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Famous Last Words

Christin Ditchfield

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Sooner or later it happens to all of us. The time comes for us to draw our last breath and pass from this life into the next. Over the years history has recorded some fascinating "famous last words" . . .

I've never felt better.
--Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., actor
I am about to--or I am going to--die; either expression is correct.
--Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian
Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something.
--Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary
All my possessions for a moment of time!
--Elizabeth I, Queen of England
Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what?
--William Saroyan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author/playwright
Oh my poor soul, what is to become of you? Where do you go?
--Cardinal Mazarin
Up until this time, I thought that there was no God, neither Hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and that I am delivered to perdition by the righteous judgment of the Almighty.
--Sir Thomas Scott, Chancellor of England
I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.
--George Washington, President of the United States
I am still in the land of the dying; I shall be in the land of the living soon.
--John Newton, slave trader turned pastor and hymn-writer

These words were expressed by men and women standing on the very threshold of eternity. Some were prepared. They had made their peace with God. But others were completely caught off guard. They were not ready to go. Their last moments were filled with uncertainty--even fear and dread.

The Bible says, "it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Every one of us has sinned--we've all fallen short of God's righteous and holy standards. That sin leads ultimately to death and hell--eternal separation from God. In His goodness and mercy, God made a way for us to be reconciled to Himself. John 3:16 tells us, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

Jesus took our place. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. In John 11:25-26, He promised, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die."

As He hung on the cross, Jesus exclaimed, "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit" (Luke 23:46). He made it possible for us to do the same. When the time comes, our last words can be words of hope and faith and trust. We can look forward to our future home in heaven, where we will experience an unspeakable joy and unshakable peace that will last for all eternity.

Instead of a thing to fear or dread, death becomes our passageway to a glorious new world. The Bible tells us, "No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

If you haven't received Jesus Christ as your Savior, don't put it off another day! Take time right now to invite Him into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.

You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I turn now from my sins and receive You into my life. Thank You for sacrificing Your life to save me, then rising to life again that I may spend eternity in heaven with You. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. Amen.

2002-2005 Good News Publishers. Used by permission.
Translated by permission of Good News Publishers
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