If I Should Die Tonight
August 20, 2002 ē By Ed Wrather
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. - Hebrews 9:27.
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade menÖ. - 2 Corinthians 5:9-11a.
Matthew Perry one of the stars on the ďFriendsĒ television show told the New York Times that he has not had a drink since February of 2001. Perry says, ďI didn't get sober because I felt like it. I got sober because I was worried I was going to die the next day.Ē Facing death for many people is a somewhat sobering experience and has resulted in countless changes in the lives of those who lived another day past their close encounter with death.
I have had to preach the funeral messages for an unusual number of people over the last several months including the one for our church pianist who was a dear friend. I think that was on my mind when one night I was having severe pain from a toothache and was throwing up from the pain medication (Which wasnít helping that much!). During that time I decided I really needed to share some things with my family and friends and wrote them a letter saved on my computer as ďIf I Should Die Tonight.Ē I began the letter by saying, ďIf I should die tonight I know the world will keep on going without me. My family and church will keep on going without me. Godís work will still be done without me.Ē
In addition to the personal words I wrote to my family I wrote the following, ďIf I should die tonight I will be sad that I have not been more faithful and productive for my Lord. I wish that I had been more faithful, more steadfast, more disciplined; more of everything that God wanted me to be. Iíve never regretted being a preacher and pastor. My only regret is that after I was saved that I didnít stay in church, didnít read Godís Word, and didnít pray as I should so that I would have heard Godís call earlier in my life. I have never regretted the time I have spent attending church, reading and studying Godís Word, witnessing or praying. My only regret is that I wasnít more faithful in doing those things. I am sorry that I wasnít a better husband, father, and grandfather. I am sorry that I wasnít a better pastor, preacher, and witness for my Lord. Iím sorry I wasnít the prayer warrior that I knew I should be. Iím sorry that Iíve wasted so much time with worldly things. Please forgive me Lord Jesus and I pray my family will forgive me.Ē
If you were to die tonight would you have any regrets? Is there something in your life that you would want to change? Why not begin now to live, as you know you should. Donít wait until it is too late!