Please indulge me as I yet again engage with personal memory of Easter season six years ago. It is a memory that I couldn’t put out of the forefront of my thoughts even if I wanted to do so–which I don’t.
Good Friday, April 22, 2011 was the day that, after a workout session, I felt as if my chest would explode. It was a widow maker heart attack.
Once the emergency guys got me to the hospital about 2 two miles from our home, my heart stopped. I was instantaneously in the presence of a throng of beautiful young people–male and female–who cheered vigorously, all the while bidding me to join them.
I started to do so, but everything grew dark around me and I was on the gurney being whisked toward the cath lab.
I heard a young man say he had to “hit him with the paddles.”
I asked, “What paddles?” and he replied: “Your heart stopped and I had to use the defib paddles.”
My heart stopped two more times that afternoon. Each time I was instantaneously in front of the same wildly cheering throng of young men and women who bid me to join them.
The third time I joined them and we were running a victory lap of some sort. They were looking over at me and laughing joyously, with their hands extended at full arms-length into the air.
The sensation was…well… heavenly. I have no other way of describing it. We were running–without any physical exertion whatsoever–toward some wonderful destination. (I have, in reflecting on this experience for years, come to the conclusion we were headed toward the Throne of God.)
I know these were the “cloud of witnesses” of Hebrews 12:1-3.
But, things grew dark again and I was again, after seemingly several seconds, on the cath lab table and the cardiologist interventionist was working on me. He had removed the arterial blockage.
Astonishingly, I had no permanent heart damage and have had absolutely no problem with my engine since. My life, however, continues to be affected every waking moment by that Good Friday trip to somewhere on the heavenly property that I will someday inherit–as will you, if you know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. (We are joint heirs with Christ, God’s Word promises.)
So, with that memory indelibly etched in my spirit, I naturally–or perhaps supernaturally would be a better term–was reflecting on my trip of six years ago the other day as Easter 2017 approached.
One of my things to do every morning is to read The Omega Letter. This email newsletter is well known by most who love Bible prophecy, of course. It is the letter mailed daily to subscribers that was written by Jack Kinsella, perhaps the most prolific such writer I’ve known.
Jack was a dear, personal friend who went to claim his heavenly property inheritance in 2013. I miss him immensely, as do all who knew him. He was indeed a special friend and Christian brother.
More than that, he was a special teacher of all things biblical–especially of the prophetic Word of God. In that regard I don’t miss him, because his many hundreds of articles continue to instruct, implore, exhort, admonish, and inspire on a daily basis. His writing is, amazingly, as fresh as the day he wrote it.
So it was on Saturday before this past Easter Sunday that I opened my Omega Letter.
There it was–Jack’s inspiration and exhortation for this Easter. Only it was originally written April 23, 2011. That’s right. It was written one day after my trip onto the heavenly property that Jack now owns for all of eternity. I probably shouldn’t, but I envy him that fact…
Jack’s words were wonderfully poignant and personal that day as he waxed eloquent yet simply in his own inimitable, communicative style.
Since there is no such word as coincidence in God’s vocabulary, according to Jack’s dear friend Hal Lindsey, I know that the Lord somehow used Jack’s and my close friendship to convey this special message on the day following Good Friday.
Jack, in closing that Omega Letter, addresses the question: What happens when we die?
If the Bible is true and Jesus can be believed, then when a saved person closes his eyes in this life, he awakes fully conscious in the next – where he is whisked by the angels into heaven… There is a choice. But it is admittedly limited. One can repent and trust Jesus or one can face God clothed in one’s own righteousness and see how things work out…
Jack pointed out in the article that, tragically, the rich man Jesus told about in the rich man and Lazarus story is still in the place of torment, eternally regretting depending on his own righteousness to get him to Heaven. Jack’s posthumous post delivers to me the profoundly personal exhortation to do more to reach the lost with the Gospel at every opportunity–opportunity I’ve been given by having been returned to earth for awhile longer.