I was doing fine until I saw the video tribute to David Wilkerson. Now I am sobbing all over again. My tears are not of sorrow this time, I have come to terms with what is an inevitable part of this life, the certainty of death and the certainty of life after death. I know the Holy Bible teaches us about eternal life, the opportunity to spend forever in Heaven with Jesus Christ or to languish irredeemably forever in Hell (Hades). In Hebrews the 9th chapter and 27th verse (Hebrew 9:27), we are told that “It is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment”.
The knowledge and assurance of the outcome of what will happen when we pass from this life to the next can only be found in a life lived in, through and for Jesus Christ on this side of eternity. Don’t take my word for it read the scripture (the Holy Word of GOD). That also explains why when a man like David Wilkerson dies in this world, his life is celebrated, the sorrow is only for a fleeting moment and rejoicing quickly follows. We don’t rejoice at how or why he died. Christians rejoice at the beauty of a life lived for the designed purpose, for a race run well with the grace of God and for a legacy that lives on ‘for the glory of God and the souls of men.’
Lately I am beginning to see a lot of foolishness that is bound to camouflage itself as living for the purposes of Christ. It can be tiring, discouraging and may even leave one bitter if dwelt on continually. It boasts of confidence and authority but lacking in the very cry of the Saviors heart. Dear ‘purposed servant of God’, as you pound your chest and lash out as loudly and precisely as you can, do you hear the one cry of the Master…”Feed my sheep” physically and spiritually. David heard that cry and for that, many perishing bodies can believe in a God who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.”
This final quote of his in the Times Square Church pulpit, jostled me back to what it is all about, reminded me of the tutelage that I cherish and strengthened me to once again pick up my baton ignore the clowns and keep running my race. The following quotation is classical David Wilkerson, it is the heart of the man I adopted as a spiritual father and who provoked me to deny the world and all its grandeur (I could have had) to pursue Christ.
“…Thank God for family, thank God for 50 years of ministry. But folks it has boiled down to one issue, to one desire. It is more than wanting to be loved and appreciated, all the cheers and praises of men. More than being comfortable and knowing that you are secure in your old age…It comes down to this one issue, I want to be like Jesus, I want to see His face, be a reflection of who He is…”
You were Papa Dave, you reflected the heart of Jesus every time you thought of the less fortunate and not just your self and family. You reflected Christ every time you reached out to a hurting stranger or friend. You sure reflected Christ every time you humbly defrayed accolades and exaltation and took the low road. Could it have been why your ministry spanned the globe, every race and every disposition in life?