“Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” (Isa. 57:1-2 NLT).
I came home last night with my wife after prayer meeting to find out that David Wilkerson had been killed in a car crash.
It was an odd feeling, because before prayer, the Pastor asked if we had any testimonies. Everyone who testified, told of how during the week or even on their way to prayer meeting, they had escaped being in bad car accidents. How faithful is our Protector and Provider!
Then I read this news. I could only say I felt both the comfort and dread of the Lord. I know this man went home to be with the Lord. So many people are speaking and writing in tribute to this man who touched so many lives for Christ and founded that Soul Saving Station of a church in the heart of New York City and what is now known as World Challenge. David you will be missed, but one day we will all rejoice together in the presence of Christ who died for us and sealed our pardon with his blood!
But I wondered with a certain sense of dread thinking of what significance this holds for us who have been touched by his ministry and the words of admonition he gave us while alive.
I was concerned last evening thinking about the scripture with which I opened this article. As much as I want to provide comfort those to who remain here grieving. As much as God protects his people miraculously in hard times-He also protects his saints by taking them home! As John Gill says there are, “safely housed in heaven, that they may escape the evil coming upon a wicked generation.” When our work is over and complete, God calls us home, even in a manner that fills us with so many questions. I know the Lord will provide refuge for those who remain on earth but all this makes one examine their heart. Many of God’s people living for Christ love to see men of God exemplify the truth in a day of so many false prophets and deceivers. How there is such a hole left in history of our lives when they leave us!
I had heard many good things about Brother Wilkerson, his humility and tenderness and generosity from my family who attends and is involved in the church he founded in Manhattan. My love for this man is based on his love for Christ and his Word. I admired his intensity and strong gospel preaching. In a day full of compromise and pandering, men like David Wilkerson are hard to find. He preached unapologetically and yet with such grace about repentance and holiness. He believed as I do, that “God has never in the history of mankind, allowed his name to go long offended.”
How we need men of God that preach the Holy Scriptures in the power of the Holy Spirit! It is a sign of God’s mercy to us and our nation and the world.
Last evening, I began to reflect what the old sage A.W. Pink said in his book on the Life of Elijah, “The removal of the ministers of His truth is a sure sign of God’s displeasure, a token that He is dealing in judgment with a people who have provoked Him to anger…there is no surer and more solemn proof that God is hiding His face from a people or nation than for Him to deprive them of the inestimable blessings of those who faithfully minister His Holy Word to them…so much more dreadful are spiritual calamities than material ones…for the Lord to remove His teachers into a corner was the sorest loss His people could suffer..”
Oh Lord have mercy upon us! Send us men of God! The Lord is the only one who can show us any good. We need God’s goodness and mercy in this day! Mercy and goodness that come in the form of men who preach the Sovereignty of our God and his saving grace in his Son Jesus Christ. May other men now come forth in this dark hour and shine as beacons with the gospel of Jesus Christ to this generation.