What if he rejects me? Romans 5.1-2
Having realized her patient was facing some fears that I just might be able to relieve, the hospice nurse got word to me to come right away. Oh, you know about her patient—it was just a month ago when I took you into his hospital room. His winsome smile, warm eyes, and beautiful shock of white hair drew me in immediately. Heck, I barely noticed his standard-issue blue gown or surroundings, but they were indicative of a serious medical situation, actually a terminal one. On that day, we had quite a discussion, talking about how ‘religion’ had kept him at arm’s length from God, and then the various proofs and evidence(s) for the historicity of Jesus Christ. But on this day, the Lord overcame those objections, and Ray prayed to make Jesus the Leader of his life--or as he said, ‘the Master of his life’. It was an amazing time.
I was blessed to see him a lot once he returned home, though his decline was steady and rapid. Each time, we talked about the hope and the reality of Heaven, as I described it from Revelation chapter 21. My prayers brought him a lot of comfort, along with the reassurance that he would never be alone again. “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you,” God has promised.1 But on one particular day, he was curled in the king-sized bed he shared with his wife for years, and I asked him if he was afraid. He nodded. ‘What is it, Ray? What is troubling you?’ I lay down alongside him, so he would not have to crane his neck to look at me—‘Ray, what is it?’ He swallowed and soberly looked at me and said, ‘What if he rejects me?’
‘Oh, Ray, he won’t reject you! He loves you, enough to give up his only Son. Truthfully, Ray, right now, it seems to me that the toughest thing about you coming to faith so late in the game is that you have not had a lifetime of experiencing God’s love.’ And then I set into tell him of how I came to understand his love for me, especially through his presence and direction in my life. I told him of God’s forgiveness, his mercy, and answered prayer in my life. It seemed like time stopped, as I recounted stories of how God had ‘shown up’ over and over, demonstrating his great love. ‘Ray, don’t you see?’ . . . I read David’s words from , “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty…” assuring him of God’s protective love. We covered a lot of ground, and it seemed that the tension in him eased a little after that.
If Paul had been sitting next to Ray that day, he might have drawn from his letter to the Romans, quoting chapter 5, where we find ourselves:
“since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith,
we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” Romans 5.1-2, NLT
We are made right with God through our FAITH;
we have PEACE with God
because of what JESUS DID,
not because we DESERVE it.
We can be confident and joyful
of with God . . .
Christian, you—like Ray, can be full of faith, and joyfully expectant of your eternal future.
One more thing… Ray wondered--was it really possible to come to saving faith at age 75? What about all that came before? Was there a way to be sure? Yes! Jesus said, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.2
The next time I see Ray will be on the Other Side. I doubt he can hear me now, but just in case, I would like to say, “See, I told you . . . He claimed you—he did not reject you. And, hey Ray? I’ll see you soon.”
1) Hebrews 13.5
2) John 5.24