A friend of mine, a good brother in Christ, told me yesterday over the phone that he’s going into home hospice later today (Wednesday). After years of treatments for his cancer, he told me he’s just tired of the fight. He’s tired of seeing the emotional drain on his wife. He just plain tired.
In the past, I’ve heard that same word from others being killed by that demonic disease.
He told me he’s not afraid of death. In some ways he’s looking forward to it. He knows he’s going to meet his savior and be welcomed into His eternal kingdom where he will live forever without pain while he awaits his beloved wife and children and grandchildren to meet him there.
This morning, as I was thinking about my friend – my brother – I found myself asking myself: “How would I respond if I were the one going into hospice today?”
I thought about that for a short while – actually only a few moments – before I answered my own question.
I’m not afraid of death either. I don’t want to leave my wife or my children, but I am not afraid of death. Why is that? Because I have every trust and confidence that God is honest. There is not a sliver of doubt in my mind that God has never, will never, can never lie to me. And so, when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life he believes in Me will live, even if he dies; And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” – Yes, I believe that.
I remember Dan. He was one of the first Christians I’d ever known to die. When I stood by his hospital bed and asked him what it feels like to know he is dying, he told me what I have never forgotten. He looked at me, placed his hand on the bedrail on top of mine, and quoted 2 Timothy 4: “From life to life. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. And now there is a crown of righteousness awaiting me.”
If I were to enter hospice today and die tomorrow, I know that I also will enter my eternal home to be forever with my Father, my Savior, and the Holy Spirit, who has been my guide all of my life. I know that to be true because, as I said, I know God is honest. And He has promised me, and all those who love his Son, eternal life immediately upon our death.
Immediately upon our death.
I could cite the applicable Scriptures, but I suspect many of you already know of promises such as Philippians 1:21-24 and 2 Corinthians 5:6-8.
And so, Reader – what about you? Surely, you’ve known people who have died, but have you given much thought to your OWN eventual death? It was Solomon who wisely said, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:2)
Reader, what about you? Have you taken your inevitable death to heart? Have you taken your ‘impending death’ to heart – impending because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. A car accident, a fall, a stroke . . .. Anything could happen to any of us at any time. Our lives are held together with mere breaths.
So, what about you? Are you confident that you could say to God on that day: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course that You gave me. I have kept the faith”?
I hope so. But if not, then perhaps this short note can be a wakeup call for you. As the Lord God said through Isaiah the prophet: “Turn to me and be saved, all the end of the Earth. I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)
And if you don’t quite know how to ‘turn to God’ – confession, repentance, and a turning away from your sins is a good start.