By: George Zellar

Luke 12:16-21

A believer depends completely on Jesus Christ, just as a skydiver depends fully on his parachute. No matter how sincere we are, no matter how well we have tried to live, without the Saviour we will surely perish: “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

Likewise, the parachutist’s life depends on one vital piece of equipment. He must not trust his own ability to fly, nor should he hope that a giant eagle might bear him gently down to the earth. His only hope is in the parachute. Tragedy struck in 1988 as a parachutist filmed his own two-mile death plunge. He was not a novice. Ivan McGuire, 35, of Durham, NC had jumped 800 times. His job was to film other skydivers. On April 5, McGuire, perhaps over-occupied with his high-tech video equipment, made a fatal mistake. He forgot to put on his parachute, and the pilot and others on board did not notice this serious omission. He jumped from the plane, filmed the other skydivers, and then was struck by horror as he realized what was missing. He fell to the ground at 150 mph. Part of the camera footage was recoverable and provided a graphic visual of this sad tragedy.

There is a death far greater than this awaiting those who “know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8). People get so occupied and distracted by their worldly toys and possessions that they forget the one thing that is most important— a real and right relationship with the living God (John 17:3). Anyone who thinks he can safely pass from this life to the next without Christ is a fool. “He that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12).


George W. Zeller has served on the staff of the Middletown Bible Church for more than 40 years. He is a graduate of Grace Theological Seminary where he studied under Dr. John Whitcomb. He has written numerous Sunday School lessons, Bible study materials, doctrinal booklets, and various papers on a wide range of Biblical topics. These studies are accessible at

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