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My friend Norm is a United Methodist pastor. A while back Norm was telling me about one of his parishioners -- Bill. Bill was gravely ill in the hospital, and Norm was visiting with him when the doctor came in, and point-blank told the patient: “Bill... you’re dead! There’s no hope. You’d better get your things in order.” Just that bluntly. No hope. No comfort. No “how are you doing?”

After answering a few questions, the doctor left. Norm said that he and Bill sat there in silence for a few minutes just in shock, trying to take in what the doctor had said. Then Norm turned to Bill and said, “Bill, don’t you think you need now’s a good time to get right with Christ?” And there in that hospital room, Bill turned his life over to Christ. And he turned it all over to God.

The next day Bill was moved to Riverside Hospital in Columbus. A different doctor came in and said, “Bill, we’re not going to give up yet. We’re going to...

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