Scripture with Fresh Eyes

11 02 2014

Dave Fulton, NWMC Board Member, shares this deeply personal insight from a recent family tragedy. Image

WAS SHE A BELIEVER?

I was in Los Angeles this past weekend to attend a memorial service for my younger sister Jane who died in the early hours of the morning of December 21st.

At 3:45am the Morning of December 21  I received a phone call from my brother-in-law that his wife had died. Later that morning I began making those dreaded phone calls to inform family and friends of my sister’s passing. Christian friends who did not know my sister asked if she was a believer. Christian family members who knew she was not, well, no telling what was going through their minds.

The Christian faith teaches us that faith in Jesus Christ, the claim of “Jesus is my Lord and Savior” is our ticket to heaven and with no such claim we are bound for hell. This is drilled into us almost every Sunday morning.

My sister went into the hospital about a week before Christmas to have both her kidneys removed. She was ill with polycystic kidney disease. Her kidneys had become so enlarged that they had to be removed. The doctors were confident that the operation would go well and that Jane would be home in a couple of days.

I had been praying for my sister long before she went into the hospital but as one does in times of “emergencies” my prayers became more frequent and intensified upon being informed of this much needed operation.

A couple of days after the initial operation, due to complication, a second operation was necessary.After the second operation my sister would never regain consciousness, mainly due to the pain killing drugs being administered.

Jane was not a believer…so was she hell bound?  God in his loving grace and mercy would bring gentle correction to what I believe to be an incomplete understanding of His teaching on heaven bound vs hell bound. God’s word teaches us that He will NEVER leave us of forsake us. Deut 31:8, Josh 1:5, Heb 13:5. Why was I feeling that the God of the universe, the almighty God I claim to believe in, the God who is ever present, all powerful, all loving, why did I think He was unable to communicate with my unconscious sister. God is NOT subject to the laws that you and I are subject to.

Did Jesus talk to my sister? I have no doubt that He did.

I suppose that I can be accused of taking the above verses out of context, but I believe I have not. God’s word also tells us that He desires all to come to repentance and He is patient about it. 2 Peter 3:9.What better time for God to talk to us and my sister than when we have absolutely nothing distracting us.

“Was she a believer?” When asked that question I answered it with a question. “Why do we Christians believe that to be a relevant question?”We ask because it is what we have been taught. We too often blindly follow the teachings from the pulpit and the teachings of those we consider more “spiritually mature” than ourselves.  

As I pursue an ever newer and deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, not just knowledge of Him, I am amazed at what I discover about who He truly is.I teach the men I mentor and engage in discipleship with to read the Bible looking for Jesus Christ in every verse (something some guy named Charles Spurgeon suggested). The unveiling of the mysteries of God and the new truths of God that come to light as one reads the Bible this way are simply amazing. What a blessed comfort it is when the Holy Spirit brings us proper understanding.

Was she a believer? Not for all of her conscious life. But when it matter most…Jesus never left her.

Dave F   2/11/14

Dave would invite your comments to this post. Perhaps you are someone who has struggled with this question yourself. Jump into the conversation. Dave can be reached directly at

shilo1863@gmail.com

 


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