THE CLIFFHANGER

By: Gary L. Rodgers

THE NIGHTMARE

Mom!!! Mom!!!!!! Mom help!!! What’s wrong Tyler? I couldn’t help daddy, I couldn’t pull him up! Honey daddy is OK he just left for work. I think you had a bad dream didn’t you? I don’t know, I couldn’t help daddy get up! How about you telling me what you dreamt about while I help you to wake up.

Daddy was hanging on the side of the cliff and I was trying really hard to pull him up. He was crying because he was scared and he kept yelling for me to help him. I tried really hard and I cried because I wasn’t strong enough to pull daddy up. His shirt was slipping in my hand and I screamed when I couldn’t hold on any more. Honey, daddy is ok, I promise. He is safe at work and you will get to see him when he comes home. But it seemed real Momma, like it was really happening. Tyler, I know that sometimes our dreams seem so real, but you need to calm down and wake up so you will feel better. Go wash your face and come down stairs and I will make you a nice breakfast. We will call daddy so you can talk with him too see that he is alright. We will do that ok? OK Momma!

Tyler was six years old at the time and the reoccurring nightmare kept haunting him off and on for about half a year. And all that Tyler could remember was the expression of terror on his dad’s face, and a hopeless fear in his dad’s eyes that stayed with Tyler years later. Tyler’s dad always pleaded for his help in his nightmare and said that he loved him and it tore at Tyler’s heart to think that his dad was going to die and he couldn’t do anything to help him.

When Tyler was about nine years old his Mother decided to start going to a nearby church that she had been invited to by one of its members.

It was a nice church and the people all seemed to be very happy and always made it a point to shake hands with Tyler and his mother and thank them for coming. Every Sunday Tyler and his mother would get ready for church but his dad never seemed to have the time or interest in going. Tyler always sat still and listened to the Preacher’s message and remembered that one time his mother went forward in a service to pray and ask Jesus into her heart.

ASKING JESUS INTO OUR HEARTS

Momma, what does that mean when you ask Jesus in your heart? Well son; Jesus died on a cross for everybody in the world because He loves us and wants us to come to Heaven to be with Him. And when I asked Jesus to come into my heart it means that I put all of my trust in Him to get me there, and He sent the Holy Spirit into my heart to live there and to teach me how to be a good person. But you was always a good person Momma. Well honey I tried to be, but everyone in the whole world has sin on them no matter how good they are, and the only way that they can have all of that sin washed off of them is to ask Jesus to forgive them and He will wash away all of their sin. Well why didn’t you take a bath then Momma? You always make me take a bath when I’m dirty! Well honey, sin is something that takes the blood of Jesus to wash it off of us. It’s not something that we can wash off on our own. Wow! You mean that you took a bath in Jesus blood? Well in so many words yes I did. Can I take a bath in Jesus’ blood to wash off my sin? Someday when you understand what sin is and you are ready for it, yes! You can wash in Jesus’ blood. Did Daddy wash in Jesus’ blood? Not yet Tyler, so you and I will need to pray real hard for Daddy so He can go to Heaven and be with us. I’m gonna pray for Daddy all the time. That’s good honey, you pray for him to ask Jesus to come into his heart. OK Momma!

NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME

When Tyler was twelve years of age he asked Jesus to come into his heart to be his Lord and Savior. Tyler grew in God’s Word and a few years later Tyler graduated from High School and then attended a Christian College where he was preparing to follow the Lord’s Will for his life to become a Pastor.

Occasionally Tyler’s Dad would come to listen to him preach. Yet his father never came forward to trust Christ and this weighed heavy on the young Pastor’s heart. One Saturday afternoon Tyler happened to be on his way downtown and thought that he would stop in to see his parents along the way. His Dad was sitting on the back Patio smoking his pipe and reading a sports magazine; and his mother was inside making up a dish to take to a fellowship meeting after church the next day. Hi Mom! Tyler! How are you doing son? I’m doing fine! Where is Angela and my grandson? They’re at home and I happen to be in the neighborhood so I thought that I would stop by to say hello. Dad’s out on the Patio. Thanks Mom, I’ll go and spend a little time with him now that I have him as a captive audience. Good, you do that. OK Mom!

“THOU KNOWEST NOT WHAT A DAY MAY BRING FORTH”

Hey Dad how’s it going? Tyler! What a pleasant surprise; you here by yourself? Yes I am. I have some people to visit nearby and I wanted to stop in to see how things have been going for you. Well I can’t complain any. Although I would like to take a shot at the guy who said that these were my golden years. I’m convinced that the only good thing about getting old is the nap! Well Dad I guess that as long as you are enjoying it that’s what really counts. I guess you’re right son. Dad I wanted to talk to you about where you will spend eternity. Now Tyler we have been through this a hundred times and you know where I stand on all of this. I know Dad, but I love you and I have been praying for you most of my life that you would get saved. I know you have son and I keep telling you that you have nothing to worry about. I’m not a criminal, I’ve been a good person all of my life and I was Baptized as a baby so I’m good to go. I know what you’re saying Dad but the bible teaches that we are all born into sin. In Psalms 51:5 it says

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” And in Romans 3:23 the Bible tells us “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Don’t you see Dad we are all sinners and none of us measure up to being equal with God. God is perfect and hates sin.

Zechariah 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these [are things] that I hate, saith the LORD.

Dad we all need to put our faith and trust in Christ. By us doing that God will cleanse us from our sin by washing it away with his blood. He gave His son so that we could have eternal life. In John 3:16-18 the Bible says.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1 8He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Romans 5:9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Ephesians 1:7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

So you see Dad the Bible tells us over and over again that the way that we get to Heaven is by putting our faith in Christ to forgive us and Christ will cleanse us with His blood. It’s not through Baptism and it’s not through church membership. You understand Dad that doing those things do not make you a candidate for Heaven any more than joining a Moose Club makes you a Moose. Tyler; I hear you and we have been over this many times before. You have your religion and I have mine. Dad I love you and I will not give up on you till the day that I die. Tyler, I love you too and I will see you in Heaven someday. You’ll see!  I hope so Dad, I truly hope so. Please think about what I said Dad and please take some time to read this tract. Ok Son for you I will. Thanks Dad. I must get going to my appointment. You have an enjoyable afternoon dad! Ok son, I’ll see you later. Tyler goes into the house and kisses his mother goodbye and says that he will see her on Sunday.

As Tyler goes out the front door and is headed toward his car he hears his mother scream John!!! Tyler runs to the back of the house and finds his father lying on the patio floor with his mother over him in tears. Tyler calls 911 and kneels down next to his mother and tries to talk to his Dad. But his father is crying out in terror and begging Tyler not to let him fall. That awful look on the face of Tyler’s Dad and the look in his eyes. Tyler recognizes it as the terrible nightmare that he dreamt so often as a child. Tyler keeps telling his Dad that he has a hold on him. Dad! Dad! Ask Jesus to forgive you so He can pull you up. I love you son! Dad! Listen to me! Dad!

ARE YOU A CLIFFHANGER?

This terrible nightmare of a person dying without Christ is a nightmare that happens over and over again everyday! Will you live the nightmare? Anyone that hasn’t put their faith and trust in Christ will find themselves as a cliffhanger someday. They will be holding on by their fingers, crying out in fear. The only hope for any of us is to trust Jesus today while we have a chance. Waiting for that so-called 11th hour on your death-bed is not something that I would want to gamble my eternity on. It didn’t work for Pastor Tyler’s dad and I can assure you that in all likelihood it will not work for you.

Death has no scheduled appointment. It could be at any moment. It could be today. Won’t you stop gambling that you have one more day? If you want to make Heaven your home then please bow your head in prayer and follow along with these words.

Dear Jesus, I know what sin is, and I know that I am a sinner. I ask that you would please forgive me and wash away all of my sin with the blood that you shed for me. Please send the Holy Spirit to come too live in my heart to teach me and guide me in righteousness. I know that you personally died for me, and that you were buried in a tomb and rose from the dead for me. I believe that you are now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. I put my complete trust in you alone as my Lord and Savior and I am trusting in you only to get me to Heaven. In your Holy and Precious Name I pray. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!