‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. — 2 Cor. 6:2 (NIV)
Tragedy has struck our world once again. Another plane down, another icon dead. Payne Stewart is the latest of American heroes to depart from this earth. The golf world and we all will miss him. He was a true athlete and a fine human being. Our prayers should go out to his family and friends. Losing a loved one is tough for anyone to bear.
Perhaps, there is some good news in this story. According to a Christian source, I heard that it is highly probable that, pro-golf star, Payne Stewart was a born-again Christian who knew Jesus Christ personally. If this is true, he is now in our Father’s House where he will be in the awesome presence of our Lord Jesus for eternity.
An eternity with or without Jesus Christ is the question. For Payne, there was no time for a death bed conversion. In only seconds, he was driven to unconsciousness. Within perhaps minutes, he froze or suffocated to death — long before the runaway plane that he was on ran out of fuel and crashed. Payne Stewart and the others aboard the small corporate jet, more than likely, did not have a chance to seek their peace with the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Jesus) in the few seconds that they had after the cabin’s pressure was jettisoned from the jet, snuffing out all available air to breathe. They either knew Christ personally just before that moment in time, or they were sent into a Christless eternity right after it, known as Hell. Time for them to decide had run out.
Some authorities believe that the occupants of the Leer jet did not even know what hit them. They simply went unconscious and then died from a lack of oxygen and hypothermia. Ironically, the plane kept on going as if nothing had happened. Planes don’t need oxygen to breathe — they just need fuel to run on. The plane simply went into autopilot mode when the human pilots checked out of this life. The plane knew no difference — it functioned just as it was designed.
What a great invention the autopilot was to aviation! Here the invention did its job: it kept the plane flying without any available human pilots — well, at least for a while and a few hundred miles.
Satan knows about autopilot mode, too. In fact, he was the first creature to invent it! It is one of his greatest inventions. Only, he does not use this fantastic device in the aviation world. He uses it in our world. His desire is for the people of this world to go through their earthly lives on autopilot. He wants us to think that we don’t need to worry about getting our lives right with our creator God today, because there will be a tomorrow and a next day to do all of that. ‘Today is the day to have fun and do what we want! Why spoil things? Besides, the autopilot will take us to where we need to go. Who cares if it takes us to where we might be shot down and destroyed? The plane doesn’t need us to fly it. Satan’s autopilot will handle the controls of the planes of our lives, right? Certainly we can trust the auto pilot, right?’
Unfortunately, the plane of our life will one day run out of jet fuel, be shot down by an enemy, or experience a sudden personal disaster that take away our very life. The truth of the matter is that this thing called ‘autopilot’ will be no good to us when we suddenly stand before God the Father at the judgement!
We, like Payne Stewart, will all die one day and be sent into eternity. Who would you rather now have at the controls of your life? Jesus Christ, or Satan’s autopilot? Time is running out! You need to decide before it’s too late!
You must decide now. The Word of God says, ‘NOW is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation.’ Don’t wait another day.
An eternity with or without Jesus is the question. The answer could be only seconds away.