On Death, Dying, and Eternity

7 08 2009

We have heard it said that death is the great equalizer, everyone who is born will, if the Lord doesn’t return first, also die. As we have watched my father-in-law decline in health over the past year, we have been reminded of this grim fact. We live close to him and have had the chance to spend a fair amount of time with him at family gatherings and also on family vacations that we have taken with Andrea’s family nearly every year overEmpty Tomb the past dozen or so years. He is a nice person and has been very generous over the years to his family; however, at this point he lacks the most important thing anyone could want or need, a relationship with his Creator.

It was last summer, while at a family gathering that Andrea asked her father why he didn’t trust in Jesus. He said that he didn’t believe that Jesus existed. Andrea asked him what it would take for him to believe and he answered that if Jesus were to appear next to him he might, but then he caught himself and said that maybe he would think he was crazy. It was the week later that he was diagnosed with the cancer that will eventually take his life.

Now, I don’t believe that there is any connection to his rejection of Jesus and his cancer as he was already showing signs that something was wrong even the week or so before the gathering. However, the type of cancer with which he had been diagnosed that week was a very aggressive type and typically patients are given from months to a few years to live. His was caught early and the prognosis looked good, and he maintained very good health otherwise for an octogenarian (he ran three times per day, about two miles each time). He put his hope in science and medicine to cure him and it looked promising for a while.

Bert’s began to have more complications last December and, although the doctors didn’t tell anyone, he was showing signs that chemo wasn’t working. Now he is in a fast decline and has been confronted with the cold reality of what will be his eternal destiny. For him there is still the opportunity that he may repent and put his trust in Jesus; for the Christian, eternity is secured by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

So, in a sense, death is not the great equalizer. For the Christian, physical death is a temporary setback on the way to an eternity with Jesus. During his life, Jesus announced that he would rise again, overcoming sin and death. On the cross he spoke the word that brought that reality to fruition – Tetelestai – it is finished. At that moment, Jesus proclaimed that death would no longer have a hold on those who trust in him, death had been conquered once and for those who are His. His resurrection showed the world that death and sin no longer reign.

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.       1 Corinthians 15:54-56




2 responses

4 07 2010
Mario Paugh

Does it expense a new lot a new website?

5 07 2010

I’m not sure what you mean, can you ask the question in a different way?

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