Scripture textJoel 2:28 – “28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”

            In Sunday school class one day when I was a teenager, I remember that we talked about what our favorite prophesy in the Bible was. Some said Acts 2:38; some of us said Isaiah 9:6. I said Joel 2:28. I liked this scripture not only because it was fulfilled in Acts chapter 2, but also because it is still being fulfilled today. I also like Acts 2:38, but I like the next verse when it says – “39For the promise is unto you an to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

            The key word here is “promise,” which means: an assurance that one will do or refrain from doing a specified thing. My promise was fulfilled on a Monday night in June of 1995 at church camp in Redfield, Arkansas.

            I would like to tell a story about how the promise was fulfilled in one of my family member’s life. In the winter of 94-95, my grandpa (my dad’s father) was sick and got lung cancer. He stayed in the hospital for a couple of weeks and then he came to my dad’s house so my dad and stepmother could take care of him. I was only 10 years old at the time, so when I saw him, I did not really understand how serious he was. One weekend, I was over there, and on a Sunday morning my dad said that we were going to church. He said that we were going to go to a different church than the one we had been going to, which was the Methodist church, the church that his parents went to. So I went with my dad and my stepmother to this church for the first time. That first time I got a headache, because I had never been to a place where the music was so loud. After a month or maybe less of going to this United Pentecostal Church of Pocahontas, Arkansas, there was one Sunday that I went and I saw my dad and stepmother both go to the altars, and they started lifting both of their hands while they were holding each other’s hands. After that service, I found out that they had both received the Holy Ghost. About a month after that, my grandpa was back in the hospital. The whole family was around because we knew that it was a matter of time. After 3 days of waiting, he did pass away, but not before something amazing happened. I never knew this until about three years later when she testified about it, but my stepmother was by my grandpa’s bedside holding his hand. She said that he was saying a prayer out loud just before he went saying, “Take me Lord, I am ready to go, just take me. I am ready to go home.” But those were not his last words. He had started crying and my stepmother said she heard him speaking in tongues just before he left. My grandpa’s last words were in a heavenly language and only the Lord knows what his last words here on Earth were.

            Now this cannot happen to everybody all of the time. Just because it happened to my grandpa, does not mean that everybody can wait until they are ready to go to get the Holy Ghost and get to heaven. You can’t just live your life as you please for 60, 70, 80 or however many years you might live, and just one day in your deathbed turn it over to God.

            A good example is this: the first race of the 2001 NASCAR racing season was the Daytona 500. In racing, the Daytona 500 is the pinnacle of racing. These 25 to 30 racers race at 180 M.P.H. for 200 laps going two or in this case 3 wide around an oval race track. Most of this race, there were no problems. Then, all of a sudden, one car, the #20 Tony Stewart gets turned the wrong way and gets hit from behind. His car goes flying in mid-air backwards, doing cartwheels and tumbling over cars left and right, knocking them out of the race in the process. His car finally comes to a crashing stop after doing cartwheels over cars for a good 10 seconds. You would think that he would have serious injuries, but because of the provisions and the safety precautions that are built into the car to protect the drivers, he suffers only a bruised collarbone. So after the mess is cleaned up and the drivers are back on the track, the race resumes. After 198 of 200 laps are complete, the top 2 are Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Dale Earnhardt. With 1 lap to go, #3 Dale Earnhardt is trying to hold off cars from behind to let his son and his close brother-like friend win the race. All of a sudden a car taps Earnhardt from behind. He gets out of control and crashes head on diagonally into the wall. After seeing Tony Stewart’s crash and the minor injury he obtained, no one thinks Earnhardt is injured too severely. But 10 minutes after the crash, Earnhardt is pronounced dead. Dale Earnhardt was one of the greatest drivers to ever strap on a seat belt in many people’s eyes, and no one thought that this racing legend would die in a crash at the age of 49.

            I don’t think that he had time when he was crashing into that wall to repent of his sins and receive the Holy Ghost. That is why we need to be prepared now, before something like this can happen, because we are not promised tomorrow.

            But I would have to say that when my dad and stepmother got the Holy Ghost, I saw the change in them and I wanted to have what they have. I knew for a fact that I was a sinner.

            1 Timothy 1:15 – “15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” That scripture described me perfectly then. I was the chief of sinners and I did anything and everything that a 11 year old could do.

            But now this scripture describes me best: 1 Corinthians 15:10 – “10But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

            I am so glad that I have Jesus in my heart now and I did not wait until I was ready to repent of my sins.