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« on: October 15, 2005, 02:33:15 PM »

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan - Man of Courage...Man of Faith - Ronald Reagan died at his Los Angeles home Saturday, June 5, 2004, at the age of 93 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. It was the 40th U.S. president’s last wish that ordinary Americans be given a chance to say good-bye. The world will long remember him as a distinguished president and a man of courage.

Man of Courage

One of President Reagan’s most famous speeches took place in June of 1987 in Berlin. The Soviets were losing the Cold War, their economy was sputtering, and they found themselves unable to match the military might of the United States. Speaking at the Berlin Wall, with the Brandenburg Gate towering behind him, Ronald Reagan issued this bold challenge to the Soviet leader: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”1

Five years earlier in a speech to the British parliament, he prophetically declared, “The march of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history.”2 And indeed it did! British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said of him, “Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot.”3

Ronald Reagan was a leader of courage and conviction. Polls meant little to him. Even when he was running for reelection in 1984, he wrote a powerful book defending the sanctity of human life. Some of his top aides warned him not to publish it, but he ignored those announcement won in a landslide! One of his many biographers4 described Reagan as the bravest and most incorruptible person he had ever known.

When Mr. Reagan became president in 1981, the United States economy was in recession and communism was spreading. Before he was elected, Reagan had promised to fix the economy, strengthen the military, and win the Cold War. When he left the White House in 1989, the economy was booming, the military was strong, and the Soviet Union was near extinction. “We meant to change a nation,” Reagan reflected just before leaving office, “and instead we changed a world.”5 What made Ronald Reagan, a gracious man with a humble beginning, such an extraordinary leader?

Man of Faith

Fundamentally, Reagan understood the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, even calling the former Soviet Union The Evil Empire. “There is sin and evil in the world,” he proclaimed, “and we’re enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might.”6 He knew that God was holy and that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” 7 He realized, as well, that “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”8

Acknowledging that all of us, because of our sins, deserve to be separated from God forever in hell, Reagan also fervently believed in the love and mercy of God: “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”9

Reagan was convinced of the deity of Jesus Christ. He said, “Either He was who He said He was or He was the world’s greatest liar. It is impossible for me to believe a liar or charlatan could have had the effect on mankind that He has had for 2000 years. We could ask, would even the greatest of liars carry His lie through the crucifixion, when a simple confession would have saved Him?”10

As a young teenager, Ronald Reagan became a Christian by accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He turned from his sins and trusted Christ to forgive him and grant him eternal life. He believed what the Bible said was true: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.”11

Soon after the 1981 assassination attempt that nearly killed him, Reagan was asked by his pastor if he would have been ready to meet God had he died. “Yes,” he replied, “I’m ready to meet God because I have a Savior.”12

President Reagan’s place in history is secure. But even more secure than this legacy is his standing before the Lord of the universe. Reagan will live with God in heaven forever because of his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

How about you, friend? Are you ready to meet God? Do you have a Savior? If you truly want to know God and experience His peace now and the joys of heaven for eternity, you too can “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”13 and be saved.

You can pray something like this: “Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You died in my place to pay the penalty for my sins and that You rose from the dead. I now confess my sins, and turn to You, trusting in You alone as my Savior and Lord and receiving Your gift of forgiveness and eternal life. Thank You for going to the cross for me so that I might have eternal life. Amen.”

1. June 12, 1987;
2. June 8, 1982;
3. Reagan’s War, Peter Schweizer, p.168, 2002;
4. Edmund Morris speech, October 1999;
5. When Character was King, Peggy Noonan, p.315, 2001;
6. March 8, 1993;
7. Romans 3:23;
8. Romans 6:23;
9. Romans 5:8;
10. Reagan-A Life in Letters, eds. K. Skinner, A. Anderson, M. Anderson, p.277, 2003;
11. John 3:36; 12. God and Ronald Reagan, Paul Kengor, p.185, 2004; 13. Acts 16:31.

ISBN# 1-55837-883-9 31598

Copyright 2005 - American Tract Society

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