There once was a man who was righteous, his name was Richard. Every single day of his life was dedicated to the Lord’s work. He raised his family in church, he operated his business honestly and he had a great relationship with his wife. He served on his church’s board, he volunteered his time overseas and he spent every morning in prayer to start the day off right and to get in tune with with the Holy Spirit. He watched his kids grow, taught them in the ways of a righteous life and donated his money to missions.
When he turned 60 he started to get sick. His children would visit him in the hospital and his wife never left his bedside. His body was starting to wither and the doctors only gave him a few more weeks to live. Families from his church would come and visit him and pray with him and his children and grandchildren would cry in the hallway outside of his room. His church prayed for his recovery fervently. His friends would have prayer meetings in their homes for healing to come. He had lived a great life and everyone wanted to see God’s will be done.
On the day that Richard died, he had a conversation with his wife that devastated her. He admitted that he was no longer a believer, and that it had been something he had been wondering about for a number of years. He thought that Christianity made no sense and that all his life up until then did not add up. He hoped his wife would share this with everyone that he knew. In his final breath he said “Everything is meaningless, there is no hope, there is no God and Jesus wasn’t real. Once I’m gone, I’m gone forever.”
A few hours after this conversation he passed away. Richard’s wife was too embarrassed to ever share this conversation with anyone else, she justified his deathbed realization to his sickness, and that he couldn’t possibly have meant anything by it. So everyone lived confidently in the fact that Richard was in heaven with Jesus as was mentioned many times at his funeral.
Unfortunately, now that we know the truth about Richard, we know he recanted his faith. Tweaked his propositional truths. Repented of his belief. His eternity now lies in the balance. Wandering in the corridors of purgatory or forever lost in the fires of hell.
This is how it works, right?