One morning we were holding the line in a trench when we came in for unusually heavy shelling. Presently, there was a black cloud as shell burst and pieces of shrapnel came whizzing past us. Poor Bert S—fell like a dog. Tiny Jim( 6 ft 3 in.) and another chap jumped down and picked him up; but they saw at a glance it was a hopeless case. There was not a dressing station near, so Tiny Jim and some other fellows got hold of some empty sandbags and an old coat, and laid Bert on them in the bottom of the trench.
Back on the firing step they got, but they had not been there long, when Tiny Jim was startled by a voice behind him, saying, “
Can you tell me the way to heaven?”
Tiny Jim jumped down again beside poor Bert and said, “The way to heaven? I am sorry, I don’t know the way, but I’ll ask the other fellows and find out if they know.”
He returned to the firing step walked along to the first man and asked him, but he did not know; so, he went further and asked the next man, but he did not know either. Tiny Jim then went over to the next fire bay and asked the fourth man, but he was no better than the rest of us. From there on each man relayed the question to the man next to him. Down the line the story of what had happened, and the question went from man to man until No.16 was reached. Not one of the sixteen could tell us the way to heaven.
Just think of it! Sixteen young fellows brought up in a so-called Christian land, but they could not help their dying comrade! Decent fellows, too!
When you have soldiered together, gone over-seas together, and face the dangers and hardships of active service, you become pals, and when you see an old friend dying and you cannot help him, it goes hard. In peace time we would have told him in some sort of way, but when a pal is dying on the battlefield, well, somehow it’s different. What we think, or make up, or guess, just won’t do then. Oh, no! When a fellow is dying like that, he wants the real thing Yet there are many like those sixteen of us.
Dear reader, could you have told Bert the way to heaven? You, too, have been brought up in a Christian land, but truthfully, do you know the way to heaven so that you could tell a dying friend? Could you open the Bible and point out God’s way to heaven? It is there in plain language.
But let us return to the trench. The story was passed on to No. 17:
“ Bert is dying and wants to know the way to heaven. Can you tell him the way?” Turning around, a smile lighting up his face, he replied,
“Yes, I know the way to heaven, but I cannot go along the trench. I dare not leave my station.” Thrusting his hand into his pocket he pulled out a little khaki Testament. Quickly, he turned it pages and said, “ Look here, this is the way to heaven—that verse marked around with pencil( John 3:16). I’ll turn the leaves back there; you put your thumb on that verse. Tell him that is the way to heaven.”
Quickly the message and the Testament Passed back from man to man until it reached Tiny Jim. He touched his shoulder; slowly Bert opened his eyes.
“ I’ve got it , Bert, old chum,” said Tiny Jim. “Here is the way to heaven:
“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.’
Poor Bert’s eyes wide open now, he was drinking in every word. What a scene it was! Tiny Jim kneeling on the bottom of the trench, his great hand holding the little Testament, the tears running down his cheeks, reading again and again those life-giving words in Bert’s ears!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him sound not Perish, but have everlasting life.”
A look of peace came over Bert’s face as he kept gasping out “ whosoever.” Then after lying quiet for a while, his face lit up with satisfaction, a with one last gasp he said, “whosoever,” and was gone. Gone from the battlefield to be with Christ! It was a wonderful change for Bert S – who had found the way to heaven.
Dear friends, as a solider who has now himself also found the way, let me assure you that this is the real thing. The Lord Jesus is the real Saviour. He it is Who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” ( John 14:6), and “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” (John 10:9).
The Lord Jesus, whose precious blood cleanses us from all sin ( 1 John 1:7), died, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. He is now seated at God’s right hand where He is crowned with glory and honor. He is the only Saviour and the only way to heaven.
It is not enough to merely know the way to heaven: you must actually tread the way, by entering through Christ – the Door.
“ Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Act 4:12.
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” I Timothy 1:15.
“ Through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:43.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31.
Friend, if you are not a born again Christian, pray and ask Jesus right now