From This Life to the Next

On Dec 13, 2005, shortly after midnight, Stanley Tookie Williams was put to death in an execution chamber of San Quentin State Prison. He was convicted of killing 4 people. However, he maintained that he was innocent. According to the report, published on CNN, Williams appeared to grow impatient as officials searched for a vein to administer the lethal injection.

I wonder, first, how Williams was feeling. If this man did not know Christ, he must have been awfully scared. “In a few minutes, it’s going to be all over for me. Lights out.” I do not know if this man was guilty or not of the crimes which he is accused of having committed. What I do know is that, from his perspective, the lights were going to be turned out FOREVER as he would then MOVE ON from THIS world to the NEXT. Argh. That’s an extremely sobering thought.

Williams had, in fact, more than 20 years to plan for this day, because he was sentenced to death in 1981. Unlike those he was convicted of killing, he had time to read the Bible, to ask questions, and to commit his life to Christ. I wonder. Did he know Christ? No one can say he did not have time to find the Lord. He did.

But if he did not know Christ, it’s no wonder why he appeared to grow impatient as officials searched for a vein to administer the lethal injection. The thought that THIS IS IT, MY LIFE IS GOING TO END THIS HOUR would have terrified him.

What awaits the person who is about the step over from this world to the next? Certain fear and trepidation, if they are not CERTAIN that God will receive them gladly into his presence for all eternity. This is the only logical response. What Williams demonstrated, in fact, was quite reasonable for a man who was about to step into eternity. I dare say, even a person who knew Christ would have likely demonstrated some degree of anxiety. I can only hope that Stanley Tookie Williams did, in fact, know Christ, and is now in the presence of God, forever. For the alternative, spending an eternity without Christ, is a frightening prospect indeed.

One day, we will ALL step into eternity. TODAY, like Stanley Tookie Williams had for over 20 long years, you have time to prepare. You have time to read the Bible, to ask questions, and to commit your life to Christ. Today, it is not too late. But one day, it will be!

Moving on from this life to the next is the single greatest “step” that we will ever have to take. It ought to be preceded by much thought and prayer. Are we ready? Have we committed our lives to Christ? Only he can save us from a future without hope. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

If you have never done so, I pray that you will find your PEACE with God this Christmas season.