The End or To Be Continued?

AP01-Trapsheet

“It’s for you,” my manager hands me the phone. It was my brother, “Pete! You need to come home now; Dad’s having a heart attack! The ambulance just arrived.” My brother was in obvious distress, I heard it in his voice, I knew this was serious. My heart raced as the adrenaline surged through my body, I handed the phone to my manager and said, and “I have to go, sorry, it’s an emergency.” Fortunately I wasn’t more than five minutes away from home. With emergency vehicles lighting up our street, I parked the car and ran inside. Upon entering the house I saw firefighters and ambulance attendants performing CPR on my Dad. Though I only caught a glimpse of him, shirt off, hooked up to machines and surrounded by emergency personnel, it felt as if time stood still. I just couldn’t process what I was seeing. No one in our family, this close to us, had ever died. In reality, nothing could have prepared us for this. The paramedics and firefighters worked for an hour without having a pulse return. The death of my Dad was absolutely devastating to our family.

Looking back to the event, now almost ten years ago, I realize that death is devastating because death severs the relationship with our loved one. The reality of death really affected many different areas in my life. It also shattered that doubt that we all have, the doubts about our own invincibility or the death of others. As a young adult, at the time, I realized I was wrestling with the thoughts about death that I had suppressed as a young child. What happens when you die? Is there life after death? Will I ever see them again? These were the questions I had suppressed that came rushing back, in real life.

Our culture is fascinated by near death experiences. We hope that people who’ve briefly peered over the edge can give us a glimpse into the unknown. Yet, though we find the clues in these stories fascinating, what we need is not the testimony of a near death experience, but that of a death experience. If we want conclusive evidence that there is life after death, it would require the witness of a person that has fully experienced death. -Steiger, Thinking?, page 143.

The Christian claim is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, that counts as a death experience. If it’s true that Jesus rose from the grave then that would mean it would be possible that the afterlife exists and that relationships could go on after we die. Our desire for the afterlife is really a desire for eternal relationship. This is the reason Christianity is worth every minute of my investigation. The answer to that question can literally change the way you see the world and live your life. It can satisfy a hope that every heart longs for. It’s up to us to consider the evidence so that we can know for sure that our hope is justified with good reasons.

Three months before my Dad died of a heart attack, my mother had a vivid dream. All she told me was that “we need to pray for Dad.” My mom and I prayed for my Dad and in those last months we experienced so much restoration and joy in our relationships as a family. It was arguably the happiest time of our lives over that Christmas break. God had given us a gift, and even though neither of us knew how devastating the outcome would be; God was gracious to us and sustained us through the darkest part of our lives.

 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “The End or To Be Continued?

  1. A day we will never forget. .. but thanks be to God that our hope of an eternal destination ove shadows the losses in this temporal world we live in now . Good work Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peet,
      A personal story told with eternal hope in mind. It seemed to me that just a couple of short weeks before your Dad, Anton passed away he read Luke’s account of the First Christmas at the Port Theater and brought the story to life for the 800 of us that were there, as if we heard it for the first time.

      At the day of the funeral there was such hope shown by all of your family, a testament to the community. Your ambassadorship for Christ, shows that you truly believe that death is not the end, there is another sequel coming the next episode is an eternal one.

      Like

  2. Peet,
    A personal story told with eternal hope in mind. It seemed to me that just a couple of short weeks before your Dad, Anton passed away he read Luke’s account of the First Christmas at the Port Theater and brought the story to life for the 800 of us that were there, as if we heard it for the first time.

    At the day of the funeral there was such hope shown by all of your family, a testament to the community. Your ambassadorship for Christ, shows that you truly believe that death is not the end, there is another sequel coming the next episode is an eternal one.

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing Mark. It’s surprising that 10 years ago in January is when he died. And through it all God has shown himself to be faithful, loving and true. Thank you for leading by example as an ambassador yourself.

      Like

  3. Peet,
    Thank you for sharing your personal story with us. This is such a complex question and we obviously want to have the assurance (not only believe) that our loved ones that went before us, are looking down at us and rooting for us to fulfil the purpose that God intended for us. There are many references in the Bible, where Jesus defined the after live and the splendor of being in heaven. Many near death experiences, describe the interface between life and death in some way and, however difficult to “prove” this concept like a simple chemistry experiment, it is defined by personal experiences and recollection of people.

    To me, it seems that we need to consider all aspects of why we were created and why God went through all the trouble of creating such fine creatures (like people) if this is just for a fleeting moment (our life in the span of the universe) I believe that God has a much greater plan for us and it does not end in our earthly time and that our loved ones are waiting for us to be re-united.

    Johan

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s