The Ambulance Couldn’t Save Him
4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:4-10
Not too long after I arrived in New York City to do my streets ministry work and devotional writing, I was wandering through the park one day with one of my beloved dogs and noticed an elderly man having great difficulty getting up from a park bench. He had a cane, but the cane was doing no good at all. It was a very hot day, a clear challenge for an elderly man, and an extra challenge given the hot day had come in stark contrast to a long cold winter that had not completely ended. It turned out he had been on the bench, it seems, for quite some time, without water.
“Would you like help?” I asked him.
His answer was immediate.
He was clearly grateful, and I was grateful for the opportunity to be a help as I love to help people whenever the Lord gives me the opportunity.
Unfortunately, despite my offer to help, he wasn’t strong enough to stand up. At least yet. So we chatted, and I figured with time he would be able to get up.
I offered to get him some water, and when he said yes, I returned my dog to my apartment and brought him water and a little snack.
Neither did much good.
As soon as I had the opportunity, I talked to him about the Lord Jesus Christ. My favorite topic.
He said he was a believer in Christ. But as bits and pieces of his story came forth, clearly there was a problem bigger than the fact he physically couldn’t get up from the bench. Though he professed to believe in Christ, he shared details of his life that made it obvious he hadn’t fully committed his life to Christ.
After some time, for about the third time, I asked if he wanted me to call him an ambulance. His answer this time was different than the previous times. Yes. Call an ambulance.
To make a long story short, with the help of a passerby, a few park rangers, and ultimately the police, what turned out to be over an hour’s wait for an ambulance finally ended with the ambulance showing up and the physical help he needed arriving.
I wish I could tell you this story ends with the emergency care workers saving the elderly man, but I am sad to say tragically this is not the case.
See, before their arrival, he shared about some people he had hurt. When I told him he needed to ask their forgiveness, he angrily and bitterly said he would not. When I said he needed to ask God to forgive him for his sins, he blatantly emphatically said he would not. When I explained we need to forgive in order to be forgiven, to the best of my recollection of our conversation, he didn’t care. When I told him something about how we had called for the ambulance, he swore angrily about how the call had been made.
Friend, it’s more than likely that the medical care workers helped save the man’s life that day from what was probably dehydration, perhaps a drinking problem, perhaps malnutrition, and only God knows what else could have made him so weak that day, but no ambulance, no hospital, no medical care workers, nobody and nothing human whatsoever can save the life ultimately of him, of you, of me, or of anyone on this earth.
Every one of us humans is a sinner against God bound for forever in hell and the lake of fire in forever torment away from God unless we turn away from our sins, confess we are sinners and seek God’s forgiveness, believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, is Lord, died on the cross for us and our sins and was raised from the dead, are forgiven by God through Christ, and show forth our faith in Christ with our lives being devoted to Him henceforth.
The ONLY way to heaven, the ONLY way to a forever relationship with God, the ONLY way to God’s forgiveness, which we need to be in fellowship with Him, is through Jesus Christ as Lord.
All around the world, medical care workers can help save human lives as far as humans are concerned physically. But countless people worldwide whose lives are physically saved will still spend forever in hell and the lake of fire because the ONLY WAY to the salvation that lasts forever, to the most important saving of all, to being saved from God’s wrath and fiery forever torment, is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
I can only hope the man will ultimately turn away from his sins and turn his life over to the lordship of Jesus Christ, and I can only hope that those reading this who have not yet done so will hear in this message the most important truth of all when it comes to our lives being saved.
We are all DEAD in our sins, because all sins lead ultimately to death, hell, and the lake of fire, and the ONLY way to salvation, to being given everlasting life, is through JESUS CHRIST WHO IS LORD FOREVER.
The ambulance couldn’t save the man, nor can anything or anyone on this earth ultimately save us as far as eternity is concerned.
BUT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST died on the cross and was raised from the dead so all who turn away from our wickedness to God and His ways through faith in Christ as Lord will be saved forevermore!