After-Life Travels

Death is a subject rarely spoken about in social circles. Recently, one of our dear members passed away. It was sad. We really enjoyed his presence and encouragement. Like all people, he was not perfect. He had his “quirks” (as some call them) but….don’t we all? What a blessing to have known his personal testimony of faith; both in private and in our worship setting. He passed away quietly in peace, according to his daughter.

How many people can say that about their relatives and friends who have died? I, personally, have been there as professing unbelievers die. It was never a pretty sight. One (unchurched) man grabbed me by the clergy shirt as he died; yelling out “Don’t let me die!” I had just entered the room, via request by his nurse, and never had a chance to say a word to him. After his demand, he took a deep breath and succumbed to the “last enemy” (as Paul calls it- 1 Corinthians 15: 26); death. His friends and relatives were in the room with him. They were beyond consoling. Sad.

How different it is for those I’ve known who have died in the Christian faith. I’ve ministered for over 40 years to brothers and sisters in Christ who have breathed their last breath in my presence. How humbling it is as they cling in trust to the words of divine promises like, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16: 16) and “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11: 25) These words bring comfort and peace from the throne of grace to the believing hearts of those whose bodies are failing them. They are divinely true.

Recent movies have told about people who have died and come back to life. I, too, have had such an experience. But let us not look to other’s after-life travels to find hope and assurance. Rather, let us continue to search the Scriptures and embrace to our hearts the promises of the Gospel; “the power of salvation to all those who believe.” (Romans 1: 16). In Christ our crucified and risen Savior.  Amen!

Pastor William C. Mack