"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" (the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, NIV).
This week we join with all our Catholic friends to mourn the death and loss of Pope John Paul II, the spiritual leader to more than a billion Catholics worldwide. He was indeed a great man and a great moral spiritual leader who proclaimed his forthright message throughout his 26-year leadership of the Catholic Church. He will be sorely missed by millions worldwide.
On the positive side of this sad loss is the great world-wide outpouring of love for this man. Furthermore, it has been incredibly refreshing to see and hear the secular news media giving so much time and attention to a spiritual leader and hear them say that Pope John Paul II made it clear that Jesus Christ was the way of salvation. What a wonderful witness to the world, and a graphic reminder to all who are vigorously working to rid the public arena of all Christian witness—and to all who claim Christian morals are no longer relevant—for them to see such a worldwide belief not only in a spiritual leader but also in God!
For those who like to think differently, God is not dead. Communism tried to destroy God—and failed miserably in their attempt to do so. Some years ago Friedrich Nietzsche stated that, "God is dead." Today God says, "Friedrich Nietzsche is dead." Pope John Paul II is now dead but the impact of his ministry will not die and the belief in God in the hearts of men, women, young people and children all around the world will live on for all eternity.
At our church yesterday, Jim Green, the head of The Jesus Film ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ—a gospel film seen by multiplied millions worldwide—was telling us how Pope John Paul II gave a copy of The Jesus Film to every Catholic Cardinal in the world in his own language.
So together we extend our sympathies to all Catholics and pray that the passing of Pope John Paul II will be used of God to awaken a renewed hunger for God in the hearts of people worldwide and that they, too, will discover for themselves that Jesus is the way of salvation to all who believe in him and accept his gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
If you have never received Jesus as your Savior and received his forgiveness and eternal life, be sure to click on the link in No. 2 below for the article, "To Know God and Be sure You're a Real Christian.
Suggested prayer, "Dear God, today we thank you for the impact that Pope John Paul II had on so many lives worldwide and we pray for the comfort of all our Catholic friends. We also earnestly pray that his passing will be used by your Holy Spirit to awaken in the hearts and minds of people everywhere that they, too, have a great need for you and realize their need to accept Jesus as their Savior and therein receive your forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."