The Last Words of Saints and Sinners..
"Let me die the death of the righteous..."(Numbers 23:10)
Augustus Montague Toplady (1710-1778), will ever be famous as the author of one of the most evangelical hymns of the eighteenth century, "Rock of Ages," which was first published in 1776. During the final illness, Toplady was greatly supported by the consolations of the gospel:
"The consolations of God, to so unworthy a wretch are so abundant; that he leaves me nothing to pray for but their continuance."
Near his last, awaking from a sleep, he said:
"Oh, what delights! Who can fathom the joy of the third heaven? The sky is clear, there is no cloud; come Lord Jesus, come quickly!"
He died saying:
"No mortal man can live after the glories which God has manifested to my soul."
The Bible is a book that must be accepted by faith. If any other information supports or denies its validity, the Word of God will still stand alone as absolute truth. However, one of the most convincing arguments that reinforces the truth of the Holy Scriptures is the recorded last words of dying men and women, saved and unsaved.
Many saints approaching eternity have left behind breath-taking descriptions of the beauties of Heaven. Testimonies of the lost stepping into the horror of an eternity without Christ have also been recorded on the pages of history. Let us travel for a moment to the edge of eternity and view through the eyes of these dying mortals what lies beyond the vale of life upon earth.
Listen intently to the last words of saints and sinners.
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." (Revelation 14:13)
Last words of Saints!
A. Accounts from the Holy Scriptures
*The Bible records the final words of Stephen, as he was martyred for the faith of Jesus Christ. As Stephen neared death, the Lord allowed him to see through the vale of darkness and recognize Who was waiting for him on the other side.
"But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."
(Acts 7:55 - 56)
*The Scriptures also record some of the final words of the Apostle Paul. His last words were directed to Timothy, his son in the faith.
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (II Timothy 4:7 - 8)
B. Accounts from History
"I am going to Him whom my soul loveth, or rather who has loved me with an everlasting love, which is the sole ground of all my consolation."
"Lord Jesus, I am weary in thy work, but not of thy work. If I have not yet finished my course, let me go and speak for Thee once more in the fields, seal the truth, and come home to die."
"I know I am dying, but my death-bed is a bed of roses. I have no thorns planted upon my dying pillow, Heaven is already begun!"
*Dr. R. G. Lee was a great preacher during the 20th century. He was known for his ability to paint vivid, Spiritual pictures with his powerful preaching. Many claimed that Dr. Lee, through the Spirit of God, could make the invisible seem to be just in sight.
He so dramatically portrayed the Lord and the eternal Home of the saints of God. Yet when Dr. Lee was dying, he suddenly opened his eyes and said to his wife,
"I see Heaven! Oh...I didn't do it justice! I see JESUS! I didn't do HIM justice!"
*A few hours before entering his eternal Home, Dwight L. Moody caught a glimpse of the glory awaiting him. Awakening from sleep, Moody said,
"Earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go!"
Moody's son was standing at his bedside and said,
"No, no father. You are dreaming."
Dr. Moody soon replied,
"No, I am not dreaming. I have been within the gates: I have seen the children's faces." After a short time elapsed, Dr. Moody spoke once more,
"This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! It is glorious!"
*Great courage can be found in the final words of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
"I see from the number of physicians that you think my condition dangerous, but I thank GOD, if it is HIS will, that I am ready to go. It is the Lord's day; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on Sunday.
Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action!
Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks...", he stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished.
Presently a smile of sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly with an expression, as if of relief,
"LET US CROSS THE RIVER AND REST UNDER THE SHADE OF THE TREES."
*The saints of God have certainly left behind a blessed assurance that death is but a crossing over to Glory. It is not a grave but a graduation!
The final words of the saints supply an exciting reassurance that Christ has indeed removed the sting of death for His people.
In their triumph, we can find peace in knowing that death is merely a bridge between this life and eternal life with Christ!
II. Last Words of SINNERS!
*The last words of dying sinners are not a pleasant subject to discuss. Just as the accounts of dying saints are so thrilling to our soul, the last words of those dying in their sins is utterly horrifying!
It is a terrible task to examine the final words of those who began a Christ-less eternity at the end of a godless life.
Accounts from the Holy Scriptures
"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."
(Luke 16:23 - 24)
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
(Revelation 20:12 - 15)
B. Accounts from History
"Until this moment I thought there was neither a God nor a Hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty." (Sir Thomas Scott)
*A noted infidel by the name of Adams cried out these last words,
"I'm lost! Lost! Lost! I'm Damned! Damned! Damned forever!" His agony was so terrible that he tore his hair from his head as he passed into eternity.
*Charles IX was responsible for ordering the great massacre that took place on St. Bartholomew's Day. On his own dying day, Charles cried,
"What blood! What murders! I know not where I am. How will all this end? What shall I do? I am lost forever...I know it!"
*Voltaire, upon his deathbed, cried out, "Oh, Christ! Oh, Jesus! I must die abandoned by God and men." His condition was so frightening that his infidel associates were afraid to approach his bedside. Voltaire said to his doctor, "I am abandoned by God and man. I will give you half of what I am worth, if you will give me six months of life."
The doctor replied, "Sir, you cannot even live six weeks." Voltaire immediately answered,
"Then I shall go to Hell, and you will go with me!"
"Devils are in the room ready to drag my soul down to Hell! It's no use looking to Jesus now; it's too late!"
"What argument is there now to assist me against matters of fact? Do I assert that there is no hell while I feel one in my own bosom? That there is a God I know, because I continually feel the effect of His wrath. That there is a hell, I am equally certain, having received an earnest of my inheritance already in my own breast. Oh! That I was to lie a thousand years upon the fire that is never quenched to purchase the favor of God, and be reunited to Him again! But it is a fruitless wish.
Millions and millions of years will bring me no nearer to the end of my torments than one poor hour! O Eternity! Eternity! Oh! The insufferable pangs of hell! Oh Eternity! Forever and forever!"
*The sad reality is that every infidel whose last words can be found recorded expressed unimaginable grief and fear of death.
We all have a DATE with DEATH!
All of us are born on death row. Most people are scared to death of dying. They do not want to talk about it or be talked to about it. Man has no way of knowing the date of his death. Everybody knows their BIRTHDAY but nobody knows their DEATH DAY!
The Bible teaches us that death is an appointment (Hebrews 9:27). Unlike all other appointments, death is one that cannot be rescheduled. The Scriptures also teach us that death is NOT the end. After death there will be a judgment. The saints of God will be clothed in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. The lost sinner will stand with his sins open before God and be sentenced to his eternal condemnation.
Examining the last words of saints and sinners causes me to say with the Scripture, "Let me die the death of the righteous..." (Numbers 23:10). The child of God does not have to fear the day of death.
No Christian has ever been recorded recanting in torment in their dying hours.
Death is Certain.
Judgment is Sure.
Sin is the Cause.
Christ is the Cure!
*what will your last words be???