Jack's Journey (KJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV 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 following story is based on a factual narrative—one of many that Jack himself shared before he died. In many different circumstances, Jack used his keen sense of humor to lighten the hearts of those around him. Before he finished telling this story, Jack had even the most sympathetic listener laughing with him.
He was tired. After a long trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and getting checked into the lodging house, a warm bed sounded delightful. Yet anxiousness overcame sleep much of the night.
So that the reader can better understand why Jack was so anxious, I will explain that he and his son Kevin were not in Pittsburgh for tourism or another form of vacation, but for a major operation on Kevin. It wasn’t that Kevin, a grown man, needed Jack to accompany him to Pittsburgh, but as a loving father, Jack wouldn’t have thought of allowing Kevin to go alone from his home in Michigan. He wanted to support his son.
Just before four o’clock in the morning, Jack decided to begin his day. By five o’clock, he and Kevin arrived at the hospital, then prayed together. Jack accompanied Kevin inside and stayed with him while he prepared for surgery. Then with one last smile and another encouraging comment, Jack took his leave and headed for the waiting room. Jack went from one waiting room to the next, usually stopping to cheer someone and always leaving Sunday School papers on the tables for others to find and read.
Late afternoon, the surgery was completed and Jack received word that Kevin was in recovery, although he could not visit until eight o’clock that evening. Promptly at eight o’clock, Jack was in the room, but he didn’t stay long since he and Kevin were both quite tired and Kevin was still coming out of a groggy sleep. Also, the last bus available to take Jack back to the lodging house would be at the bus stop at eight forty-five. After the visit and a prayer of gratefulness to God, Jack set off to catch the bus; but, just as he neared the door of the hospital, alarms sounded and a voice over the intercom broadcasted, “Code seven! Code seven!”
Jack was astonished. “What’s going on?” he asked the receptionist.
“They’re doing a drill,” came the reply, “and I’m sorry but you won’t be able to exit through that door.”
What now? Jack wondered.
“Is there no way out?” he queried.
“Well, you can exit through the garage door,” the lady stated, “but you won’t be able to reenter.”
“That’s no problem,” replied Jack. “I just need to get out in time to catch the bus.”
Safely past the door, Jack glanced at his watch. Eight thirty-five…but (as he looked up and around) just where will the bus stop be in relation to this garage door?
A perplexed Mr. Jack walked around the outside of the hospital, trying to find the bus stop, all the while looking for someone to give him directions. When he finally did locate the bus stop, it was too late—the bus had already come. Now, with daylight and energy both rapidly diminishing, Jack decided upon the only other form of transportation he could think of—walking the two miles…
Arriving exhausted but alive, Jack prepared for bed immediately. No more than two hours had passed when smoke alarms interrupted his sound sleep. Jack stirred. Where am I? he wondered. Maybe this is only a dream. But no; just then, a commanding voice announced over the loudspeaker, “Everyone should leave the building immediately. Please be calm and everyone will be okay. Exit the building immediately. Thank you.”
At this declaration, Jack jumped out of bed; he wasn’t dreaming! Nor was he going to appear outside just as he was. Maybe I can come to Lord Jesus “just as I am” as a favorite song of mine says, Jack thought, but it would be embarrassing to be seen by men without tidying myself, at least a little. Hastily putting on his day clothes and running a comb through his hair, Jack had the nagging thought that he should be going, especially since he was on the fifth floor and the smoke smell was getting worse. Grabbing his shoes in the darkness, Jack was finally ready.
When he arrived downstairs, one of the last, Jack found everyone assembled in a living room-like lobby. Smiling to himself as he looked around, he thought, “Boy, I’m sure glad I don’t look like these people—crazy hair, funny-looking pajamas—I’m sure they wouldn’t look this way in public if they had a choice… As they stared back at Jack, however, a disturbing realization swept over him: I never actually looked in the mirror—what if they are thinking the same thing about me?
It didn’t take long before Jack was relieved to understand that the smoke was, in fact, a result of food left too long in the microwave.
Back in his room, Jack prepared for bed a second time. But first, looking in the mirror, he noticed that the front of his button down shirt looked a little lopsided; he had missed the top button. Then he saw his feet with shoes from two different pairs. Now he was sure that others must have thought his appearance humorous, too! As Jack dozed off to sleep, he thought of the many other people like him…
The Bible says “all [people] have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that God must one day judge sinners. Yet, just like Jack thought he could tidy himself to look better before everyone at the lodge, many people think that they can do good things to look better before God and other people. In the end, Jack discovered that he wasn’t any better than the other lodgers after all.
Everyone who thinks they can “tidy” themselves by doing good things will soon find that they are wrong. You see, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away,” as Isaiah 64:6 says. It is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he [God] saved us…” (Titus 3:5). Only by believing on Jesus, God’s Son, who already came to earth and took the punishment of every sinner that will believe on Him, and confessing their sin to God can sinners escape punishment in the lake of fire and go to heaven.
We are thankful that in Jack’s case the fire was not real, but the fire of hell is real. If Jack’s fire had been real, he could have lost his life by waiting too long to escape from the building. More importantly, as Jack would want you to know, every sinner who waits too long to accept Jesus as his Savior will certainly be lost forever in the lake of fire. Have you trusted in Jesus, thereby escaping the fire and judgment? Is Jesus your Savior? Are you on your way to heaven? Or are you waiting like Jack did, trying to make yourself look better? If you wait any longer, you may be too late!