Brittany Maynard – 29. Lauren Hill – 22.
Just a couple of young vibrant persons, with a bad break in life with terminal cancer.
Brittany Maynard decided to end her life by assisted suicide. She was 29.
Lauren Hill. She is still alive. With inoperable cancer, a tumor, the size of a lemon on her brain, has just a few weeks to live.
Lauren Hill lived her dream of scoring a basket while playing basketball for her team. Very commendable because it takes courage and will power to overcome the obstacles to play a physically demanding sport.
There are many persons with terminal illnesses.
My sister had a terminal illness.
Spindle Cell Sarcoma.
She went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2013. The day before my wedding anniversary.
Death is cruel. It cuts short lives that were meant to live. Some of us are bold enough to ask the right questions.
Why does man have to die?
If you look at all the books in the world, only one Book of books has the answer.
I understand that there are many agnostics who is a person who “believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.”
In other words, sarcastically, this person chooses a “safe” position, just in case an agnostic happens to change their mind.
Everyone believes in something.
An agnostic believes that they are going to die.
Because everybody must go this way. The difference is that an agnostic doesn’t believe in the existence of God and an agnostic claims no disbelief in God. But agnostics know that they are going to die.
Where did death come from?
You see, avoiding the place where the answer is found is the agnostics avoidable defense.
The answer is in the Bible.
Atheists are a different brand.
An atheist is “a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.”
Even atheists believe that they are going to die.
It’s amazing but not surprising that both camps will admit that death is inevitable. However, it’s stunning to realize that an agnostic and an atheist refuse to consider the only answer to these two questions.
So if a person has the capacity to believe, Who’d you think put it there?
Certainly not you.
Believing is an act of faith.
Agnostics and atheists wants indisputable fact or undeniable evidence. No guess work. No assumption.
Just the facts.
Just a side note.
It is my understanding that neither Brittany Maynard or Lauren Hill are agnostics or atheists. I could be wrong and I will be corrected should additional information becomes available. But for the rest of our readers, these two dangerous positions is a clear indication that is extremely risky.
The Bible is God’s Word given directly to man. The Bible gives us specific information about why we were created. Why man decided to become hostile to God and God’s remedy to save man from sin and death. What man has done over the years is reduced the power of God’s offer of salvation into a “worthless religion” while remaining in a sinful condition.
In other words, man wants to make his own rules about God while committing sin with impunity.
All you have to do is look at our justice system.
When a crime is committed, when that person is caught, they must pay a penalty.
Where did morals come from?
Morals came from God.
The judicial system gives us a glimpse of the fact that crimes committed requires justice.
Where does justice come from?
Justice came from God.
When a crime is committed and it goes unpunished, many people are outraged that crimes go unpunished. When a murder is committed, and the murderer goes free, there is outrage.
Who first said that murder is a crime?
God said it.
“You shall not murder.”
So if there is no God, or there is a disbelief of His existence, or you claim no disbelief or belief in God, then is murder permitted?
How do we know that murder is wrong?
We get that murder is wrong from God.
For you, you will still say that this still disproves or at the least, brings doubt about the existence of God.
Most look for God to step out on the stage and prove His existence to end all questions.
Even when Adam and Eve were in the Garden with God, they didn’t believe His Word. Even when Jesus walked the earth, having came from God, they didn’t believe His Word. Even with creation looking at us everyday and testifying by its existence, people today will refuse to believe.
Even with a thousand arguments from the Bible, people will refuse to believe. But these same people believe that believing in God is a waste of time. Yet, they all believe they are going to die. Then why fight illness? Why seek medical attention if you are in an accident? Why ask the doctor to help you?
According to the Scriptures (Genesis chapters 1, 2, and 3), death came into this world because of Adam’s transgression. Adam was told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. satan, entered a subtle serpent, used the voice of that serpent, and beguiled Eve. Eve ate of that tree first and then Adam. Their eyes were opened. God searched for them. Adam and Eve confessed to their crime and God pronounced judgment upon them.
They must die.
However, God pronounced a remedy for man’s sin. The Lord God would send His Son with sinless blood, to live a perfect life, be betrayed by one of His disciples, be crucified, and be raised from the dead on the third day. God would give man one life to live but within that timeframe, he must repent of sin, ask God for forgiveness, and be born again.
We are not allowed any second chances.
After we die, the deal is sealed.
Many think that this is not fair.
In Ezekiel, the children of Israel told God that it was not fair (see Ezekiel 18). But look at the Scriptures for yourselves.
“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”
That’s the problem with agnostics and atheists, and unbelievers that believe in the existence of God.
They all believe that their way is fair and God’s way is unfair.
It’s fair to live in sin and be hostile towards God. It’s fair to live in sin and do as we please and be allowed to live forever in sin.
No, it’s not fair.
We were not created by God to do as we please but to do as He please. It’s our ways that is unfair, unjust, and unrighteous.
But through it all, God gave us mercy and grace. He sent His Son to die for our sins so that we can live for His pleasure.
The death of one and inevitably, the death of the other is unfortunate. However, Jesus is the only Way out of death.
Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, after this the judgment.”
If death is true on one hand, judgment is true on the other.
If we know that we will not avoid death, what makes us think that we will avoid the judgment?
If you have a terminal illness, make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. Repent of your sins and ask the Lord to have mercy on you and forgive your sins.
The first thing that I did was make sure that my sister repented of sin and is a child of God. It made no sense going the way of all the earth, we cry and not find her there before the Lord. If you still have doubts about the existence of God, look up at the stars in the sky. Look at the sun and the moon. Look at the birds and the trees. Look at the mountains and the clouds. Look at yourself in the mirror.
Do you want proof of God’s existence?
Look at this list.
You still don’t believe?
Just look at your watch. The clock is ticking. Depending upon your fate, some of us may not have much time. Death happens to us all. No one escapes death.
Why risk it because of your belief that there is no God?
If it is a risk that you are willing to take and accept, there is no amount of preaching that will help you, but I pray you change your mind and reconsider.
A Scripture comes to mind about the time we have on earth.
James 4 :14 says “…whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
While this blog has been about sexual immorality, I just want to take the time to talk about a connected issue which I will include.
William Barry Dye III, the oldest son of William Dye, Jr. and Lessie. B. Dye, passed away on Sunday, December 23, 2012.
Just one day before my late mother in law’s birthday on Christmas Eve. She went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, October 10, 2011.
For years, Barry, my brother in law, would live life his way. It’s quite common in families that serve the Lord that children live rebellious lives.
For years this would be the case. However, it pays to pray. Parents that pray for their children know the power of God. Mom Dye did this every day. She prayed every day for her children. One of the things that I love about the Lord is that He has inside information.
No prayer that man prays goes unanswered. Many of us do pray prayers in accordance with His will but the answer never materializes, but just because what we’ve prayed for didn’t manifest, it doesn’t mean that the Lord didn’t answer it. There are many variables that take place. We must also remember that man sometimes do not cooperate with God but when man cooperates with God, the answers were always what the Lord had in mind.
When the Father knows all things and the “cloud of many witnesses” are given inside information, the praise in heaven is deafening.
Mom Dye, while she was here, had many prayer partners. One person of note is Mrs. Thomas. A very close friend and prayer partner in the Saratoga projects in Brooklyn, NY. There is no question that they prayed in agreement and in earnest for Barry.
As another side note these ladies of Zion Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY, had prayer partners all over Brooklyn. My first landlord, Mrs. Marion Batson, a long time member of Zion Baptist Church, would have prayer with other prayer partners in her house almost every day during the late morning hours, or at noon.
I’m here to tell you that somewhere in the United States, in a community near you, there may be prayer partners praying and you will not know who or where they are but when you see the results that turn positive, just know that the God of prayer answer the saints of prayer.
While circumstances happen and while the devil will use every thing in his playbook to get a soul into hell, Barry was no exception. Every time he would attempt to join certain organizations, he would get kicked out. Martial Arts. Masonic Lodge. You name it. He didn’t last long. Certain churches. It didn’t matter. Barry wouldn’t last.
There is no question that prayer to prevent entrance into places where he wasn’t supposed to go, had something to do with why he wouldn’t be accepted into these organizations.
When it comes to prayer, God works in a spectrum of time but He is not governed by time. God governs time from eternity. Just because “there is a time and a season” for every purpose, God doesn’t look at a clock. The will of God was completed before time began. However, man is governed by time on earth. So when the Lord begins to pull man, there are times when they will know it and there will be times when they will not.
Nonetheless, Barry was running out of time but God is God.
It’s amazing to watch God unfold His plan without man’s permission, with the exception of the human will. God will not make you come into His kingdom. You have to desire Him and His Word. Barry knew where truth would be but when you are still led by the flesh and the mind, sometimes you really don’t care about time or eternity.
Just as we were driving away from the Crematorium to have his remains cremated, we were talking about getting into the apartment he was living in. In NYC housing, it’s called “succession.” After Mom Dye passed away, Barry had succession rights to the apartment. Barry had a roommate. This roommate had a porn problem. There would be porn pictures all over the roommate’s wall. So, my daughter found out about these pictures through a friend of my other brother in law, Vernon. To protect me from being exposed to these pictures, because I wanted to help out getting the apartment squared away after Barry’s passing, the Lord used my daughter to warn me not to go.
Without hesitation, I immediately complied, and I will not go.
LESSON. No matter how much distance you put, the affects of porn are still strong. Paul says we are to “Avoid the appearance of evil.” Strength is in avoiding, not in exposure. Name me one person that stuck his head up with a sniper taking shots at you and he survived. Not one. Each one got a hole in the head as proof that the devil is not out to wound you but to kill you.
But after Barry received Jesus, one Sunday, when Barry came to our church, the Lord dropped in my spirit that someone was watching pornography.
Right before my sermon, I said, “The Lord told me that someone was watching porn.”
You see, when you’ve been cleansed from the devastating affects of porn and self gratification, commonly called masturbation, you begin to pick up things along these lines. It doesn’t happen often but the Lord will tell you something.
I looked at all the brothers and the sound of silence was deafening in the house of the Lord. Yes, even the ladies were shocked but not that shocked because I’ve made an effort to inform the wives to check up on their husbands before this incident took place. I believe that wives need to know what is going on in the life of a man and if they are to save their marriage, if you haven’t confronted your husband about porn, your marriage may not last long.
Anyway, I looked at Barry and you could see that God was speaking through me about that situation. It is not certain that the Lord told me specifically that it was Barry that was watching porn, but I’ve seen my brother in law in action when women would walk near him. Like most men, there is a lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes problem. His eyes would travel and he would lay his best rap on these women.
One day, we were driving my mother in law home and in the back seat of my car, I had a copy of my book, Secret Sexual Sins. He looked and saw these three words and there was no question that his interest perked.
Why am I sharing all of this?
You and I do not know the degree of God’s grace. No one knows the limit of His measureless, abundant grace.
All those prayers and all of these incidences. God doesn’t care where you’ve come from or what you’ve done, so long as you finally make a decision to quit sin and come to Him. To cut right to the chase, shortly after my mother in law’s death, Barry came to church and received the Lord as His personal Lord and Savior. Mom’s prayers were answered by the Lord.
We all know that a sinner’s prayer anyone could pray, but it is what a person practices that determines if the salvation sticks. Now, mind you that Jesus mentioned that we must be born again. We know that Jesus said that “the wind blows where it wants and you hear the sound, but you cannot tell when it comes and where it is going. So is everyone that is born of the Spirit.”
In other words, you cannot see the work of the Holy Spirit according to Titus 3:5, but you can see that a person begins to change. They begin to say and do things that shows signs of a person that is genuinely born again. The organizations that Barry would be thrown out was because Barry would say things and make statements that would drive you nuts.
When Barry received Jesus, he didn’t have carfare to get to Prevailing Word and his sister, (my wife) told him just to go somewhere and get the Word. After mom’s passing, Barry’s closest voice to remind him of mom was his baby sister, but Barry needed a pastor. Bishop-elect Al Jackson, pastor of Highways and Hedges Christian Church, right across the street from the Saratoga projects, was right there. He baptized him on the profession of his faith and Barry participated in the church’s Men Talk men’s meeting.
Even there, Barry brought about controversy but the pastor, and the men at Barry’s new church handled business to “reel him in,” and bring him along in the Lord. You all know how much of a handful some of us were when we got saved, so do not look at yourself in your “perfection.”
Every one of us came with stuff and some of us still have stuff.
Pretty much the story of William Barry Dye III.
Yeah, this was the real Barry before the old Barry died and came alive in Christ.
In the last year, we’ve seen signs of a child of God emerge while he was making his way through so much struggling. Over 20 years before he gave his life to Jesus, from losing his job, losing his marriage. Angry and bitter at the world, and just causing controversy and mayhem with everything and everybody, God still had His hand on him.
Over this short period of time, one year’s worth, we’ve seen the Lord save him and delivered him. However, as with all persons, relapse does happen, as it did with Barry, but you learn to pick yourself up and keep it moving. Sometimes, even a relapse is costly. It turned out to be the tipping of the scales against him.
Drugs, alcohol, and a rebellious life. Pretty much a story of many people searching for answers to life that could only be found in Jesus. Or, perhaps, looking to mend wounds of the past by drowning oneself in the world’s pleasure drugs.
However, God’s love is greater. The Lord never overlooks sin, but He uses people to point the way to His grace. Even if circumstance of life happen, through it all, God is still a marvel.
In the remaining months of Barry’s life, congestive heart failure (CHF) took away from him a life that would have been wonderful to watch fully bloom in the Lord. Barry had a habit of “crying wolf” and we really didn’t put stock in what he was telling us. That he had what Mom Dye had, CHF, but Barry knew something. That he didn’t have much time left on earth.
We thought that Barry was joking but he was dead serious. We didn’t know how serious it was until after he departed this life. We’ve should have known when he gave his life to Jesus that something was up.
With reconciling and getting closer to his own three sons, and grandchildren, and reconciling with his younger siblings, somewhat accomplished, the grains in the hour glass of life were quickly assuming its place on top of the other grains of sand of his past. The last grain of sand fell when his heart stopped for the final time.
As we stood around to view his remains, at Matthew Barrett Funeral Home for the family viewing, at his Homegoing, and again, on Saturday, January 5, 2013 before we escorted his remains for the last time to the Crematorium, we couldn’t help but remember and laugh at the many antics of Barry. He left us with a treasure of memories that is characteristics of a life filled with, not just controversy, but a desire to see people laugh.
Even in pain, laughter is a medicine.
I recently hung my wedding pictures in our house. I look at how young we were, Valeria and I, but even though you may not see Barry, you see his handiwork. It’s just as good as a picture of him. For those pictures he took now serve as my own personal memorial of him on our living room wall.
What an amazing gift from you that you gave us Barry.
But what was the Lord doing?
He was showing us that life happens but eternal life happens too.
We also looked at the standpoint that sometimes when a person that has been through so much, that to avoid other incidences that have the potential to pull him away from the Lord, we can only say that in heaven, there is no better safe haven. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
You’ve often wondered if certain loved ones made it into His kingdom. We will soon find out, but when you have that assurance in your heart as the Holy Spirit witnesses to you, you get that sense of knowing that at least, he professed Jesus as Lord. The rest is up to us to be even more diligent to make OUR calling and election sure.
Again, it is good to have inside information that Barry would finally make it in his Lord’s kingdom. No preacher can preach a man or woman into the kingdom of heaven. Even when we have a sense in knowing that he made it, we are only assured of our own individual salvation.
Nonetheless, we all want a story to end nice and neat. However, one thing is certain, you can always tell when a person crosses over from death to eternal life. It’s all about practicing righteousness, but when you are a babe in Christ, while there is no exception, we must remember that even babies are vulnerable, but babes are still in the family.
While there was a number of factors that help a person come to the Lord, sometimes the small things are enough to place a marker in a person’s mind that perhaps someone is in your corner. That’s all Barry wanted. No quicker that God uses small things to attract them, they come to your church and get saved. We did that for Barry. Paid some of his bills. Helped him stay in the apartment. Put money in his hands. The little things pay big dividends. In some cases, eternal ones.
Barry, we miss you but we will meet again in Jesus. For now, we will chase after the Savior you now behold. And we will do our best to command those in our family to repent and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ, just as you did if they are to have any chance of seeing the Lord and you, in that great getting up morning.
The plan of the devil to get him into hell was foiled, and the prayers of the saint once again prevailed.
Barry, with all that happened in your life, you knew that you didn’t have much time left, but you made the right choice in the end.
God saved your spirit man, just in a nick of time.
By Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Since Harold Camping’s, consistent failure to pinpoint the exact date of the end of time, there is no mistake about the finality of this planet. It would be error to applaud his error but he did spark interest in the end times. Many were counting on his prediction to be right.
And for good reason.
People have had enough of this out of control world. But something more ominous is on the horizon.
You should be equally concerned of your own mortality.
It is important to pay attention to the natural disasters that are happening at a more frequent pace. Each earthquake is intense or less intense. The glaciers are melting. Each storm is destructive and devastating.
The Bible tells us of the first earthquake in Genesis chapter 10 and verse 25.
“…for in his days the earth was divided…”
When the Lord set the nations up, it was clear that God would govern the times, seasons, and course of all the nations. As the earth separated, there is no question that there was quite a shaking.
But notice what Acts 17 tells us.
Paul was in Greece. Athens to be specific and observed that the entire city was turned over to idolatry. The ineffectiveness of the Jewish synagogue to articulate to these philosophers who God is, has given these Gentiles reason enough to turn themselves over to idolatry.
Sounds like the modern day church today.
So Paul saw that it was an opportunity to preach Jesus to them.
Paul starts out by letting the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers know who the “UNKNOWN GOD” is.
“…God made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands…He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings…”
The definitive answer to the Lordship of Jesus is found in John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:15-17. You go back to the question, “Who made all of this?” It all goes back to Genesis chapter 1.
When Adam sinned, all of creation was placed on a clock.
The title of this blog could be misunderstood because this planet is not the world that I am talking about.
The end of your world is you.
God determined before hand everyone’s time. Everything is pre-appointed. This pre-appointment is not based on God forcing you to do what you do. It is based on what God already knew what you would do as a free moral agent. He created you with an independent will. At any time you could make a decision and it will either mean your life or your death.
Every decision you make is a decision God knew ahead of time that you would make. At anytime, you could have change your mind. God already knows who would be saved and who would reject His salvation. Just because He knows this, it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t get into the kingdom.
When it comes to sickness and disease, you know that if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness, you know that the clock is really ticking. Most of the times when I watch certain medical shows like ER Trauma or Dr. G., Medical Examiner, we see death up front.
What I’ve also observed in these and similar shows is that while people are faced with the end of their world, the Person they need most is not even thought of sometimes. They use abstract thinking or reasoning that sounds religious but you could see that there is no real connection to God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
A person’s world is passing before their eyes and faster than they could think. Very few realize that when earthly life is over, eternity is next. Or they do know that death is about to take them but they play it off like it’s not really happening to them.
Because of Adam’s transgression, all of us received the death penalty but through Jesus, we, through His death can receive eternal life. If we reject God’s provision for salvation, we must be eternally separated forever (see John 3:15-21).
The answer is found in the Scripture quoted directly above.
Very few have made the decision to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and they are not ready to pass into eternity into heaven. Very many pass into eternity without knowing the Savior.
In one particular show other than the ones I mentioned above, she explained to me that a person died of a heart attack. When they revived him, they asked him a question. “Did you see anything?” He answered, “It was dark. I didn’t see a blanking thing.”
Just because you didn’t see anything it doesn’t mean that you saw everything.
Millions that have pass away are brought back to this life. Not realizing that it was somebody, either in heaven, or in earth, or both that prayed to the Father to spare your life so that you could get a chance to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
So the next time death is about to fully take you, you will not go the way of all the earth into a dark eternity apart from God.
Hebrews 9:27 says,
“It is appointed unto men once to die, after this the judgment.”
Everyone knows that the appointment of death is coming. But after death, the judgment is coming. You will be judge according to what you’ve done and primarily what you have done with Jesus.
Did you accept Him or reject Him.
We see death as a reminder when the hearse goes by. We see it when we watch wars or murders. We see it when we watch our relatives or our loved ones pass through the doors of death. We know that the end of our world is soon coming.
The point is, will you pass through into eternity with Christ or without Him.
“God, I come to You, a sinner. I desire salvation. I repent of all my sins. I believe that Jesus is Lord. I believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God. I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. I believe that right now, I am saved. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
If you prayed that prayer for the very first time, Welcome into the Kingdom of our risen Savior. Now click the link below, click the “Sinner’s Prayer” and you will find out more about what you did to become a child of the King.