We have been here before, but after two crashes that happened today I feel it is more than worthwhile visiting this again. When we leave home, we leave for a destination with the full intention of arriving at that destination. This morning we left home and our destination was Holy Trinity Church in Benoni … and yes … we arrived there safely … but someone else was heading towards a destination and did not arrive there.
On our way along the R 21 Hi-Way, we passed a crash. It was horrific. I do not know what happened but allow me to paint a picture. A double cab bakkie, a bigger one with a canopy, had hit into the rear end of a huge flatbed truck. The flatbed is higher than the front of the double cab. This double cab was squashed into and partially under the flatbed. There were many cars that had stopped, and perhaps some were involved in the crash, but the double cab’s driver was squashed in the front of his vehicle. It looked like he had his arm on the door, as if you open the window and put your arm there. From what I could see he was motionless … lifeless. We prayed for him and his loved ones as well as others involved in the crash.
Four hours later, we returned to Pretoria to find the double cab still squashed under the flatbed but the driver and passenger doors on the right side had been removed … and here is the tragedy. Like when a person dies in a crash, the pathology department normally put a silver foil sheet over the corpse. In this case there was a gold colour foil over the corpse in the driver’s seat. Why the corpse had not been removed four hours later I do not know.
Although it’s difficult to piece a puzzle together when you did not see the crash … I would suggest firstly that this was a high speed crash. It is possible that the flatbed truck was stationery. Maybe the double cab driver changed lanes without seeing the flatbed or maybe he had a heart attack or stroke or fell asleep. I do not know, but that’s the first picture of today.
The second is that on our way back to Pretoria Jenny heard on the radio news that another crash had taken place on the western part of the N1 somewhere around William Nicol Road. Sadly, a lady was killed in that crash.
So, today we have two people on their way to a destination and both do not reach that destination … they reach another destination … an eternal one. One cannot be naive and say both these people are now with Jesus in His heaven. We would like to say that, but we don’t know them (or who they were) … we don’t know their spiritual or religious standing. All we know is that they are in eternity, either in heaven or in hell.
Both the man and the woman did not stand a chance. Their crashes resulted in their demise. They do not have another chance or opportunity to do life over and make certain changes should they not have known Jesus Christ as Lord. You see, death is final. Then, decisions made in life cannot be altered … and no spiritual decisions as to a relationship with Jesus or no relationship with Jesus can be reviewed and changed to suit a favourable eternity! Death is the sealer of one’s fate because death is final and the spiritual choices made on earth are immediately activated in eternity … its either heaven or it’s hell! The writer to the Hebrews informs us:
Heb 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.
It does not and cannot come more vivid and it cannot be more crystal clear than that!
Yes there are many religious philosophies and there are many “beliefs” as to how one gets into heaven. So many people refuse and reject Jesus and His Gospel because they want to control their life and their destiny with the intent they will be going to wherever their belief system dictates … and that includes the method of getting there. Everyone may decide for themselves who and what they will follow. That is a choice … but God is adamant and very precise that there is but one way. Look at one of many illustrations of God’s “One Way”:
Ac 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is
“‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
In verse 12 He says that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” And this “no other name” is given in verse 10 … “Jesus Christ of Nazareth” … and the means of accessing this salvation is also provided in verse 10 … the Gospel … “crucified” and “raised”. Not only in Jesus’ name was the crippled man healed … the disciples had … “been with Jesus” (verse 13). God used them to perform a miracle because they were men who spent time with Jesus.
So here’s the point … it is no good saying you were baptised, confirmed, took church membership, sang in the choir, etc. to give you comfort and confidence that you are saved. You need to spend time with Jesus as these disciples did. This spending time certainly is community worship (church) and fellowship (with believers) … but far more intimacy is required. Spending time with Jesus means active daily devotional times … reading, studying and meditating on the Word of God and then taking what you have learnt and talking to God about it (prayer) and how you need to translate the spiritual knowledge learnt into spiritual wisdom for daily living for Jesus. You see, others need to “take note that you have spent time with Jesus”. You don’t need “miracles” to prove salvation … you need the daily “miracle” of spending time with Jesus that proves salvation and demonstrates a life change for others to see.
Dear God, as we pray for the families of the deceased of both crashes today, we pray passionately that You will help us to spend quality time in Your presence daily gathering total assurance of salvation for Jesus’ sake. Amen.