READ: 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:21-23 Appended Below
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2
On September 30, 2009, columnist Mitch Albom sat on stage at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan, to interview Ernie Harwell, one of the most beloved men in American sports. Harwell spent more than 50 years as a radio play-by-play announcer, mostly for the Detroit Tigers baseball team. His kindness, humility, and warmth as a broadcaster left an indelible impression on all who met him.
When Albom interviewed him, Ernie was 91 years old and had just announced that he had incurable cancer. But as Ernie talked, he wasn't about to let people feel sorry for him. Instead, he wanted to talk about the night in 1961 when he trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. And, during one of the final times this Hall of Fame announcer would be able to speak publicly, he concluded, I don't know how many days I've got left . . . [but] I can really know . . . whose arms I'm going to end up in, and what a great, great thing heaven is going to be.
Ernie was anticipating something special! He knew that God had a glorious eternal home prepared for him (John 14:2-3; Phil. 1:21-23), so he could look death in the face and praise God. Is that your confidence? Do you know that His arms are waiting to welcome you home? At the end, that's really all that matters.
Lord, when I take my final breath
And see You face to face in death,
Then shall my heart forever sing
The heavenly praises of my King.
For the Christian, death means heaven, happiness, and Him.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ,
which is better by far;