It was the perfect day.
The leader of the free world — vigorous and youthful — smiled and waved at the crowds that had gathered along the motorcade route in Dallas to see their beloved president.
Fifty years ago, this perfect day was suddenly shattered: laughter and joy were replaced by cries of horror. The regal, slow-moving procession turned into an emergency race to the hospital. And thirty minutes later, John F. Kennedy, the beloved leader of the American people, was pronounced dead.
The suddenness of Kennedy’s death shocked Americans across the nation. The president being killed that day was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. No one anticipated such a horrific event, and no one was prepared for it. Even with dozens of police officers and Secret Service agents on hand, no one had any idea that something like this would take place.
In the weeks, months, and years that followed, various theories about how President Kennedy was killed sprung up. No one seemed to be able to understand — much less, believe — how a book depository employee who was dissatisfied with his life could single-handedly carry-out the assassination of the president of the United States.
>> Some people believe the CIA was responsible for Kennedy’s death. The Central Intelligence Agency was upset about the changes being made within the agency after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and did not want Kennedy to discharge CIA agents for disagreeing with him.
>> Others believe the Mafia was responsible for JFK’s assassination. The Mob was angry with Robert Kennedy’s efforts to crack down on organized crime.
>> A third theory states that the Russians had a hand in Kennedy’s death. The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 gave the Soviet security agency KGB very good reasons not to like Kennedy. And many say that Lee Harvey Oswald had a fascination with Russia after marrying a Russian woman, and he may have been acting as a KGB operative.
>> Still others believe that then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson wanted Kennedy dead because of his desire to be president and his own ongoing financial scandal. Kennedy was visiting Texas, Johnson’s home state, and supporters of this theory say it seems logical that Johnson could have been involved.
>> Another theory — and this is one that I would lean towards — is that John F. Kennedy’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., had something to do with his son’s death. Joseph Kennedy supposedly built much of his family’s wealth on the sale and distribution of illegal liquor while Prohibition was still in place in the United States. To do so, he hooked up with the Mafia and other gang families to smuggle liquor into the United States. He himself never drank this hard liquor and even offered his sons $1,000 in exchange for their promise not to drink until they were 21. Yet, he distributed and sold liquor for others to consume.
Joseph P. Kennedy was also known to have had multiple affairs. Unfortunately, he passed this weakness down to his sons.
Some believe that the Kennedys’ connections to gang families — particularly those in Chicago — were what put John F. Kennedy over the top in the 1960 presidential election. As I mentioned before, when Robert Kennedy began to go after the gang families as attorney general, the gangsters were offended and asked Joseph P. Kennedy to keep his sons from going after them. Perhaps the elder Kennedy was unwilling or unable to stop his sons from prosecuting the gangsters, and they retaliated by planning and carrying out John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Perhaps you have heard of the “Kennedy curse” — a series of misfortunes which befell members of the Kennedy family stretching all the way back to the 1860s with the most recent event occurring in 2012. These events involve children dying young from illnesses or being physically wounded for life, family members dying in plane crashes, some being mentally ill, tragic car accidents, drug addictions, suicides, and the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr., in a tragic plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean in 1999.
The point of all these explanations speak to our desire to not want to have to wrap our minds around the reality that a young, popular president who had a beautiful family and, it seemed, the world on a string could be here one moment — laughing, smiling, and waving — and gone the next, with bloody gunshot wounds to his head and his back.
Yet, this is the world we live in. People are here one day and gone the next; here one moment and gone the next. As the saying goes, “death takes no holiday.” And if death did not spare the most popular president in U.S. history, it certainly will not spare you or me.
Despite the tragedy of Kennedy’s death, many believe that good came out of it. For example, many of the advances in the Civil Rights movement likely would not have been made as quickly as they were simply because many white Southerners would not have accepted the changes from a northerner like Kennedy. However, with Lyndon Johnson, a white Southerner who initially supported segregation, the changes were brought to pass much easier and were more acceptable by those who at one time supported segregation and the practices of inequality.
For each of us today, it is wise to come to terms with this truth while we have a chance. As the Bible says, “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” John F. Kennedy was here for a little while, and on November 22, 1963, he vanished away.
No matter if you live long into your old age and die naturally, or if, unfortunately, you pass from this life many years before your time, the best thing — the only thing — you can do about death is to prepare for it; to make certain of your destination — the place you will go to after you die.
You see, even though, our physical bodies are limited, our spirits are not. Our souls — the real part of us — live on forever. On that fateful day in 1963, John F. Kennedy — the real John F. Kennedy — simply crossed the line between this temporal physical realm and the eternal spiritual realm. In this eternal spiritual realm, Kennedy had a very important meeting to go to — he had an appointment with God.
The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” When you die, you will have to attend the very same appointment that John F. Kennedy attended. You will go to meet God. Allow me to share with you how you can be prepared for this meeting.
No matter our status in this life, no matter how good and moral we are, no matter how much success we have, we will each have to go to meet our Maker when we die. Revelation 20:12-13 describes this great meeting. The apostle John writes, “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books…And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”
The only thing that will matter once you have gone to meet God is whether or not your name is written in the “book of life” mentioned in these verses. Those who do not have their name written in the book of life will face eternal punishment in Hell as described in verse 15 of this very same passage: “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
What happens to those who do have their names written in the book of life? Well, the Bible tells us that God will create a “new heaven and a new earth” in which God will dwell with His people and wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 21:27 says, “And there shall in no wise enter into [the new heaven and new earth] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Those who have their names written in the book of life will go to live with God forever in the new Heaven and the new Earth.
It would be terrible to know this truth, and yet attend your meeting with God unprepared. How can you have your name written in the book of life? Thankfully, God has made this simple for us. Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Quite simply, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is the way by which we get our names written in the book of life.
Because of our sins, the wrong things that we do, we are automatically separated from God. I am a sinner. John F. Kennedy was a sinner. You are a sinner. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Because of our sinfulness, we are automatically destined to spend eternity in Hell.
However, because God loves us, He decided to make a way for us to not have to go to Hell for all eternity. John 3:16 says, “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.”
Jesus Christ came to earth, lived the perfect life that we could not live, and then went to the cross, dying a cruel death for our sins. While Jesus was on the cross, God poured out all of his wrath and punishment on His Son so He would not have to pour it out on us. As Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
After Jesus’ death on the cross, he was buried, but three days later, he rose again from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead showed that he had been triumphant over Hell and death. Thus, if we place our faith and trust in Him, we can also triumph over Hell and death. If we place our faith and trust in Him, our names will be written in the book of life.
If you are listening to me right now, you have an opportunity to have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. You can be prepared to meet your Maker, because that is one appointment you will not be late for. Please don’t waste this opportunity. Place your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ today by believing that he died, was buried, and rose from the dead. Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, you will begin a relationship with God that will last for eternity. If you want to begin this relationship right now, you can pray a short prayer right now to let God know that you have decided to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour so that you can spend eternity with him. Please repeat after me and mean it from your heart.
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!