Death Over San Diego

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
It was sudden death and sudden glory for a Christian stewardess on board the Pacific South- west jetliner which collided mid-air with a small plane over San Diego on September 25, 1978.
The stewardess, whose home was in Holland, is known to have been "saved through the blood of Jesus" only two weeks prior to the crash which resulted in 144 deaths. What can match the importance of being ready for death should it come? It matters little where we came from; but where we are going is of vital concern. How many more believers died in the disaster is unknown.
The huge Boeing was making its approach to the San Diego terminal. As it banked to line up with its designated landing strip, a small Cessna 172, deviating slightly from its flight-path, put itself on the same heading as the PSA jet.
The collision, which demolished the Cessna and killed its two occupants, disabled the jetliner which crashed in less than 30 seconds after the impact. The terrific explosion and fire resulted in "no survivors". The last communication from the pilot was "We are going down!"
A Christian near to whose home the crash occurred wrote: "What a solemn warning to us all! They who were almost to their destination were suddenly hurled into eternity.
"The writer arrived at the scene minutes later and with his back to those terrible flames, helped the police control the crowds. Stunned by the tragic scene, he could only think of all the precious souls perishing in the flaming wreckage—and in the smashed and burning homes. How helpless we were! As someone said: 'There is not a single thing we can do to help them.' They were beyond rescue, too late for first-aid, and above all, too late for spiritual help if they died without knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Well may these questions be asked: "If you, reader, had been on that plane or in one of those destroyed homes, where would your soul be now? Would you have been ready? Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your own precious Savior? If not, be warned before it is too late! If you die in your sins, you will be forever lost, with no hope of being saved.
"Had that jetliner at the last moment turned to the left rather than right, it could have been the writer and his house that were destroyed. But what a difference to be ushered into the Lord's presence where there 'is fullness of joy' and to be forever with Him "Who loved me and gave Himself for me!'
"Perhaps the Lord in His mercy saw fit to spare us so that you may read and heed this warning if you are not saved. Let me urge you, dear reader, in all the seriousness that came over me as I worked so close to those engulfed in flame—in the presence of death—to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior before it is too late."
Since the above was written, the worst aviation accident in the United States joined the gruesome list of major air disasters.
On May 25, 1979, 273 people were killed when a DC-10 jetliner crashed and exploded shortly after take-off from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
"It looked like a fire swept through a clothing store and burned all the mannequins," a rescue worker said. "Only they weren't mannequins."
No, they were precious souls—all hurled suddenly into eternity. Yes, reader, ETERNITY. And where will you spend it?
"Behold, now is the day of Salvation." "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." 2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 4:7.