david maxey

November 4, 2009

Before He Dies

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 3:00 am

Quit smoking











A few days ago, after Diana’s gymnastic practice, as we were exiting the gymnasium we happened upon an acquaintance of ours – a father of one of the other little gymnasts. Evidently he was waiting for his daughter, and was whiling the time away, leaning nonchalantly against the cold metal wall of the gymnasium auspiciously puffing away on a cigarette. We greeted one another and chatted for a few minutes before parting ways. As Diana and I headed out to the parking lot to our mini-van, Diana made an astute observation, “ Papa, that man must not be a Christian, huh?” “Well, Diana, I honestly don’t think that he is,” I replied. “We should tell him about Jesus shouldn’t we?” I posed a rhetorical question. “How about you do it.” she replied. She hesitated for a moment before adding, “You should tell him before he dies.”


Unfortunately, Russia is rife with smokers. A guest from the States once told me that Russia is a smoker’s paradise, since a pack of quality cigarettes only costs around $1.00. Since smoking people are all around us, Inga and I often have to respond to our children’s comments and questions about smokers and smoking. Obviously, it is our desire that our children realize that smoking is a deadly, nasty bondage, and, therefore, never engage in it. So, we have instructed them that smoking will hurt one’s body and eventually even destroy it. When asked why one would smoke when one knows it will kill oneself, we often reply, “They probably smoke because they don’t know Jesus, or they don’t know that Jesus died on the cross so they could be free from sin.” We are careful not to let our children think that smoking alone will send someone to hell, yet at the same time we want them to realize how harmful it is. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to me that Diana assumed our smoking acquaintance: 1) didn’t know Jesus, and 2) was in grave physical danger. Her simple words impacted me greatly.


I believe that there is only one sin that will send one to hell, and that is unbelief, namely, unbelief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Jesus stated in John 3:18 that he who does not believe in the name of the Son of God is condemned. Yes, unbelief is the only sin that condemns the unbeliever. Smoking, as awful as it is, will not condemn to eternal death, for if the smoker comes to Jesus and believes in Him, he will receive forgiveness of every sin and be washed whiter than snow. So the issue of eternal life or eternal death rests solely in believing or not believing in Jesus Christ!


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