willfully put her arms around my neck and cried on my shoulder, sobbing. That, I think, was a sign of God’s love in action. I believe it was an indication of the Holy Spirit’s work in her life — a sign that she was willing to open up to me (she was not able to do this with some of her closest relatives). But did she know about Jesus Christ? Sure she did! Two years earlier, when I had first heard that she had contracted cancer and was admitted to the hospital, I had sent her a nice card along with a New Testament (the New Testament is the part of the Bible written after Jesus came. It is the most important part for understanding what God’s plan for our salvation is all about). That New Testament was perhaps the key to it all. The Bible says that the word of God is “powerful.” Had she read it? I think I could safely say, “yes.”
Then, on our fourth and last visit together, something special happened again. I told my aunt about Jesus Christ’s ability, and desire, to save her from her sins, and lead her on to a wonderful relationship with God as father, forever. To this, she responded positively. I said to her, “Aunty B., If you like, I will pray for you.” She responded, “Yes.” I felt humbled. Then, I said, “Please follow along with me as I pray.” While holding her hand, I bowed my head and began to pray, “Dear Jesus, I recognize that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Would you please come into my life and make me a new person by your Holy Spirit. Thank-you for coming into my life. Amen.” My aunt didn’t say anything as I prayed — but she was extremely weak. But she did express towards me a clear sign of gratitude for having prayed with her. Judging by her response, and the condition that she was in (weak), I believe the response was, “Yes, I am with you. I believe that what you have just prayed is correct. I accept it.”
Have you accepted God’s one and only provision for your total, unconditional, acceptance with him, so that you may be assured of a wonderful place in heaven before you die? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)