Going Home

Some couple of days ago, my siblings and I were discussing the circumstances of my father's death; while trying to understand his death against the backdrop of the word of faith tradition we grew up in and the many healing ministers that ministered to him and assured my mom that the sickness was not unto death.

So strong was the faith that after his death, autopsy and embalmment, some of my siblings and my dad's ministerial associates expected him to rise from the dead on the morning of the burial.

As a doctor who has seen quite a number of patients with terminal illnesses and a Christian also who believes God heals sicknesses, it wasn't difficult for me to retain a level of professional skepticism while at the same time trusting God to do that which in His sovereign purpose will redound to His glory.

So we tend to ask these questions: did God lie? Has he retired from the Healing Business? Was it his will for my dad to die when he died? Etc. We may never be able to reconcile the reality of my father's death and the many prophecies that said he will live, except to say, right now in eternity, he is as fully alive as any human being can ever be! Glory.

In explaining to my elder sister during that family time, my conviction that for the believer, "to live is Christ and to die is gain", I used an illustration very close to the words of Adoniram Judson, that great American missionary to Burma who said, "when Christ calls me home, I shall go with the gladness of a boy bounding away from his school...". For the believer, we can actually believe that death is gain.

Now, we can trust God for long life since He promises that severally in His Word:

Psalms  91:16 
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalms  118:17 
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.

Psalms  68:20 
He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

Ephesians  6:2-3
Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Based on the assurance of God's Word,we can trust Him to lengthen our days and prolong our lives; in fact like the Apostle Paul we can know of a surety that we will live long enough to do all that God wants us to do as regards ministry in the world.

Philippians  1:23-25
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: evertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith.

In Paul's second letter to Timothy, the Apostle imprisoned by Nero in a dark and damp Roman prison cell writing to encourage his son in the faith was bold and unafraid in the face of imminent death; for you see, when death is near, in the words of Charles Rozell Swindoll, the Lord offers courage, not necessarily escape.

Consequently, as believers we need not fear physical death for our hope is in Christ and we  believe that if Jesus died and rose again, even so all that sleep in Christ will be raised(see 1Thess4:14). When the Christian dies, he is welcomed home to meet the Saviour and Lord that he faithfully served this side of eternity, and he will be with him basking in his glory forever.

Perhaps it was a glimpse of this reality that we caught when my Dad before he breathed his last,came out of a comatose state, overflowing with thanksgiving to the one who loved him and saved him those many years ago, found a voice he previously had lost and repeatedly exclaimed, "Thank you Jesus! Thank you Jesus, etc".

But even if we saw no such miracle, grieving his death was made easier for we know the certainty of words of Jesus —

John  10:27-29
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 

For in Christ, we are saved and kept, eternally secure and whenever or however a believer dies, they are welcomed home.


Post a Comment