40th President (1981-1989)
Born February 6th, 1911
Home With the Lord June 6th, 2004
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.
I’ve always believed that we were, each of us, put here for a reason, that there is a ... divine plan for all of us. I know now that whatever days are left to me belong to Him [God].
The news this week of President Ronald Reagan’s passing has given me the opportunity to reflect on an encounter I had with this great man during the 1980 residential campaign.
It was early in 1980, and I joined a handful of other Christian ministers who were invited to come and speak with the then ex-governor and ask him questions. This was a private meeting--not a public forum.
Many questions were asked. When my turn came, I said, “Governor, I would like to ask you a very important spiritual question.”
I asked Governor Reagan, “If you were to die and stand before God and He were to say to you, ‘Why should I let you into My Heaven?’ what would you say?”
It was as if I had punched him in the solar plexus! Reagan doubled over, put his head down between his knees and stayed there for about 45 seconds.
Now, that is quite a long time, especially since up until that point we had been involved in a rather lively question and answer session.
Slowly, Reagan sat back up straight and said, in somber tones, words which I shall never forget, “I don’t deserve to go to Heaven. The only thing that I could say would be, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
My friend, Ronald Reagan was a great man. A man of incredible vision for America as a “shining city on a hill.” A man who turned the course of our nation. A man who stared down the “evil empire” and is rightfully credited for winning the Cold War. A man who stood by the unborn and upheld religious freedom.
Most important of all, Ronald Reagan was a man who had a personal and abiding faith in Jesus Christ.
As Michael Reagan said shortly after his father’s passing, “I am secure in the knowledge that he is with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in Heaven. The greatest gift my father ever gave me was the simple knowledge that I would see him in Heaven one day.”
Historian David Barton has noted that in years gone by, as public leaders neared their time of death, even the press watched closely with great interest to see how that leader faced death. Were there any parting words? In essence, the world watched to see if those who professed their faith in life would profess their faith in death.
Reports from the Reagan family of President Reagan’s final moments reveal a man who died in his faith. Although disease had sapped his ability to speak, and he had not opened his eyes for several days, President Reagan offered to his wife, Nancy, what she would call “the greatest gift he could have given me.”
According to daughter Patti Davis, “At that last moment when his breathing told us this was it, he opened his eyes and looked straight at my mother. Eyes that had not opened for days did, and they weren’t chalky or vague. They were clear and blue and full of life. If a death can be lovely, his was.”
Michael Reagan said, “His last earthly look was at his wife; his next look was at the face of God.” I trust you will take time out in the next few days to honor the memory of this great man of faith who literally changed the course of our nation and the world. As you do, recount to your friends and family this bedrock of faith in Jesus Christ, which served as a compass for Ronald Wilson Reagan.
If you would like the same assurance of salvation that Ronald Reagan had, Click Here
May God bless the Reagan family who seek to honor Him.
And may God bless America.