By Kenneth Allan Clark
“Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright Ó 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.”
Ring ring, ring ring, ring ring, went the telephone. Nine year old, Suzy’s head had just hit the pillow; she was very tired and looking forward to a good night’s sleep. She could hear Daddy answering the phone. He wasn’t on the phone long before he hung it up and Mummy called out; “Who was it dear?” “It was John, your brother in law,” answered Daddy.
Daddy went back into the lounge room with Mummy. Suzy could hear Mummy and Daddy talking. Mummy began to cry. It was an unusual cry for Mummy, as if great sadness and great happiness were mixed together. Soon Daddy was back on the phone. He was ringing his sister, Aunty Mary. When he hung up, he called out to Mummy; “It’s all arranged dear. I’ll go and tell Suzy what is going on. I don’t think she will be asleep yet.”
Daddy slowly open the door to Suzy’s room and speaking softly, he said, “Suzy, are you still awake?” “Yes Daddy,” came the reply from Suzy. Daddy sat on Suzy’s bed. Uncle John has just rung with some news about Aunty Flo - - -” “Aunty Flo!” Yelled Suzy, with a big glow of excitement. Suzy thought Aunty Flo was just the greatest aunt anybody could ever have. “How is Aunty Flo?” “Well you know Aunty has not been the best for a few weeks now,” answered Daddy. She has lived a good life and she is now old and tied. It is now time for Aunty Flo to go and live with Jesus in Paradise. Uncle John rang to tell us that Aunty Flo is not expected to see the night out, and she is asking for Mummy to come and see her before she dies and goes to be with Jesus.”
Suzy didn’t know what to say. She just threw her arms around Daddy and began to cry. Daddy continued to talk. “You know Suzy, this is both a happy time and a sad time. We are sad because Aunty Flo is going to leave us and we will miss her very much, and we are very happy for Aunty Flo because she is going to Paradise and there she will live with Jesus Christ forever and ever.” “I know that Daddy,” said Suzy; “But I’ll still miss her and it will be a long time before I ever see her again.” “I know you’ll miss her Suzy,” said Daddy; “but be happy for Aunty Flo. We all have to die one day and today is Aunty Flo’s day to go and live with Jesus.”
Daddy went on to explain that he and Mummy were going around to Uncle John and Aunty Flo’s, to spend an hour or two with Aunty Flo before she left. Soon Uncle Bruce and Aunty Mary will be here to take you with them for the night. Daddy explained that they had just moved into a new home. ‘You might wake up in the morning thinking you are in a strange place,” said Daddy. “But when you look around you will see all of Uncle Bruce and Aunty Mary’s things. Then you will know that you are in their home.”
Ding dong, ding dong. Ding dong, ding dong. It was the sound of the door bell. Uncle Bruce and Aunty Mary had arrived and Daddy was off to let them in. Suzy was quickly jumping out of her bed to grab her dressing gown while she put on her slippers. By this time Mummy was in Suzy’s room, quickly packing an overnight bag for Suzy. Soon Suzy was in Uncle Bruce’s car, and it wasn’t long before she was sound asleep. She was still sound asleep when they arrived at Uncle Bruce and Aunty Mary’s. Without waking Suzy, Uncle Bruce carried her inside and Aunty Mary tucked her into bed.
The next morning Suzy woke in a strange bed in a strange room. For a brief moment, Suzy was scared. But then she remembered last night. Aunty Flo was dying and she had asked for Mummy to come and see her before she left to go and live in Paradise with Jesus. She remembered that Uncle Bruce and Aunty Mary had come and picked her up, to take her to their home to sleep the night. Suzy looked around the room; she recognized the furniture and Uncle Bruce’s favourite verse on the wall:
It was Matthew 6:33
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well.”
Then she saw Aunty Mary’s favourite doll, Sally Ann sitting on the end of the bed. Suzy grabbed Sally Ann, hugged her, ran to the window with her and pulled open the curtains. “Wow!” she yelled, and her face lit up as she looked out over a large park, a park with trees, gardens, open fields and play areas. It must be Paradise, she thought. But then she looked down. Between her and the park was a six-lane highway, with high fences on both sides. “How will I ever get over those fences?” thought Suzy. “And that highway, it is so wide and so busy. Could I ever make it across without being run over by a car or truck?” Suzy found herself being torn between a great desire to play in the park and a great fear of crossing the highway.
Soon Suzy was having breakfast with Uncle Bruce and Aunty Mary. Aunty Mary explained that Aunty Flo had died during the night and had gone to live with Jesus. Then she said “Most of the family including your Mummy and Daddy are going to go and see Aunty Flo this afternoon. Suzy, would you like to go and see Aunty Flo?” Suzy’s eyes opened wide. “You mean I can go and see Aunty Flo in Paradise?” “No, I’m sorry Suzy. Aunty Flo has gone to Paradise now, and you will not be able to see Aunty Flo again until you grow old and die.”
“But her body is still here, she left it behind when she died. If you come with us to see her body, it will help you accept that she has gone, and that will help you feel happy for her. I know you feel sad that Aunty Flo has gone, but the happiness of knowing Aunty Flo is happy with Jesus in Paradise, will soon make you happy.”
After breakfast Aunty Mary said that Suzy could go outside and play. Suzy asked if it would be possible for her to go and play in the park, on the other side of the highway. Uncle Bruce said; “Sure you can Suzy. I will come along with you to the park. First you will have to put your play clothes on.”
Soon Suzy and Uncle Bruce were walking out the front door. Suzy asked, how are we going to get into the park?” “I’m glad you asked that Suzy,” answered Uncle Bruce. “You see the park on the other side of the highway?” “Yes,” said Suzy. “It is called Paradise Park,” said Uncle Bruce. “It is called that, because it is the perfect park. It has got all you could ever want and it is all free.
“You see the highway?” “Yes,” said Suzy. “It is called Death’s Highway,” said Uncle Bruce. It is called that, because when they first opened the park, many children were killed or hurt, trying to cross Death’s Highway to get into Paradise Park. So to stop children from crossing Death’s Highway, they have put those two very high fences on either side.”
“But how do we get into Paradise Park?” asked Suzy. Uncle Bruce turned and pointed down the highway a little. Suzy looked. There was a footbridge crossing over Death’s Highway, all the way into Paradise Park. You see that bridge Suzy?” “Yes,” said Suzy. “It is called The Jesus Bridge,” said Uncle Bruce. “It is called that, because it is the only way into Paradise Park. Children can try to get in by other ways, but they will never get in and they could get hurt or killed trying. There is no other way into Paradise Park. The Jesus Bridge is the only way.”
“This is a good picture of what happens when we die,” said Uncle Bruce. “How is that?” asked Suzy. “God our heavenly Father has made this wonderful place called Paradise. For us all to go and live in with Jesus Christ when we die and leave our body behind. But between us and God’s Paradise is the real Death’s Highway. We all want to go to Paradise when we die but none of us want to die and cross the real Death’s Highway,” said Uncle Bruce.
“But the fences, now can anyone get on to Death’s Highway?” asked Suzy. “Oh there are no fences to keep the dead off the real Death’s Highway,” answered Uncle Bruce. “But there is a way we can over Death’s Highway - - -” Then excitingly Suzy said, “you mean Jesus is the way to Paradise and we can all make it safely into Paradise if we invite Jesus into our lives?” “Yes that’s right Suzy.” “Then how come so many people are scared of dying?” asked Suzy, “I thought, like Aunty Flo they would all be looking forward to dying and going to live in Paradise with Jesus Christ.”
Uncle Bruce answered; “Some people are just too selfish to accept God the Father’s plan of salvation, and too independent and stubborn to ask Jesus to become Lord of their lives. They want to be their own boss and run their own lives to please themselves. This is sin, and if we live in sin, we cannot live in Jesus Christ and make it safely over Death’s Highway into Paradise when we die. Before anyone can accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they need to turn from sin, which is wrong living and turn towards right living.”
“Yes, but what is wrong living and what is right living Uncle Bruce?” “Right living Suzy, is living to please God the Father, loving one another and forgiving others as God forgives us. Wrong living is living to please ourselves and not forgiving others.
People think they will only be happy if they live to please themselves, but they are never happy for long. True happiness only comes when we live to please God and love others as ourselves.” “Oh I see,” said Suzy; “If I live to make myself happy, I will be sad most of the time. But if a live to make God happy and love others, I will be happy all of the time.” “That right Suzy, and once we have made that choice to turn from pleasing ourselves to pleasing God and loving others, we need to ask Jesus to come into our lives and help us to live right lives.” “Why do we need to ask Jesus into our lives?” asked Suzy. Uncle Bruce answered, “Because, without the help of Jesus Christ no one can live a good and right life. It is impossible to live a good and right life without Jesus to help us.”
Then Suzy asked, “But what if I fail to be good all the time?” Uncle Bruce answered, “Then God the Father will forgive you. Living in Jesus is not so much living a good and right life all the time, but a lifetime commitment to living a good and right life all the time. If we make the commitment to live our lives, always to please God and to love others, Jesus makes a commitment to always love and serve us. You and Jesus will become as one, and God will forgive your sins.”
“It is just like God meant a marriage to be. When Aunty Mary and I got married, we both made a commitment to love and serve each other, to not hang on to any anger towards each other and to be quick to forgive each other. When we made that commitment, we both made it publicly, and we both made it for life. Your Daddy and Mummy made that same commitment to each other when they got married. They don’t stay angry at each other do they?” Suzy answered, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen them angry at each other and they never stay angry with me for long.”
Uncle Bruce continued. “That is how all marriages should be, and that is how our relationship with God will be. When we invite Jesus Christ into our lives and make that commitment to love and serve God, the same way as God and Jesus love and serve us. God will never stay angry with us and He will always be quick to forgive us. Then when we die, Jesus will carry us safely across the real Highway of Death into God’s Paradise.”
“Suzy.” “Yes, Uncle Bruce.” “Would you like to invite Jesus into your life and make a commitment to turn your life around from pleasing yourself, to a life of Loving and pleasing God?” “Yes I would love to,” said Suzy. “That’s good,” said Uncle Bruce. “Now let us tell God the Father of your choice to love and serve Him, and let us ask Jesus to come into your life, to help you make that public commitment to love and serve God and help you keep that commitment. I’ll make it easy for you Suzy, why don’t I pray asking God and you pray along with me.”
Dear reader, if you too would like to invite Jesus into your life and make a commitment to love and serve God, as He loves and serves you. Why not pray along with Suzy and Uncle Bruce.
“Dear Father God, today I choose to turn my life around. I chose to no longer live my life to please myself; I choose instead to love and serve you and to love others as myself. Dear Jesus Christ I now turn from my old wrong and sinful ways and I make a commitment to you. From now on I choose to live a good and right life, living as you did, always to please God the Father. I know in my own strength I can never do this, so I ask you to please help me. Father God I ask you to forgive my many past sins, and to forgive me and put me back on the right path whenever I fail to do what is right. Please look after me. Help me to find a God-fearing church, where people will love me. Help me to make a public commitment to love and serve you, and to always be ready to share the faith and hope I have in Jesus Christ with others. I thank you Jesus for coming into my life, and I thank you Father for your Spirit, by which I am now born again into your family.”
“I feel great,” said Suzy. “I can’t wait to tell Daddy and Mummy of my choice to turn my life around and invite Jesus into my life.” “That is good,” said Uncle Bruce, “and here we are at Paradise Park.”
Or should I say the beginning of a new life in Christ Jesus.
To the reader,
I hope you have enjoyed this story, which is my way of preaching to you the good news. The following are the last words of Jesus Christ recorded by Mark.
Mark 16:15 – 18 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
If you have just made a commitment to repent and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, I urge you to find a Christian Church, a church that will baptize you, as a public sign of your commitment to repent, and a sign of your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
God bless you and keep you.
From God’s servant and yours
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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Copyright © 2000 & 2011, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior permission of the author Kenneth Allan Clark.
Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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