Where Is Bill?

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
A Christian lawyer sat listening to a sad-faced woman in his office. She had not come for legal advice but to obtain information as to the soul of one very dear to her. It was her husband who had suddenly passed away. In pity for her evident distress, he bade her to feel free to talk, and promised to help her if he could.
She began: "We were married eighteen years ago after knowing each other for a couple of years before. We had bargained together to save our money, not spending any foolishly or recklessly. He was a professional man and I a trained nurse. We would live frugally and save all we could until Bill was fifty years old. Then we would retire.
"That was eighteen years ago, and we have done just that. We never took a regular vacation, for that would cost money. Once recently Bill suggested to me, `Let's go down to Florida for a two weeks' rest.' He did look tired and maybe I did too; but I said, 'No.' I reminded him that it would take lots of money which we must save to retire on."
The lawyer realized that the woman was recounting things about which he knew nothing. Thinking it might relieve her sorrow and in some way reveal its cause, he encouraged her to continue.
"We have $45,000 in the bank and around $25,000 in stocks. We took out several insurance policies, maybe $100,000 worth. These will come due on or just before Bill's fiftieth birthday. We planned to have about $200,000 stashed away by then, and we could retire. We planned to buy a small place in the country and really and truly live. Our future looked good to us."
As she finished this "case history" her enthusiasm waned and she gazed mournfully at the lawyer. He was nonplussed. Had something gone wrong? Seeing her distress, he asked, "What is the problem?"
In a toneless voice she answered: "Last week Bill died. I don't know where he is. I didn't have a chance to say a word to him. He just went. Oh, if I only knew where he went!
"He came home that evening not feeling well. He lay down and didn't eat any supper. After a while he took some medicine and lay down again and went to sleep. When I went to waken him for bed, he was gone! Oh, Where is Bill?
"For eighteen years I always knew where Bill was. We were always together. Our plans were always to be together; we were interested in the same things. He always told me where he was going—but not this time. Can't you tell me where Bill is? Is it true there is a place where, after death, people live—where they will be together forever after?"
Now the lawyer felt sure she was not concerned about the money. She wanted Bill! And as a Christian consultant, he was on familiar ground. "Yes," he replied; "that place is called heaven. Don't you know about it?"
"Not much," she answered; "but do you think Bill is there? I would not want to go there if he isn't."
The lawyer tried to help her by asking: "For the twenty years you were together did you never read the Bible, nor talk about the birth, the death, and resurrection of Christ? You talked about your own possible death—you were prepared for that, were you not?"
"We did not talk about dying. Why, we were going to live! Don't you understand? We were going to retire and live—we were going to do and live for all the nice things we had saved for. We never even thought of dying. And now, where is Bill?"
"My dear woman," the Christian answered, "if he had never received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior there is only one other place for a departed soul."
Distressed for the bereaved wife, the lawyer stopped. He hated to name that dread place, but the woman urged him to go on. He had to say: "It is hell."
To his surprise his visitor showed no repugnance, though her comment was: "I wouldn't like to think of him being there; but I'd want to go wherever he is anyway." She said this last almost defiantly.
"But," said the Christian, "hell is not for companionship, nor where you will meet friends. It's totally without kindness, goodness, or love. It is a place of torment in the 'blackness of darkness' forever.
"The only place of eternal joy for those who must leave this earthly life is with our Savior-God in heaven. If you will take Christ Jesus as your own Savior now, you will be sure of an entrance into heaven, and find peace and comfort in knowing His love. You have planned and worked to accumulate money, and now you have it. You did not plan for heaven and a blissful eternity, but God by His Spirit offers them to you. Will you accept?"
She cried out: "I hate the money! Getting it killed Bill. Oh, what shall I do?"
Gently the Christian urged on her the claims of Christ who so loves us, and gave Himself for us. How all-important it is for everyone to settle the question of "eternity—where?" ahead of all others!
"Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." Job 22:2121Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. (Job 22:21).
"Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Prov. 27:11Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1).
When a dearly loved one departs this life, what is the heart question of those left behind? From the grief-stricken Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb of her crucified Lord comes the implied query: "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him."
What soul-stirring consolation was hers in hearing the messengers from the glory proclaim: "He is not here: for He is risen, as He said." (Matt. 28:66He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:6).)
Then this joyful proclamation was further confirmed when she beheld with natural eyes that blessed One and received His commission: "Go tell my brethren." (Matt. 28:1010Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. (Matthew 28:10).)
Bereaved friend, have you heard and believed this blessed truth? Do you know that this risen One is also the ascended Christ—a Man in the glory? If you are by faith resting in His finished work, then you can be assured that your own destiny will be "with Christ; which is far better." Phil. 1:2323For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (Philippians 1:23).