This past week, Hugo Chavez, who served as president of Venezuela for fourteen years, died. In June 2011, it was revealed that he had gone to Cuba for surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Even though he declared himself fully recovered in July 2012, just four months later, he was back in Cuba for more surgery. His condition worsened as the cancer began to affect his lungs, and after two months of treatment in Cuba, he returned to a military hospital in Venezuela where he remained hospitalized and was “fighting for his life.” He developed a “severe respiratory infection”, and on March 5, 2013, the government announced that he had died from a massive heart attack. His last words were: “I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die.”
Hugo Chavez’s dying words reflect the desire that all of us have to live forever. Death is a painful, unnatural experience. Painful for the people who are left behind to grieve, and unnatural because in God’s original plan, death was never meant to be. However, even though we all have to die physically, the Bible tells us that we can live forever through the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.
Jesus Christ said in John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” The Bible also says in John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
These verses tell us that the way to have eternal life is through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour. The life that Jesus Christ provides is permanent — it lasts forever. Because we live in this sinful world, and because the “wages of sin is death,” we will still have to die physically. But instead of fearing what lies on the other side of the door of death, we can be confident and die in peace knowing that Jesus Christ is on the other side of that door and is waiting with open arms to receive us into Heaven.
The great evangelist D.L. Moody said that when he died, he would actually be more alive than ever before. And, as he lay on his deathbed, he exclaimed, “Earth recedes and Heaven opens before me!” If you know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, death will only be a transition from Earth to Heaven. Even though you will pass from this earth physically, you will be entering upon a new, eternal, existence in Heaven.
Wouldn’t you like to have this wonderful assurance about death? Wouldn’t you like to know that you are going to a better place when you die? You can know this today if you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
+ Plus, listen to Bethel Live singing “Forever and a Day”