Gospel: Meeting God

Robert E. Surgenor

Many years ago in the Mountain State of West Virginia, I came across a store in a little place called Purgitsville. The store was one of the most unique I have ever seen, but so was the owner - Brook High. Brook happened to be related to the famous American statesman Will Rogers. Old Brook had no cash register, just two large rolls of money in his pockets. Under the counter was a shelf that contained a Colt 45 caliber automatic, just in case any person got the idea that he could rob the place. Brook showed me how quickly he could produce the gun. Like a flash of lightning, it was suddenly pointed at me and he said, "Before they rob me they’ll get this!" His demonstration left me with a tingling sensation in my back which no chiropractor every produced.

Brook’s store was an old, unpainted, wooden framed building. When the side walls began to bulge and the roof seemed in danger of caving in, Brook had the solution. He simply placed two discarded telephone poles on a 45 degree angle from the ground up to the middle of each wall, to serve as braces. Walking inside the store was like walking back in time. A potbelly stove dominated the scene. Benches surround it, to which fellows from the area would come to sit and "chew the fat." When someone would purchase an item, Brook would reach for it on the shelf behind the counter, blow the dust off of it and plunk it on the counter to make the sale. Mayonnaise was the only salad dressing Brook sold. He would have nothing to do with all "that new fangled fancy stuff with funny colors," as he put it.

Unique Items

However, there were items for purchase in that backwoods store which the big city stores knew nothing about, such as raccoon and fox distress calls for luring various kinds of animals to the area of the hunter’s gun. Bottles of animal scents were also for sale. On the wall behind the counter was fastened the largest sunflower plant in the world, as Brook claimed. It looked much longer than twenty feet; I’ve never seen one like it.

Another unique thing about Brook’s store was that every time I entered, he would turn the radio off, tell the chatting men to be quiet and then would say to me, "Preacher, don’t pray for my business, just pray for the souls of my customers and pray for me." How many stores have you ever witnessed that sort of thing when a preacher walked in? Brook High was a different man indeed!

However, the first remarkable thing that struck me about Brook’s unique store was a lopsided old sign nailed to the broken down, dusty front porch. It read, "At the end of the road - you meet God." I thought to myself, how true! As for the end of the road, the thought struck me, I’m nearing the end myself and it certainly didn’t take long to get there. God says, "For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14). "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not" (Job 14:1,2).

An Unexpected End

However, one doesn’t have to be old to reach the end of the road. In Windsor, Ontario, Canada, a fog suddenly descended on a super highway resulting in the destruction of 62 vehicles and many deaths. Ten people attempting to save a young girl trapped in a van failed as the flames consumed the victim. The screams of the burning girl were sad - "I’m only fourteen! I’m only fourteen!" For her, it was the end of the road.

Let me ask you, my friend, when you finally come to the end of the road - what then? That time to you is perhaps uncertain, but it could be today. God warns all of us, saying, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1). Are you ready to meet God at the end of the road?

Is God concerned? Absolutely, for He exclaims, "Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12). When folks contemplate a vacation -they prepare. When wise students face a test - they prepare. Before cooks serve a meal, they prepare. Before a country goes to war, it prepares. We live in a world of preparation, yet so few have prepared to meet God. Are you prepared?

An unprepared person is one who has never, from God, received the forgiveness of all their sins. God says regarding such, "I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion" (Hosea 13:8). "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).

My Great Discovery!

I am so glad that when I meet God the situation will be far different. Many years ago I discovered that Jesus died for me and was raised again for my justification (Romans 4:25). I received Him as my Lord and Saviour and was thus made ready to meet God. God’s plan is the same for you my friend. The price and plan to make you ready to meet God are stated by Him in the following verses. "In Whom (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of sins." "As many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (Eph. 1:7; John 1:12). Now is the time to prepare.