Gospel: The Last Run... To Broken Dreams

William Oliver

After thirty years, the next stop was retirement. Scott Wisner guided his Greyhound bus out of Harrisburg toward his last stop. His wife, Marcia, who had been alone many nights, was sitting near him. Eight year old Christian Jergensen sat next to Marcia. The Wisners planned to adopt him. Christian was excited to be part of "Pop-Pop’s" last trip to Pittsburgh. As soon as Scott retired, they would devote themselves to community service. To Christian, "PopPop’s" retirement meant more time for playing catch.

And then at 4:18 AM, June 20, 1998, the dreams shattered. Just west of the Tuscarora Tunnel, Scott’s bus veered off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and ran into the back of a parked tractor trailer. Seven were killed, including Scott, Marcia, and Christian. How tragic! Who could fail to be touched with sadness and sympathy for those involved? Dreams cherished for so long were broken forever.

Unwelcome Interruptions

Our sadness for the family also brings this chilling reminder: any of us could face the interruption of our fondest plans.

The Lord Jesus told about a prosperous farmer who made detailed plans. His crops were so abundant that he was about to replace his barns with larger buildings (Luke 12:16-21). He dreamed of saying to himself, "Take your ease, eat, drink and enjoy yourself." At the height of his planning the interruption came; God said, "This night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be?" By referring to this farmer as a fool, the Lord underlined the unreasonableness of making detailed plans for life but giving no thought to eternity. He overlooked life after death.

The Bible makes it clear that we all will be in one of two eternal destinies (Matt. 7:13-14). Those who trust the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior will be in heaven (John 6:47). Those who do not receive the forgiveness of sins through personal faith in Him will receive eternal punishment in hell (John 8:24). Earth’s plans can be interrupted. How wise to make certain that plans for an eternity in heaven will not be shattered!

Your Future Plans

Hopefully, you will enjoy a long life and fulfill your plans. However, the Bible says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). We all have an "after this," an eternity in either heaven or hell. The Bible tells us that we are a soul and spirit that will exist eternally. Sins that have not been forgiven will bar us from heaven. The Lord Jesus spoke of the possibility of dying "in your sins" (John 8:24). Are you certain that your sins are forgiven? What plans have you made for eternity?

Some say that there is no life after death; therefore they don’t need to be concerned. Some ignore the issue, perhaps leaving it to "fate." Others hope that good living or their church affiliation will secure heaven for them. Many seem to have an unfounded optimism that God’s kindness will take them to heaven. Even if all of these expectations are sincere, they are not sufficient. The Lord warned that some who expected to enter heaven would be eternally shocked to find its door closed to them (Luke 13:25-28).

God’s Plan for Security

Is there a way to secure your hopes for eternity? We read in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Simply stated, no works or anything that we can offer God can erase our guilt and make us acceptable in God’s holy sight. God offers a gift that cannot be earned or bought; that gift is salvation. God’s grace makes available to all a righteous standing of acceptance with God. How can you receive this blessing? You can be saved through faith, believing God’s Word.

God provides only one way for us to secure eternal blessings. The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth as a man, virgin-born and without any sin. He suffered the penalty for our sins on the cross of Calvary; He died and rose the third day. His bodily resurrection and ascension to Heaven show that God has fully accepted the sacrifice of Christ. "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned" (John 3:17, 18). "Neither is there salvation in any other" (Acts 4:12).

What does the death of Christ mean to you? Is it just a fact of history or the basis of your hopes for eternal blessings? This is a crucial question: Why did Christ come into this world to be rejected of men and to die the death of crucifixion? "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15). Are you saved? Do you know your sins forgiven? Are you ready for that unpredictable moment when life will end? Are you sure of being in heaven? This is most important and can only be settled while you are living. Now is the time; tomorrow may be too late.

Long ago, a man who asked how he could be saved received this answer from the apostle Paul, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).

Today, plan for eternity. Inevitably, we will all arrive at that destination. No matter how promising and cherished plans may be in this life, they could be interrupted.