The Last Words of Peter J. Wilson
(Note: My good friend, brother in Christ, and faithful gospel preacher, Pete Wilson, quietly passed from this life December 8, 1996. A few days after his death I received a letter from him which had been composed only a week before. I present a portion of that letter below as it is wonderfully instructive to us regarding the assurance and hope that is available to those who will commit their lives to serving the Lord. - RHW)
For us this has been a traumatic and crisis year and this letter will be for me a farewell letter. .......
I would urge that no one feel sorry for me.
[Here Pete reviewed his love and commendations for his wife and his children - RHW]
Beyond that God has granted me the great privilege of preaching and teaching His glorious gospel for more than fifty years. He has opened doors of opportunity to preach His word in thirty-four of the fifty states, in England, Scotland, Germany and Canada. Everywhere I have gone I have enjoyed the sweet fellowship of the best people on the face of this earth, His saints. Even now in the closing days of my life, to realize that thousands of prayers are being offered daily, cards, letters and calls from all over this land arrive to brighten my days. This is worth all the efforts of a long life.
So you see why I say don't pity me or feel sorry for me. Rather rejoice with me in my victory in Jesus. After years of study it is graduation time. After years of labor it is retirement time (not with a gold watch but with a gold crown of glory). After a long and wearisome journey it is going home time to see my Father and my Lord face to face. I am truly excited about that! For years I fought the dilemma of Paul in Phil. 1 – the desire to depart and be with the Lord or remain in the body and serve my family and others. But now the choice is so clear and obvious "having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for it is very far better." (vs. 23). In John 14 when Jesus' disciples were torn with grief that He was leaving them, he comforted them with the truth that He was going to prepare a place for them and then in the same conversation, He said to them -- "if you loved me you would be glad I am going to the Father" (14:28).
I do not know what the time schedule will be, whether days or months. God has overruled men's judgments in the past and could again. But I am convinced in my own mind that the time is short and plan to spend my time "setting my house in order" and enjoying the time with my family who shower more love upon me than any man ever deserved.
I love you all and appreciate the part you played in the grand scheme of my life. My feelings are expressed in the song "If we never meet again this side of heaven, I will meet you on that beautiful shore."
God bless you,