On the evening of Wednesday 10th February this year, I had a near-death experience that prompted me to come up with this article. I have always thought about death but this particular incident made it so real and close. I couldn’t help but think of eternity and what awaits believers and non-believers alike in the next life.
Working as an intern in a private Company in Kilimani. I start my days’ activities at 8.00 a.m. and by 5. 30 pm I’m always ready to catch a bus to a certain town, where I then board the last matatu home. For close to 30 minutes no bus came along on this particular day and so at 6 p.m another lady at the station and I opted to take a motorcycle. That made the three of us inclusive of the motorist.
Off we went, at an average speed struggling to get our way through the heavily trafficked Argwings’ Kodhek road. Before boarding the motorcycle, I had worn my earphones and was listening to and meditating on some of my favorite gospel hits from my phone. There’s one specific song that captured my attention the more, ‘You’re a good good Father’ by Chris Tomlin. Some of the words that still echo in my mind were ‘…many search for answers far and wide but I know we’re all searching for answers only You provide cause You know just what we need before we say a word. You’re a good good Father and I’m loved by You.’ All I wanted was to get home, lock myself in a room and worship this Father.
All of a sudden, a school bus that was moving parallel to us made a right turn without indicating to the motorist who had no option but to also make a sudden turn. Things happened so fast and all I could see was the big yellow bus getting closer and closer to hit us, sweep underneath and run over us. I still shudder at the thought! The motorist lamented but kept on moving. My fellow passenger wailed. The onlookers screamed. I held my breath and called on the good Father. Death felt so close.
Obviously, I didn’t die because you wouldn’t be reading this hehe. Thanks be to God. But for the rest of the journey, I kept on wondering, ‘What if I died?’ All the people I had communicated to that day (they were quite a number) would say, ‘We had our last conversation today.’ My grand mom would never stop mourning. I pictured my mother in distress and anguish. My sisters and dad in sorrowful pain, my housemates in disbelief, my friends, colleagues, church family, bible study group members with whom we’d met the previous day. It would indeed have been one of the worst evenings for the categories of people above. And truth be told, such a day will surely come sooner or later. Should the Lord Jesus tarry!
One thing I know without doubt, is I’d be in heaven with God, and Jesus, and all the apostles and prophets and saints who’ve gone before. My body would be somewhere in Montezuma or Lee funeral home or wherever, while I’d be in a glorious body with Christ in Heaven. How can you be so sure? Someone might ask.
First off, for believers, to live is Christ and to die is gain. This is what the apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:21, he goes on to say 22” If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”
As much as we’re afraid of death and dread at the thought of it, we are to believe God’s word when He tells us that to die is gain. For surely, it will be better by far to be with the Lord in heaven. Below is a glimpse of how life after death will look like according to the Prophet Isaiah.
The nations will fear, revere God, the God of Jacob. 25: 3, 9
God will be a refuge for his poor people, those who trust only in him.25: 4-5
A feast for God’s people on God’s mountain that includes the nations.25: 6
Even death will be defeated.25: 7, 8a
Instead of pain and shame there will be joy and blessing for all God’s peoples.25:6-8
People will give praise to God on account of what he has done.25: 1
God’s people will return and be righteous.26: 2
There’ll be perfect peace for God’s people.26
The desolate nation has been enlarged and increased.26:15
God will punish and slay the Serpent, i.e. Satan 27: 1
God will no longer be angry and will again watch over and take pride in his fruitful vineyard, his people.27: 2, 3.
God’s people will be gathered from the nations and they’ll worship him again in Jerusalem.27: 12-13
Indeed it’ll be a glorious lasting salvation for believers as God’s word is trustworthy. Our ticket to heaven is guaranteed, and the Holy Spirit indwelling us assures and bears witness to this truth. Death will be (as one theologian put it) crossing over from the land of the dying to the land of the living. It matters therefore what we do as we wait to cross over. We are not to live in fear, but strive to have a clear conscience in everything we do, whether we’re serving God or man. Praying to the Holy Spirit always that He’ll cause us to will and to work towards daily sanctification (Philippians 2:13).
Anyone who has not believed in the Lord Jesus Christ will face eternal condemnation. These will be the words of Jesus to such a person ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’Matt 25: 41. You don’t want to hear that!
If you are reading this and you have not put your faith and trust in Christ, He is calling you today. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Suppose I had died on that unpredicted incident it’s not the prayer I was making at that moment nor the few good deeds of the past that’d have saved me. Rather it’s what Christ did on the old rugged cross many years ago, when He cried out ‘it is finished!’ that assures me of spending eternity with Him. Run to Jesus.
‘For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?’ Mark 8:36