I visited with Dr. M. R. De Haan often during the last weeks of his life. He talked freely about dying as he looked back on his ministry and ahead to the time when he would stand at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). I recall vividly on one occasion that he pointed his finger at me and said in his gruff voice, “Young man, it will not be long before you face the end as I do now. Keep this in mind as you serve the Lord: We must all give an account!”

That was in 1965. The intervening years have sped by, and I have now reached the age Dr. De Haan was when he went home to be with the Lord. I still enjoy good health, but I realize that I’m in the evening of my earthly life. Contemplating the judgment seat of Christ makes me keenly aware of my imperfections. But I find comfort in the many Scripture passages that assure me I am forgiven and accepted because I believe in Jesus Christ.

Unbelievers try to avoid thinking about judgment or death, but both are unavoidable (Heb. 9:27). But the good news for those of us who have trusted Christ is that His death, burial, and resurrection frees us from sin’s condemnation and death’s power. Now we can face the end of life with serenity and hope.