Someone asked me one time, “How would you like to die?” The first time that happened was during the Vietnam War where I was seeing men die daily. My response at that time was simply, “Quickly—like a bullet between the eyes.”
Later on in life I was asked that question again, but I had a different response because of my deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, I would like it to be quick, and honoring to God, but medical science has advanced to the point of keeping people alive longer. I believe God would delight in His sons and daughters if we would just rest in the truth of Scripture: “My times are in your hands (Psalm 31:15a).” His time is perfect, and the how we as Christians die is given by the hand of our loving God.
When asked the question of how I’d like to die, I usually don’t talk about the method of dying but the attitude I will have. I usually say, “I want to live the way I wished I would have lived when it comes my time to die.”
Our good and great Savior and God is perfect in His love, gentleness, faithfulness, grace, mercy, power, and authority and is worthy of our childlike trust and warlike courage. No matter what our situation may be today, God’s saving presence is being driven by perfect Christ-like love. Jesus is perfect in power and authority and is shepherding His sheep in and with a love for us that only God can understand. All I know is our Lord seeks our highest good for all who have simply thanked Him for His great salvation that Jesus Christ presents to any and everyone.
Yes, I believe a Christian is immortal until God has accomplished His purpose in and through His sons’ and daughters’ lives. Paul’s words are true: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21, emphasis added).” Scripture tells us not only is our physical death no more than the blink of an eye, but when we finish the blink of the eyes, they open into the truth and reality of God’s promise that, “‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).”
Wow! Now we can respond with unspeakable JOY that, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15).”
Yes, human tears, but also eternal JOY for the saints.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.