Goodbye Joe (NKJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: NKJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the NKJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
The whistle blew, and in the railroad shops of a Pennsylvania town the men laid aside their tools, hurried past the watchman, and went out the large gates to their homes, happy that another week of work was ended.
I worked in those shops for a number of years with a young fellow named Joe. He was hard-working and friendly. He loved hunting, and the season had just arrived. Joe couldn’t wait to get away from work and out into the woods.
The shops closed at noon on Saturday, and Joe’s plans for the weekend were all arranged. I had spoken to him many times about the love of God and how to prepare for eternity. I longed for Joe’s salvation, and pressed on him his deep need of the Saviour, who suffered, bled and died to save us from eternity in Hell. “Christ died for our sins … He was buried … He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). I pleaded with him to not reject such wonderful love and mercy, urging him to repent and believe the gospel—to receive Christ now. Smiling as though he pitied me, he replied, “I will sometime, not now.”
As he was leaving the shop, I reminded him to be careful and said, “Goodbye, Joe.” Never will I forget that moment, as he rushed away, when he glanced back, waved his hand and called out, “Goodbye.”
I returned to the shop Monday morning, but Joe was not at his bench. Supposing him to be late, I remarked to another worker, “I wonder where Joe is?”
Reluctantly he replied, “Haven’t you heard?”
“Heard what?” I asked.
“Joe’s dead … killed Saturday afternoon in an accident with his own gun.”
I was stunned and heartbroken. Not only did a young man—a friend and coworker—lose his life, he entered eternity without Christ. Tragically, he heard the gospel and was invited to accept Christ just a few hours before he died, but he only smiled and replied, “Sometime, not now.”
Many, like Joe, may not be atheists or God-haters, but merely procrastinators—intending or hoping to decide sometime, but “not now.” O dear traveler to eternity, I plead with you. Ponder these things. You may have made your plans for the next few days or years, but have you included God in them? When will you? God loves you, Jesus is calling you, the Holy Spirit is entreating you. Life is shorter than you can imagine, and your plans do not always come to pass. Do not put off the salvation of your precious soul.
Dear reader, when you say your last “Goodbye,” where are you going—Heaven or Hell? It can only be one or the other. Sin is a terrible reality. Eternity is near. Have you prepared for it? Have you seen your need of the Saviour that God’s love has provided? Have you repented of your sin and trusted Him?
Open your heart’s door and let the light of these blessed Holy Scriptures shine in:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16,18).
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (Romans 10:9,13).
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
“Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1).
—C. D. Hepner