Charles Gordon, a famous and beloved English general, was born in 1833. He was a general who spent his spare time ministering to the poor people wherever he happened to be. His masterful tactical skills, heroic bravery, and tragic death are well known historically. All of these attributes are all well documented. However, and very interestingly, his unwavering belief and faith in God together with his tireless work for the poor people whom he served are very much less remembered.
In 1868 Mr. Gordon wrote a document called, “My experiences showing the order in which God revealed himself to me.” There were 9 important areas of discussion within this referenced document. They were:
1. Ever since I remember, I had a belief that Jesus was the Son of God, and used to have feelings of deep depression on account of my faults at the time.
2. I knew Jesus to be my Saviour, and had assurance but was not established till I had gone through 10 years of captivity commencing at the Crimean War till 1864.
3. At my father’s death I was brought to think how vain the world was to give satisfaction, but after my brother-in-law’s death, and consequent seclusion at Gosport for a month, God made me count the cost and conclude that His service should be all and that if everything was given up, He would abundantly repay me in this world.
4. After a long dreary struggle (looked back on with horror) for 8 or 9 months of very earnest work, God began to bring under my body in this way.
5. He gave me first to see that the fruits of the Spirit could be only had by abiding in Christ or being joined to Him, but how joined was still a mystery.
6. Next He showed me that He was glorified only so far as those fruits were produced.
7. Next that the Holy Ghost produced them.
8. Next the great truth that it was the Holy Ghost in me which produced them while myself was dead and incapable of producing anything good.
9. Next that God in me gave out faith as the fire gives out heat….
Shortly after he had written this document, Mr. Gordon began ministering at a rescue mission in the slum areas near where he was living. From then on, almost every waking moment not spent on his military duties, was fully devoted to evangelism and work among the poor.
Gordon rescued countless boys (most of whom were illiterate) off the street, teaching them the Bible and how to read and write. He gave away several hundred suits a year, bought boots by the gross, and helped many find jobs, always speaking fondly of his boys as “kings.”
Mr Gordon also helped the elderly, prostitutes, criminals, and those who were terminally ill.
On May 16, 1870, he was called to the bedside of a dying girl. His tender heart is reflected in a letter he wrote about his experience that night:
“There is a very beautiful young girl dying to-night; in a few short hours she will glide into a bright balmy land, and see such sights as would pass our understanding. She suffers much, poor thing and makes one feel Oh ! If I could soften this pang what would I not do. But still it must be true that it is better for her, that she should; otherwise God who loves her so deeply would alter it.”
As regards another deathbed visit he wrote:
“I went to Polly’s and saw her off to the Golden City. She left at ten minutes to 12, very happily and beautifully. ‘What are those bands playing for,’ she said just before her departure. It was the Harpers with their harps, harping in Song of Moses and the Lamb as she neared the riverbank. Tune, tune your harps Ye saints in glory. All is well.”
Things To Think About
Christians die in many different ways. For some, as with the first young girl, there is intense pain and suffering. A few like Polly are welcomed to heaven by the music of the hosts of heaven. Whatever our lot, be assured that when our last moment has arrived, our God will be there to welcome us to our real home with Him in heaven.
God’s Word recorded within the Holy Scriptures tells us what we can reasonably expect at our own home-going. In the Book of Revelation, Chapter 15, verses 2-4 NKJV it says:
(2) “And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those
who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his
mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of
glass, having harps of God.
(3) They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song
of the Lamb, saying:
‘Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty !
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints !
(4) Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and
glorify Your name ?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship
For Your judgments have been manifested.’ ”
None of us know for absolute certain the time and place and circumstances of our individual physical death. And I personally believe it is a very good thing that we do not have such knowledge. We do know however, that save for the rapture, we will all surely die. Your decisions, manner and way that you have lived your life here on this earth will play a great and glorious part in not only where you spend eternity, but also the quality and quantity of inheritance you receive to enjoy or do without for all time eternal.
Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Use your life to live completely in the fullness of God. Live your Christian faith in the love and service of your fellow man. Be totally obedient to the Word and Instructions of God. Use your life to bring glory and honor to God while you are alive…..so on that day that come to stand before Jesus your reward will be great!
Learn Well The Lessons of History………
Sample from Great Men & Women of History