Examples of several men's life endings:
Graham: A disastrous end
A student election ploy made Billy Graham the President of the Freshman class.
After Billy Graham was expelled from Bob Jones University, he went to a small college and was eventually smitten with his lack of a born again experience. He dealt with his lack of faith and confessed his faith in Jesus Christ. All should have gone well from that point onward.
In 1948 Billy Graham held his first evangelistic crusade in a tent in downtown Los Angeles, California. A Lutheran minister near by told my cousin that she should stay away from Graham's crusade because he was dangerous and a Communist. This false accusation was because Billy Graham started out preaching the Gospel, and he preached that you could be a church member and still go to hell. That message terrified dead beat Lutheran pastors.
Crusade followed crusade as the years went by.
Billy Graham was asked by Fundamental Bible church pastors to come to Chicago with a crusade in the 1950s. He responded eagerly, and the Fundamental Bible believing pastors who invited him started preparing for the crusade. Graham sent his advance team people ahead to organize. These men went around Chicago making deals with liberal dead beat denominational churches. The Fundamental Bible believing pastors were told bluntly that they would have to work with the dead denominations or leave the crusade event. They left. Graham went on and on working with deader and deader leaders. His first music man was George Beverly Shea who sang the old Rodeheaver style of pain hymns that exalted Jesus Christ. In the end Graham used godless animals like Johnny Cash.
I saw Graham's works in Kenya during my high school days. It was very depressing to see how Graham brought about, by stealth, the gross compromise of the narrow way with the broad way. His message was the same old Gospel, but his method was the new evangelism which brought heretic church leaders together to allegedly do God a favor.
When Billy Graham left Nairobi, Kenya, the Bible based churches were permanently trapped in a bond of compromise with the World Council of Churches. Graham had master minded this treachery, and he boasted of such disasters, right around the world, as if he was doing God a service. His finale for Satanic ecumenism was his Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism, which brought together every filthy bird from around the world.
Today, Billy Graham is approaching the end of his life. But, his last appearance with 33rd degree Freemason Robert Schuler was the high point of Graham's career. Graham told Schuler that he believed that Buddhists who were sincere would be accepted by God, even if they had not believed in Jesus Christ. Graham also said he did not believe there was a real hell.
So, Billy Graham has NOT ended the way he started. He started out preaching the plain Gospel, and he ended by blaspheming the Gospel and teaching heresy. What a wicked way to end one's life.
Deuteronomy 32:20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
One day Van Impe realized that he might have a bigger target for the Gospel message if he went on the radio. He was right. His radio ministry grew, and the cash also started flowing better. Later, he experimented with teaching prophecy. The audience grew by leaps and bounds and the cash started pouring in. Finally, Van Impe determined that if he altered the prophetic teaching on the Whore of Revelation, and if he had soft words for the Pope, he might get Catholics in his following. It worked, and the cash flowed even harder. Then, Paul Crouch seduced Van Impe and offered him a place on TBN. Van Impe was warned that he would never again speak against the terrors of Rome. Crouch demands a formal agreement to lay off the Pope. Van Impe has thus ended his days in the pocket of a devil, Paul Crouch, and we now must question his very salvation, for the man has never been chastened by God for his defection to Satan's forces.
Deuteronomy 32:29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
In about 2010 Jack Van Impe went limping away from TBN after Crouch's son fired him. Van Impe tries to put a good face on it, but he in no man's land where neither the flake nor the Bible believers want him.
Rudy Atwood moved along to Youth For Christ. He played for the rallies at the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles for some years, and then Roy McKewin of Youth For Christ went for the sloppy kiss Christianity which brings in the numbers and saves no one. Rudy Atwood moved on again. He went from ministry to ministry, leaving behind many who would not stay on the narrow way. The last I heard, Rudy Atwood was 94 and teaching piano at Fairhaven College in Michigan, a very narrow Baptist school. Rudy never left the King James Bible behind as he migrated his way along the narrow way. Today, Rudy Atwood may well be with his Lord in the Glory, but he remains the very icon of Christian piano accompaniment for the narrow way. He is the God-blessed answer to Hovie Lister and Henry Slaughter and their Southern Gospel bookie manure.
I must reminisce a bit. I was about ten years old, and Charles D. Fuller used to record the Old Fashioned Revival Hour in the Long Beach Auditorium in California. My folks took me once to the Sunday afternoon meeting. We sat in the balcony, and still recall watching Rudy Atwood playing before the meeting began. He was all over the piano making glorious music. But, as he played, one by one, church musicians would come up and start talking with him. He would give 100% concentration to each one, chatting, making humor, and giving hints to making good music. Meanwhile; he never missed a note or botched a run. I was in awe of the man, and so have been many of you, I dare say. He was common as an old shoe, but he did what God gave him to do, and did it well, AND in fellowship with only those on the narrow way.
The Moral End:
Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through
the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled
therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
He spent the end of his days trying to justify having a second woman in his life.
This man was one of EP Vic's preacher boys and pastored Detroit Baptist Temple.
He had an affair with another woman, and blew his brains out with a shot gun.
This man served the Lord preaching a straight simple Gospel message,
and he helped teen agers get saved and delivered. He ended up preaching
vegetarianism, nearly casting the saints into hell for eating meat, and he died
in a plane crash with two young women. Even some of his old friends don't
know what to think. His end left everyone puzzled.
19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter
Those who would have a God honoring end must be learning all their life. They must study and apply the Truth from the Word of God.
23:18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
Good or bad, there is an end. We are tempted to drift into the end of our life in comfort. Make no waves. Act as if nothing really matters very much. A Bible believer is NOT born again just to use his fire insurance in the day of death. Every day counts for eternity.
7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in
spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
The end of life, the end of a project, the end of employment, and the end of education all have one thing in common for the diligent saint-- That end will be better than the beginning. It is a great accomplishment for a kid to say all his multiplication tables through for the first time without error. But, the A+ Masters thesis is infinitely more of a thrill, for the child is a man now, and this moment is the end, the sweet reward above any other. Even so, the end of my like must be sweet, the work finished, and the crown anticipated.
2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
23:10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
Balaam's wish was to die the death of the righteous. The problem was, Balaam wanted mammon in large measure, so he failed to achieve the end he wanted. He was eventually killed in battle by the righteous who hated him for his wicked deeds. Some preachers do wicked things, grab the deed to the church as they leave it and sell it, use concubines from the assembly, and generally give way to glutton and rage. They will end their days being hated and even destroyed by those they offended. This is what they deserve.
8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that
he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter
God gives us blessings and burdens, rewards and chastening, so that the end of our days will shine and be days of fruit and victory. Those of us are are still far from our end days must learn to lay aside our feelings about another saint who had been troubled and defeated by sin along the way, that is, if their latter day zeal is great and blessed. Carrying a grudge of another saint's sin may well be an accusation against God that he does not have the best plan for that saint. Please read that over again.
Samuel 2:26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever?
knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall
it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren? 27 And
Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning
the people had gone up every one from following his brother.
Someone has to stand forth and speak, act, provoke, or exhort other saints. To fail to speak and take the high ground could result in much sorrow and destruction in the Lord's Church. This also MUST be done out of a heart of compassion, NOT out of a judgmental spirit. The latter end will be fellowship and peace.
42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends:
also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came there unto
him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance
before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted
him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave
him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. 12 So the LORD blessed
the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep,
and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
The toughest times in our life have a glorious end planned by out Lord and Savior. He is not thrashing us because he is some morbid Greek god who loves to hear the screams of humanity as he humbles them. Job did indeed suffer, but he was raised on high like no man in his day.
41:21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith
the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen:
let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and
know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. 23 Shew the things
that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or
do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. 24 Behold, ye are of
nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.
The works and the best efforts of self-serving men, like Billy Graham and Jack Van Impe, are useful in the end. They teach the righteous and warn slow bellies to examine their own works and zeal. I learn from Jack Van Impe that the love of the cash flow will land me on the steps of hell, which is the Vatican to Jack. So, these losers are, strangely, teaching in God's school of life. But, their paycheck will be in the form of brimstone.
Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold
that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour
and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in
whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable
and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your
souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently,
who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
There is an end coming. This text talks about the possibility that we may come to our end suddenly at the return of Christ. Will we have been faithful to the end? Will our work be done when Jesus Christ appears? The verses above tell us the way to live, think, and conduct ourselves so that we will not panic as we either approach death or are surprised by the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which
is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in
all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed
in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless
in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Reformed churches talk about "confirmation." This is done when one of their youth is about 15 years old. Very bad timing! The "confirmation" of a saint comes as he steps through death's door into the presence of Jesus Christ. There is not potentate in any denomination on earth with the authority to say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant...." Those words can only be spoken by our Lord.
6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the
end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become
servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Here is another discussion of the two ends. You cannot have a happy ending without the "gift of God," which is gained by faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Who wants to have a long happy and prosperous life, only to burn in hell for eternity. A happy ending is more than material things.
5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord,
for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them
happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end
of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
The word "endure" is a key word in the discussion of how we end our life. Enduring means to stay the course. When a sea captain leaves port, he looks at the weather, determines the effects of his cargo, he measures all things against the condition of the ship, and he sets a course. His destination does not change, but how he gets there may have to change every time he takes the same journey. Once he sets the course, he stays on it. If circumstances force him to alter course, he does not head for Rio de Janeiro if his destination is Capetown.
Story time: In 1954 my parents were on their way to Africa for the first time as missionaries. I was eleven years old. We had accommodations on the Robin Wently, a freighter with first class cabins for about 36 passengers. The captain of the ship set course as usual from New York City to Capetown, South Africa. As we entered the Gulf Stream, we were hit be a very violent tropical storm. The ship was rolling so bad that we had to make special arrangements to even stay in our beds at night. We woke about the second morning to learn that the captain had changed course and was headed almost due west into the storm. The reason was that the freighter had several D-9 Caterpillars in the hold, and if one of them came loose, it would go right through the side of the ship. By heading into the storm, he stopped the extreme roll and pitch as he cut through the waves bow first. After three days of this, the storm died. He changed course again, and on we went to Capetown. The change in course did not prevent him from enduring to the end. We made Capetown in 21 days instead of 18, but we reached our end.
3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping,
that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction,
whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly
So, make your belly, your appetites, your god, make your glory, your fame, the things you should be ashamed of, and keep your mind in worldly things, and you will be destroyed in the end. Now, that is not hard to understand, is it? But, millions laugh it off and try anyway.
Jeremiah 17.11 As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.
22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it,
and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and
buy one. 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished
in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning
me have an end.
Everything in the Word of God is about Jesus Christ ultimately, and everything about Jesus Christ has an end. The end of Jesus Christ means the conclusion of the things outside of Jerusalem on a Wednesday evening about 1970 years ago, AND, in his resurrection three days later just before sunset on the Sabbath. If you hand your destiny on any other "end" in human history, your end will be hell and damnation forever. If you believe in, and preach, the "end" of Jesus Christ, that he is in the Glory calling all men to faith in him, you will have your reward personally from him. We are back to those two ends again, right?
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand:
be ye therefore sober, and
watch unto prayer.
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God;
if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth:
that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.,
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
I made these verses into a list of steps a Bible believer can use to reach a happy ending in Jesus Christ. How do you measure up?
Here is a glorious promise to the faithful saint.
29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts
of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call
upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And
ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 31:17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
What has God called you to do? Whatever it is, do it faithfully, stop worrying who approves, and end on high ground. If you have cooled off in your zeal for Jesus Christ, decide right now that you will not end that way.