by Tad Lindley
Usually I type up my column on Sunday night. I share it online with the Lincoln’s before 10 PM. Then they put it into the newspaper layout on their computer. Before 7 AM the next morning they sent the whole paper electronically to the printer in Anchorage. This very paper you are holding was then printed Monday. Monday afternoon it went to Ted Stevens International Airport. It arrived in Bethel on Monday night. From there it went to the place that you got it. One of these Sunday evenings I will write my last column. I will hit the share button for the last time. I will type in Greg and Kelly’s name for the last time. Then I will hit the “Done” button for the last time. Then sometime in the next six days I will step out into eternity, and that will be it.
Staring into the face of pestilence
I have thought about death more this past week than most. One of our ministers in the lower 48 came down with a cold on Tuesday, and by Wednesday night he was gone, a victim of coronavirus. There are three people living in my house right now, and at no time ever have I felt the possibility so strongly that perhaps a week from now, one of us might not be here. People were coming by the house today to get meat, and I love to be able to provide for people, but the thought came to me, “I might not ever get to do this again.”
In the face of the flood
Jesus described a global catastrophe far more deadly than the corona virus. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew 24:38-39 NKJV) They probably had some warning from Noah, after all the Bible describes him as a preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5). But the fact of the matter is, that they were so focused on day to day things that they assumed that life would continue on as it always had. As the first few raindrops fell, they might have remembered Noah, but he was nowhere to be found, he was already in the ark. Then the fountains of the deep broke open and the water began to cover the earth. Their fists beat against the ark and their cries must surely have reached the passengers of the ark, but what could they do now, the door was held shut by the pressure of the rising water. Suddenly they knew that the preacher had been right, but there was not a thing they could do to turn back to last week and save themselves.
Are you ready?
In Noah’s day the people failed to be ready. If the scientific modelers are correct, many will die is this coming epidemic. People we know will be gone. Perhaps we ourselves will not live through. Are you ready to step out into eternity?
•Have you forgiven those who have wronged you? (Matthew 6:15)
•Have you been baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Ghost? (John 3:1-7, Acts 2:38)
•Have you made amends for people you have wronged in the past? (Matthew 5:23)
•Have you examined your life against I Corinthians 6:9-11 and Revelation 21:8?
If not, I urge you to do so now. Today is the day of salvation. Throw yourself upon the mercies of God while there is still time.
Some of you are telling yourself, “I will wait until next week to get right with God”, “I’ll wait until I start coughing, or until someone around me gets sick.” You may not have a next week. You may have already picked up the Delta Discovery for the last time in your life. This might be the last time you ever read my column. Matthew 24:38-39 might be the last Bible verse you ever read. Finish saved!
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.