“Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands.”—Jesus Christ (Luke 23:46) John Newton (1725-1807), a former slave trader who converted to Christianity and is known for composing “Amazing Grace” exclaimed, “I am still in the land of the dying. I shall be in the land of the living soon.” “U.S. President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) said, ‘Do not cry—be good children and we will all meet in heaven’.” “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die!”—Voltaire (1694-1778). His nurse reported that “All night long he cried for forgiveness.” “If I am to be saved, it is not as a prince, but as a sinner.”—Edward Augustus (1767-1820), father of Queen Victoria “I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.” —Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) “It is beautiful.” —Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) “Atheist David Hume (1711-1776) cried, ‘I am in flames!’ Those with him said his desperation was a horrible scene.” “I die before my time, and my body will be given back to the earth to become food for worms. Such is the fate of him who has been called the great Napoleon. What an abyss lies between my deep misery and the eternal kingdom of Christ!” —Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) “It is very beautiful over there.”—Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) “Sir Francis Newport (1620-1708), head of the English Infidel Club, said, ‘Do not tell me there is no God for I know there is one, and that I am in his angry presence! You need not tell me there is no hell, for I already feel my soul slipping into the fires! Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know that I am lost forever’.” “The famous nineteenth-century evangelist Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899 [who founded the school where my son Jonathan teaches]) said to his family, ‘Earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go.’ Moody’s son tried to tell his father that he had been dreaming, to which Moody replied, ‘I am not dreaming. I have been within the gates. I have seen the children’s faces.’ His last words were, ‘This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! It is glorious’!” Sir Thomas Scot (1535-1594), president of the English Lower House, said, ‘Until this time, I thought there there was no God, neither Hell. Now I know and feel that there are both and I am delivered to perdition by the righteous judgment of the Almighty’.” “I believe Lord, and confess. Help my unbelief!”—Peter the Great “Politician and writer Joseph Addison (1672-1719) said, ‘See in what peace a Christian can die’.” Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), Archbishop of Canterbury, was burned at the stake for his faith “As the flames began to burn, he cried out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit…I see the heavens open & Jesus standing at the right hand of God’.” “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit…Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” —Stephen, the first Christian martyr
Of all these people, only Jesus rose from the dead, according to the testimony of many reliable witnesses…men who were so convinced of the truth of Christ’s resurrection that they were all willing to die as martyrs rather than deny the truth of what they knew. Do you think they would all have been willing to die for a lie? Who would be so foolish? Why did they believe he rose from the dead? Because they saw him die, and then three days later they had breakfast with him. Why were they willing to die rather than deny what they believed? Because they were no longer afraid of death, having seen that Jesus not only rose from the dead but promised that all who believed in him would also rise again. As Jesus said to the repentant thief on the cross: “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
(All the quotes from famous men were listed in the book I Believe in Heaven by Cecil Murphy. All the pictures were from Wikipedia.)