It’s often times been noted that those on their deathbed would indicate a regret or two over their past life. Either they regretted not spending more time with their family, being more loving to those close to them, or having wished they had or had not said or done something differently. As a result of these remarks by those on their deathbed many have tried one way or another to encourage others on ways they can avoid having such regrets.
These deathbed regrets are not limited to just those on their deathbed, but also extends to those close to them. These regrets often times sound similar to those who are dying, but instead of viewing things from the perspective of a life about to end, they view things from the perspective of losing someone dear to them and having to continue in life knowing this with no opportunity to do things differently in that specific relationship.
Regrets are not fun to tangle with, either to deal with your own or to help others with theirs. We know that with Christ we can have both forgiveness of the things we regret and freedom from them, but until we take that knowledge and embrace it in experience it can be very burdensome to have. While some have been able to find forgiveness and healing in these areas through Christ, for many the weight of such regrets is too much to bear any relief from and become entombed within them never experiencing what Christ can give if they would surrender them to Him, and still others will attempt to ignore them and try living life in spite of them.
As I think about deathbed regrets and what they mean to those who are left to continue through life carrying them, my mind begins to think of a time soon coming where many will come face-to-face with similar regrets they will have to carry for the rest of their life. Even though it would be great for us to live a life absent of any regrets when it comes time for us or someone we love to leave this life, these will pale in comparison to the one many will face sometime very soon. What is this great regret I’m referring to, and why would it be so great that others would pale in comparison?
There is coming a time very soon where Jesus will return for His Bride, those who have given their lives to follow Him no matter the cost. We know this event as the rapture of the Church. It is clear in scripture that not everyone who calls themselves a Christian or goes to church will be called up to be with Christ forevermore, and I can imagine the regrets many of those left behind will have moments after they realize what had happened and that they are still here. For some they may not understand at the time why they were left behind, but for others they will know exactly why. They will know why based on the many times that the Holy Spirit had tried to get their attention in the past regarding an area or two in their life, areas they ignored citing various reasons to justify why they could continue as they had been thinking these things would not keep them out of heaven. It is for these people that they will feel one of the greatest regrets of all, regrets of not heeding the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit or of the Godly, Holy Spirit inspired instruction of others. They will regret having ignored these promptings or instructions, and they will find themselves having to deal with such regrets for the rest of their life as life as we know it will no longer exist after this event called the rapture.
What are some of the regrets “Christians” who have been left behind will have? They could possibly have regrets for not being forgiving or for being critical and judgmental of others. Perhaps they could have regrets over not spending more time in prayer or the Word, or even being more involved in church. Others may be regretful that they allowed their time to be more consumed with TV, games, surfing the internet or Facebook. For others it could be because they made going to the gym, working on hobbies and projects, or going to the lake a greater priority than their time with Jesus and His people. It could be for a variety of reasons that I’m not even mentioning, but nonetheless there will be many who will have such regrets when that time comes. The question each of us have to ask ourselves, and not just once, is if there is anything or anyone that is interfering with what God is asking and requiring of us to do? These things may not be wrong in and of themselves, but if we ignore God’s promptings as we justify hanging onto them they could become the very source of such regrets experienced if we were to be left behind. We need to periodically take a close and honest look at ourselves and ask if there is anything we would hang onto even if Christ asked us to let go of it. On the surface, much like an addict who claims they can stop whenever they want, we can say we would have no problem giving something up if God were to ask us to, but we need to really take a serious look and see if there is anything that has a strong enough hold on us that would keep us from following God and being obedient to Him. These regrets, regrets for not having done things differently to ensure our place among those called up in the rapture, will be much greater than any regrets we can potentially have otherwise.
Regrets for things that keep us from going up in the rapture, these are the regrets best avoided, and at this point we still have a chance to prepare ourselves to avoid having such regrets. How about you? Are you living your life for Christ in such a way that when the time comes you won’t have any such regrets to endure?