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If we were discussing the distance around the world or how far it is from the Earth to the sun, then 75 yards would be an insignificant factor. What is 75 yards when compared to 93 million miles? After all, 75 yards is only 225 feet or 2700 inches. What possible difference could 75 yards mean to anyone?

I really never gave 75 yards much thought until I heard it mentioned one night on the evening news. It was during the time when everyone was digging out from a blinding blizzard. The focus of this particular story was on the efforts which had been put forth to find an older man who had been reported missing during the frigid storm.

The man was finally found, but it was too late. He was discovered dead in his car where it had run off the road and was buried in a deep snow drift. The harsh weather conditions were too much for him to endure. The darkness of death apparently came in a blur of whiteness as countless snowflakes entombed his car. I wondered what thoughts crossed his mind as the icy fingers of death wrapped around him. Was he ready for his journey into eternity?

The saddest and most disturbing part of this tragic story centered around the fact that his car was found only 75 yards from his home. You could clearly see the house from where he took his last breath of life. He could have, under normal circumstances, walked to it in a short time. He had no way knowing when he drove away that last time that he would never again see his home. He never planned to die in a blizzard, but he did.

While he was freezing to death, just 75 yards away, there was warmth and security within his comfortable house. The heat was still on and there was plenty of warm food available for his comfort, but he was 225 feet away from his front door. Safety and protection were so close at hand, but he perished at a distance of only 2700 inches. He was close, but not close enough.

How many people get very close when it comes to salvation for their eternal souls, but then they stop short? There are examples of such individuals recorded in the Bible. For example, the apostle Paul struggle to move King Agrippa closer to Jesus, but he refused to take the last few steps of obedience. Instead of saying yes to Jesus, “Agrippa said unto Paul. Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (Acts 26:28)

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Every time I read the account of King Agrippa, there is a burning desire to reach back in time and give him a swift kick to move him along. I want to shout in his ear and urge him to press on and obey what he was hearing from Paul. What a tragedy to stop too soon. Did Agrippa ever take those last few steps and respond to the Gospel call?

There is no way for us to know what happened to him, but we can be assured that God and Agrippa are well aware of what finally took place. We can only hope he had another opportunity and was convinced to be more than almost persuaded to be a Christian.

I know of ones who are at this very moment knocking on heaven’s door, but refuse to take hold of the handle and turn it by rendering complete obedience to the will of God.

They are so close, but not close enough. If they, in a spiritual sense, miss heaven by 75 yards, they will still be altogether lost.

The man who froze to death was trapped in a dreadful situation which offered no way of escape. He could hear the fearful steps of death approaching, but he was helpless to do anything to avoid the inevitable end. There was no one to save him. The same is not true with the one who has thus far refused God’s invitation to be saved. Jesus stands ready to rescue the perishing if he will only wake up to the reality and take hold of His hand before it is too late. Please, don’t die in your sins only 75 yards from the Cross of Calvary.

Gary D. Durham is the minister of Rock Creek Church of Christ in Foster.

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