It happened at his home in Venice, California. Some have reported that it happened in a hallway. This we know: he fell and hit his head and at age 47, Dave Freeman is dead.
It was just a few years ago, 1999 to be exact, when Dave Freeman and his friend Neil Teplica co-authored a hugely successful book entitled: 100 Things to do before You Die. Their bestseller spawned numerous other copycat books as well as a movie called ‘The Bucket List’ – things to do before you kick the bucket – a flippant euphemism for death.
The advertising executive was catapulted into the spotlight with his somewhat bizarre and lighthearted book. Mr. Freeman listed 100 things to do along your journey of life before you pack your bags for the last time for the last trip. Many adventures on his list were not for the faint-hearted. Some were exotic; others were high-risk activities; some were just plain normal attractions while others were morally dubious.
Among the 100 things to do before you die Dave Freeman included such things as:
- A voodoo pilgrimage in Haiti
- The Academy Awards ceremony
- The running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain
- The National Hollerin’ Contest in North Carolina
- Land-diving – leaping from massive handmade towers, with vines attached to your ankles – on the remote Pacific island of Vanuatu.
Mr. Freeman’s family said he didn’t get a chance to do all 100 things himself. He was working on the list and had about 50 of them checked off. Retrospectively, maybe the book should have been entitled: 50 Things to Do Before You Die.
Here’s a quote from the late Mr. Freeman’s book: “This life is a short journey. Make sure you fill it with the most fun and visit the coolest places on earth before you pack those bags for the very last time.”
He didn’t die while running with the bulls or in a land-diving accident. He died in a much more mundane way – tripped and hit his head in a fall at his home.
Death is like that. The Bible is right when it says that death is but a step away. People plan for other trips in life but for the last trip often they are not prepared and caught off guard.
Do you think a book hitting the shelves entitled: One Thing to do Before You Die would become a bestseller? Would you buy it? Would you read it? Would you do it?
The one thing you must do before you die is: prepare to meet your God. That is a Bible verse found in Amos 4:12. You only have one chance to die. You either die right or you die wrong. There are no re-runs, reversals, or 2nd attempts to get it right. When you cross over the boundary between life and death, it is final and forever.
The Bible says that it is appointed unto all once to die and after this (death) the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)
Today, forget about the other 99 things you want to do before you die, or the more realistic number of 49 other things. Make sure the #1 thing is done. Make sure you are ready to meet God.
How do you prepare?
You turn to your Bible and face the reality of your own sin – understanding that it is a barrier between you and your God. (Isaiah 59:2, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23) Unless that barrier of sin is removed you will be separated from God forever in a place where the Bible teaches there is conscious eternal suffering.
And then what? You understand from the Bible there is nothing you can personally do or contribute towards the removal of your sins. (Ephesians 2:8, 9) In Romans 5:6 the Bible says sinners are without any strength to save themselves. It is not a pleasant discovery to face the reality of your own lostness and your total inability to save yourself.
But in your desire to be fully prepared for death, there is good news. Christ died for your sins. (1Corinthians 15:3) Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6) Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners. (1Timothy 1:15) Christ, the Just One suffered for sins upon the Cross on behalf of the unjust ones (sinners) that HE might bring us to God. (1Peter 3:18)
Have you ever realized that you are the guilty one and HE was the innocent One who became your substitute and took upon Himself the punishment your sins fully deserved? The moment you appreciate that beautiful truth and trust Christ as your Saviour, your sins will be fully and freely forgiven. That’s what it means to be prepared to meet God!
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