A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

March 27, 2015

What If You Had Eight Minutes To Meet Your Maker?

     Yesterday, the news of the intentional downing of Germanwings Airbus Flight A320 shocked the world.  I must admit that I was not completely surprised.  Something felt "fishy" from the moment the media announced the crash in the French Alps.  According to the latest reports, Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz "intentionally" sent the plane into its tragic descent.
     I've heard news report after news report speaking to "what went on in that cockpit".  We have heard the reports of the captain banging on the cockpit door, demanding to be re-admitted, and the calm demeanor with which the co-pilot carried out his alleged plan.  We want to know why Lubitz did what he did ... was it depression, a suicide wish?  Was terrorism any part of the equation?  Eventually we will have those answers.
     For now, all the talking heads, professional pilots, and airline officials are discussing airline procedures in the fatal crash.  How can they reassess their procedures which were instituted in the wake of 9/11?  The airline policy of keeping the bad guys out of the cockpit seems to have backfired as, in this instance, the policy kept the good guys out.  And how can they overcome the obstacle of a co-pilot who manually blocks entrance to the cockpit?  Do they need to rethink the psychological evaluations of pilots?  There will be many man-hours spent on replaying this scenario.
     But my immediate thoughts were of the 149 passengers on board.  Rather than contemplating what went on in the cockpit, my emotions lie with what went on in that passenger cabin.  The cockpit voice recorder has already revealed the last minutes of that flight -- the pilot banging on the door and the screams of the passengers as they realized their fate.  So I ask the question I submitted in the title of this post ... What would you do if you had eight minutes to meet your Maker?
     I have read the writings of theologians, both past and present, who advise that "It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ, and what He has done for us."  But what if you only had eight minutes?!?  I cannot imagine the thoughts of those passengers who did not know Him.  Were they consumed with terror over the loss of their life, without any sense of what would happen to them in the seconds after? Were their thoughts only of their own fear, their families, and what it would feel like to die?  Were there any thoughts of their mortal souls or how they would spend eternity?
     Of course, eight minutes is ample time to make a decision to accept Jesus as your Savior, and to ask forgiveness for your sinful life.  I can only imagine that God can send the Holy Spirit in a split second, and salvation is yours.  But sadly, how many on that flight gave no thought to their eternal life, or had no inclination to seek the Lord in their last minutes on this earth?
     As I contemplate those who belonged to God, I try to put myself in their place.  Eight minutes is a long time to survey your life.  I'd like to think that I could master my fear quickly as I understood the implication of the pilot's actions and the rapid descent.  I hope that I would immediately surrender that fear to the One who is in control of my life; that I would reach out and commune with Him who is my Strength and the One in whom I trust.  I hope that I would have the sense to thank Him for my salvation and ask for His mercy as I prepared to stand before Him in all His glory.  Finally, it is my sincere desire that the Holy Spirit would help me to meet my end on this earth with a heart full of joy and praise for God's presence in my life.
     I know that the scenario I presented for myself probably sounds like a fairy tale; too good to be true -- nobody can be expected to have the presence of mind to look beyond their own human terror in those fatal moments, and to fixate upon their Creator.  But I only have to look upon examples in the Bible to know that it is possible.  Stephen did it, as he prayed for God to receive His spirit.  His death was as quick and unexpected as the tragedy in the Alps.  I cannot accept any other explanation but that God will flash the knowledge of Himself and His mercy into our minds at the very moment when it is needed.
     I pray for the souls on board that tragic flight, and for their families, who have to live with so many unanswered questions about the last moments of their loved ones' lives.  This tragedy is just one more reason that we should feast upon the Word of God; of His blessed assurances; and of the Joy in the world to come.  How many minutes do you have left?

1 Corinthians 15:54            When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."



  1. Steve Coerper has once again used an article of your's (today's) as his homework selection at www.rogershermansociety.org/homework. As an aside, he sent me a great follow-up article to the one that you did on Starbuck's recently: http://www.americandailyherald.com/pundits/j-matt-barber-item/starbucks-spills-coffee-on-its-crotch
    Enjoy with a mug of home brew!

  2. This crash taking human lives is hard to comprehend and shocking. There's only one detail, that needs to be considered in your article; that is not what the bible teaches. As terribly sad as this is, it's too late to pray for the souls of those who lost their lives that fateful day. To pray for the families that the Lord would comfort them, is right; but the eternal fate of the souls on that plane are already determined. It's too late to pray for them. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

    1. Margie, I still think that it is appropriate to pray for the souls of those departed because they still have to stand before the Lord at the Great White Throne Judgment; and that is certainly biblical. The decisions they have made in their lives -- and whether they chose to accept the gift of Salvation (sorry I am not a Calvinist!) -- will be reviewed on that day, and not knowing the state of those tragic souls on that plane, I pray that they all knew the grace and mercy of God.

  3. Nina, I am unaware of any reports that are claiming this scenario. It is my understanding at this time, that the co-pilot was dealing with psychiatric issues.

  4. Hi Belle Ringer: It's good to hear your not a Calvinist. It's better just to be born again as in John 3, more than anything else in this life.
    Your prayerful efforts would be much more fruitful, if you pray for the poor families who have lost loved ones; and this tragedy could bring them to the Lord Jesus Christ. He's the only one who can comfort them. Once we leave this earth, what we've done about Jesus is fully determined; and our prayers for the departed souls won't change the destination where they are going; that is heaven or hell. Are you aware, that it is the Catholic religion that prays for the dead? I was a Catholic and practiced praying the souls in purgatory. I was as lost as can be. Now, my husband and I pray for those who still have life and an opportunity to repent; while living. Once we take our last breath, nothing will reverse God's acceptance of us or his just judgement for eternity.

  5. Neglected to as you Belle Ringer, can you share a verse or two that shows we are to pray for the dead? I'm very interested, in what the Word of God has to say about this. Thanks!

    1. I think people are misunderstanding my meaning behind "praying for the souls" on that flight. It is not a salvation issue, and I am in no way saying that their position with God can be changed after they die. They have either made their decision (in this life) to accept Christ as their Savior or not. That decision is final and cannot be changed. When I say I am praying for them, I simply mean that the full manifestation of that decision will not be understood by the departed until they are called before the Great White Throne for judgment, and I am expressing my sorrow to God that they did not see the magnitude of what He sacrificed for them ... and I am expressing my sorrow and sadness over their loss of the Kingdom. By "pray" I mean a conversation with God over the loss of these souls -- not a petition on their behalf.