“So I am ready to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News.” — (Romans 1:15)
When General Eisenhower lay seriously ill in the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., Billy Graham was invited to visit the dying President. He was told by the medical authorities that his visit could only last thirty minutes.
When Billy Graham entered the room, the General greeted him with his customary smile, even though he realized he had not long to live.
Later, the great evangelist revealed what had taken place during that last conversation. At the end of the specified time the sick man asked the evangelist to lengthen his stay, and then said, “Billy, I want you to tell me again, how can I be sure my sins are forgiven, and that I am going to Heaven? Nothing else matters now.”
“I took my New Testament and read scriptures to him. I pointed out that we are not going to Heaven because of our good works, nor because of money we have given to the church. We are going to Heaven totally and completely on the basis of the merits of what Christ did on the cross. Therefore, he could rest in comfort that Jesus paid it all. After prayer, Ike said, ‘Thank you, I’m ready.’”
It is regrettable that many informed people cannot repeat the late President’s statement. Luke described the reactions of three men who had the opportunity to become followers of Christ.
The enthusiasm of the first man waned when he heard the Lord saying, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” A warm and comfortable bed at night was more attractive than lying beneath a hedge.
The second man did not have much interest in discipleship, and made his family duties the excuse for avoiding acceptance of a new way of living. His hen-pecked pursuits were more important than Heavenly pursuits. He might be ready – someday!
The third man wished to rejoin his family, who, undoubtedly, would endeavor to dissuade him from starting something which would, in their estimation, interfere with his life. In any case, he would not do anything until he had basked in the warmth of his family’s admiration. He thought more of the approval of men than the approval of God.
While these men considered other possibilities, their opportunity was possibly lost forever (Luke 9:57-62). All three might have been ready – but other projects appeared to be more important.
Paul, on the other hand, was ready. In Acts 9 we see that he was ready to Surrender when he said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Here in Romans 1:15, Paul was ready to Serve. Acts 21:13 reveals that he was ready to Suffer and 2 Timothy 4:6 communicates Paul’s readiness to Sacrifice.
Hey, take a look at your life. Is your soul prepared to meet God? Is your life prepared to serve God? Is your spirit prepared to reflect God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness to others? Be honest – are you ready?