Welcome to Episode #66 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.
I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.
The Bible says in Leviticus 19:32: “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.”
The featured quote for this episode is from Steve Jobs. He said, “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”
Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 6: Who’s to Blame?, Part 2” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.
If our churches are not helping us to think about these things, it is, in part, because our seminarians do not train for these things. They cut their teeth in the youth group, not the nursing home. We don’t require pastors to help us die. This negligence has pushed the dying away from the church. “People who are sick don’t think about calling the pastor,” says John Dunlap, “because they have never been schooled that’s an area the pastor needs to be involved in. And the pastor’s not comfortable being involved.”
Some pastors believe it is not the job of the church to accomodate the needs of the elderly, but it is the responsibility of the elderly to fit into the church. “We want older people to grow and move” in order for the church to be attractive to young people, one bishop told Knox. He wanted the elderly “to stay young and fresh.” Perhaps that is why, in Knox’s interviews with dozens of church and seminary leaders as well as church members, no one “spoke of helping older people to face their own death.”
Nevertheless, caring for the elderly, the ill and the dying has always been a basic function of the church. Today, families are in particular need for the church to assist in that responsibility. Caregivers need the church’s help to do the things that need doing: trips to the doctor, cooking, cleaning, navigating the medical maze or simply getting a break from all these things. Beyond material assistance, the dying need to know they still matter to the church body. Particularly in a culture where dying may take two or more years to complete, this relationship needs to be intentional.
Lest we lay the burden solely at the feet of church leaders, Knox found a striking ignorance not only of how to minister to older adults but an ignorance even of how many elderly attended their churches. “Virtually no one in any church or denomination seemed to have any idea of how many older people belonged to either,” he writes. We cannot depend on pastors to take up the responsibility alone. As we look for ways to serve the church, we too must be intentional about seeking out the dying and their families, learning how to love them in this unique hour and actively caring for them in tangible ways.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.
Let’s Pray —
Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”