Please don’t leave but…
We hope you’ll wait with us until the Lord comes and we can all go home together. But in case you do find it necessary to leave this planet before He comes, we’ll understand and be reunited in His presence.
Some of you have planned well for your departure; others need to do some planning. Otherwise, some things that you worked for, believed in, and want to support won’t get done the way you want. Please leave behind instructions as to what you want done with what you can’t take with you. If those instructions include a bequest to Jews for Jesus, please let us know. We’re not looking for your departure date (we still hope the Lord will arrive first!) or your destination (if you belong to Him, it’s clear), but it will help settle your estate earlier if all parties named in your will receive notification.
We don’t talk much about naming Jews for Jesus in your will. We would prefer that you stay and continue giving donations rather than leave and arrange a bequest. However it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan, should the Lord tarry.
If you’re like me, you get many letters from all kinds of Christian organizations telling you that if you don’t have a will, the government has a will” for whatever you might leave behind. Now I don’t know about you, but I plan to spend it all. However, I don’t know the exact date of my departure and I can’t reserve a ticket to arrive at my final destination at a particular time. I’m not worried about the journey, though, because I know there will be a great welcoming committee. Nevertheless, I did make out a will.
There is a difference between a Christian will and the last will and testament. Let me tell you a few things that might help.
1. Let it be your will—that is, your determination—that everyone knows how much you love Jesus. Write your story into your will. Attorneys will tell you that including your story will complicate matters, or they’ll strongly suggest that you include anything that’s not “legalese” as a separate addendum. Don’t be intimidated by attorneys, accountants or anyone else. Arrange for a reading of your will and those who gather will patiently listen to what you have to say about Jesus.
2. In your will, be sure to tell each and every person who will be present at the reading how much you love and appreciate them. This is also a time when you can frankly straighten out misunderstandings.
3. Tell how you want your assets disposed. Don’t forget that if you’ve been a believer for a long time and you have marked certain places in your Bible, your copy of the Scriptures will be very valuable to someone who loves you and loves the Lord. Think about your books, your jewelry—children and grandchildren will cherish those keepsakes.
4. Now I’m going to tell you what few Christian leaders will say: If your children are unbelievers, please remember them with the bulk of your estate. If bequeathing money to organizations like Jews for Jesus would cause resentment, it’s better that you don’t. God will keep us going. Just make sure that you witness to the unbelievers in your family.
You might tell your children that you wanted to leave money to your church and to Christian organizations like Jews for Jesus, but that you’re leaving the money to them because they don’t yet believe in Jesus. God forbid that any person should feel that the church got their inheritance. Perhaps in the future they will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and will honor your desire to contribute to the Lord’s work in their own will.
If you feel free to leave money to Jews for Jesus, it really will help if you’ll let us know. If you need some help, feel free to contact us and we’ll talk it over on the telephone.
If you would like a sample of a story to be a model for what you want to say in your will, let us know and we’ll provide it. Please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.