Ready? Colby's Story
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: ESV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the ESV 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.)
As the words of Colby’s grandfather echoed from my phone, emotions surged through my body, sending immediate tears to my eyes and the words, “God no!” from my mouth. This young man—who had passionately served Christ, who was grappling with God’s call to preach, who had just graduated from high school, who was headed to one of his final youth group meetings—had just lost his life in an accident involving a tractor trailer while driving to church. The uncut weeds of summer that stood beside the mature corn obscured vision and extinguished a precious life. Moments later, surrounded by flashing lights and a broken family, I ran out of all but four words: “I am so sorry.” We just held one another and hurt.
While I’m unsure what form of human pain in this life is the worst, I’m certain losing a beloved child is among the top of the list. At home, when Colby’s only sister finally arrived, the new family now complete, they clung to one another in inexpressible loss and unfathomable pain. Unceasing tears, long silences, dangerous emotions, unspoken questions, and powerful memories filled the first moments as we sat. You cannot rush grief.
Unlike some other families, their experience was different for two reasons. The first is that there was hope in hurt. Every person in that room was confident Colby was alive, just not alive on the earth. The Bible clearly states that physical death is not the end of our existence. This vapor of physical life is really just the beginning of an eternal existence for all mankind. All people will live in one of two places forever once they die physically.
In heaven: “ … [to] be away from the [physical] body, [is to be] at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Or in hell: “And in Hades [hell], being in torment, he lifted up his eyes…” (Luke 16:23).
Sure, Colby had sinned like every other person, and his sin separated him from a holy God. Scripture states, “for all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). The incredible news is that God provided a remedy for our sin, for its penalty and consequences. While mankind often unsuccessfully attempts to create their own way back to God through personal merit, God has already orchestrated the only way to reconciliation and heaven through his Son, Jesus. For a person to be reconciled to God, they must turn from all other “ways” they attempt to deal with the sin that separates them from God. Christ is the only way. They must believe that Jesus is God’s Son, that He came to earth, died on a cross, and rose again to reconcile them to God—to fix what sin destroyed.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Colby had realized there was nothing he could do; Christ had done it for him. He had turned to Jesus as Lord and placed his dependence on Christ’s death and resurrection to reconcile him to God. As we sat there in silent grief, there was overwhelming hope! Do you have that hope?
The second thing that made this silent hurting room hopefully different was that Colby did not just profess that he knew Christ, he demonstrated that Jesus was his Lord. Since Colby had been reconciled to God through Jesus, he had a personal relationship with God that drastically changed his life. The years he had lived were not full of waste and regret. He had lived to please God, through obedience to God’s Word and giving his life to help others. He had deep, satisfying, edifying relationships; he lived a full life. When he met God, as everyone will, it was a wonderful reunion with the Christ he loved and the Father he had served. Over and over the words of Paul were his testimony:
“As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20-21).
Wednesday night, July 7th, Colby was ready to meet God. Are you? Is Colby’s story your story? Have you turned from your “way” of dealing with the sin that permanently separates you from God and condemns to hell when you die? God clearly states you must turn from all the things you trust and depend upon to the death and resurrection of God’s son, Jesus as your only hope of being reconciled to God.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
Are you ready to meet God, or are you still trying to make your own way? Confess your sin and the need it has created. Believe in Christ the Son of God’s death and resurrection on your behalf. Turn to Christ alone in faith as your only way of salvation.
“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved… For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:9-10, 13).