Summary: Charles was a believer in Christ whom I had the privilege of watching growing in Christ from a very worldly perspective to a disciple of Jesus Christ.
What would you do, if you had one week left to live? You would probably begin to realize what is really important in your life? You’d realize that some of things you’re dying to have really do not matter that much in the long run. Death is one of the things that brings us all to the point of recognition, that we are all made of the same material, and despite what the world may tell us of our own significance or importance, it is at best a deception and at worst a flat our lie.
The Psalmist tells us, teach us Oh Lord to number our days, that we might attain a heart of wisdom. Are you counting the days you have left before Death catches up with you? Most of us will probably be caught off guard by death’s arrival. Chances are death will come an inopportune time. Probably while we are in the midst of living. Most of us do not even think about death until we have to come to funeral, and even then, it’s somebody else’s death and not our own. So we still are not fully prepared for his arrival.
Can you imagine telling death, you have to pass me by, “I’m the mayor of a great city”, “I’ve got my first Platinum Song out”, “I’m faster than anybody on the court”, “Or I’m too busy and too important to stop what I’m doing.” Death simply has a deaf ear to these kinds of arguments. Realizing that upsets our plans for the future. No more than anything else, an impending death causes us to get things in perspective. Some of you if you knew all of a sudden you had two hours left to live, you’d leave this service right now.
One thing about the Word of God, is that it tries to keep us on track with how make decisions for our lives. It provides us with different strategies to try, different paths to take, and different ways to handle situations. But it ends with the reminder that one day, all of us will stand before God and give an account for what we have done. Deep inside we all know that’s fair. There is something in else that demands that there be justice in this life. Even the atheists and the unbelievers , among us think, you just wait, and you will get what you deserve. We think there is this moral force that eventually makes everything even out.
I want you to know, that it is more than just a moral force. It is a God who created this world and everything in it. A God who extends a personal invitation for everyone to enter into a personal relationship with Him. God extends this offer to some of the most unlikely of characters. With each of us knowing the truth about who we really are on the inside, we have to admit, we are somewhat surprised that God would be pursuing an active relationship with us.
After all, if God is God, shouldn’t God have known about me doing this, that and the other thing. Yes, God knows about it all. God even knows about some things we have long since forgotten, but God is still interested in this personal relationship.
We celebrate a Homegoing this afternoon and not a funeral, because Charles Marcus opened up his heart to God to begin a personal relationship with God. Now Charles has been a generous person for much of his life, but for a good portion of his life, Charles was not allowing the Lord to have His way in his life.
Charles made it clear that he would help others if he could, but if somebody crossed him the wrong way, he was going to get even. He didn’t mind turning an occasional Cheek, but he was only going to do it once. Charles understanding of God, was more like a Santa Clause figure in which you got points for doing good deeds, and if your good deeds outweighed your bad, somehow you could still expect to get a present in the end.
A number of years ago, Charles asked to see me about some things in his life, I said okay. I didn’t know what he wanted to talk about. It turned out that he wanted to talk about the Scriptures. He had read a verse in the Bible, believed it, and nothing of the sort of thing he was expecting had happened.
It turned out that the verse was, John 14:14 in which Jesus says, “Whatever you ask for in my name, I will do it.” Charles explained to me how he had asked God for 2 million dollars, so that he could live on the French Riverera. Why had God not answered that simple prayer? I just knew he had to be kidding, but he was not. He honestly wanted to know what was holding up the 2 million dollars. I was thinking this guy has a long ways to go in understanding that a Christian is called to a life of sacrifice and not a life of ease.