We would all like to believe that on Christmas Day all is calm, all is bright. Unfortunately, death never takes a holiday and Satan is no respecter of the time in which we celebrate the Savior’s birth. Death is a reality any day of the year.
It gives me no pleasure to report the various deaths that occur throughout the year, but it is my hope that by reading these posts every Monday that you will be encouraged to do something to save the lost. As a general rule, I post the odd deaths, the strange deaths, to demonstrate that people can be taken out of this world in a variety of ways. Jonathan Edwards said as much in his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God:
It is no security to wicked people for one moment, that they are in no apparent danger of dying soon. It is no security for the natural man, that he is now healthy, or that he does not foresee how he might suddenly be taken by some accident, though his present circumstances pose no visible danger.
The long and varied history of humanity disproves the assumption that we are not on the very brink of eternity itself, and that our very next step will not be into another world. The unseen and unexpected ways that people suddenly leave this world are too numerous to imagine.
The unconverted walk over the pit of Hell on a rotten bridge, and there are countless places on that bridge that are too weak to bear their weight. These places go unseen. The arrows of death fly unnoticed at high noon; the sharpest eyes cannot spot them.
God has so many unfathomable ways of taking people out of this world and sending them to Hell that He does not need miracles or unnatural causes to do so. His ordinary providence alone is able to destroy the wicked at any moment. All the means by which sinners leave this world are under His control. Those means are so subject to His power and choosing, that it depends no less on His will if God uses them than if He does not.
I was saddened to learn, as I read through two sections of the L.A. Times on December 26, 2008, these deaths that happened on or about Christmas Day:
- * Nine people were killed when a man dressed in a Santa suit went on a shooting rampage at a Christmas party, set fire to the house where the party was held, then killed himself.
- * An apartment blast, probably caused by cannisters of oxygen stored in the basement, killed 22 people in southern Ukraine.
- * A 7-year-old girl died after falling out of the window of her family’s fifth-floor apartment in the Bronx.
- * A 21-year-old skier was killed during an avalanche at the Squaw Valley ski resort.
- * A woman driving relatives to a holiday gathering in the San Diego area lost control of her van, which overturned, killing the driver and a passenger.
- * Eartha Kitt, the “sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality” died on Christmas Day.
Truly, the only happy holiday is when one turns from their sins and turns towards Jesus Christ.
Your friend, your neighbor, your loved one—that stranger on the street—may not have tomorrow to listen to you present the Gospel. What will you do about it, not next year, but today?
If you have not heard my very humorous sermon based on the video “8 Reasons Why I Don’t Share My Faith,” then please click here to listen. (You can also see the video as well.)