During the two years after discovering he had terminal cancer, Dick accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and discovered a true relationship with the living God. Dick lived more in the short time while he prepared to die, than in sixty years of living without Christ. At his funeral, several non-Christian friends and family spoke about his life. Most were clueless about Dick's faith and the implications of accepting Christ as one's Savior. Those without Christ are always clueless about life and death. They live only an imitation life in the world's darkness.
A friend of twenty-five years, spoke about Dick's integrity and work ethic and then said, "but let's talk about Dick, the man, not his career." He then spoke of the wisdom of those to whom love of family and friends is the most important thing in life. An ex-marine buddy concluded that service to one's country and faithful comrades were life's most important things. Others spoke about Dick's humor and love for his wife and son as the most important things. If Dick had spoken at his own funeral, he would have revealed that Jesus Christ and his relationship with God were absolutely the most important thing in his sixty year lifetime.
Death is its own rational explanation for an illogical end to human life. Flowers and turtles die, but things like love, wisdom, humor, creativity and choice are extraordinarily unique in all creation. Man cannot create or reproduce those things or even begin to understand them apart from God. The truth that the human "animal" is anything, but an animal, is assigned by God to every human heart (Rom 1:18-21).
Life and death are eternally significant events of existence. They are the only boundaries within which one has the freedom to choose their own eternal destiny. Those who reject Christ have missed the purpose of their creation and would be better off if they had never been created (Gal 3:22-26). Even Satan and his demons know there is one God and tremble (Jas 2:19). Clearly, one's belief in the existence of God is not the basis of salvation and eternal life. The blind confusion of the lost is self-inflicted. It is not God's will or desire that any perish. Indeed, God loves every person enough to send his only Son, to do everything possible and necessary to save all who are willing to be saved. If God were to nullify the choice of those who choose justice and reject Christ, he would invalidate those who choose Christ and mercy. How then, could God judge the world? (Rom 3:1-6)
The self-evident consequences of sin in this world are inviolate warnings to repent and seek God. Who can deny the devastation of sexual disease, unwanted pregnancy and broken relationships. Who cannot see the desperate emptiness of lives wasted on crime, addictions, self-indulgence, excess and other behavior the Bible warns against. Who does not recognize starvation, homelessness, war and injustice are products of human greed? To remain clueless about sin and death is not ignorance, but the deliberate rejection of life's warning and God's truth.
Dick discovered the most important thing in life before it was too late. Many of his friends and family, however, saw only a man who "got religion", after discovering he was dying. The stricken look on some faces over the "celebration of life" funeral service and mumbled participation in the Christian praise songs, made it clear that many were uncomfortable in church and anxious to leave. Those who choose death over life in this world, will receive what they have chosen in the next. (#718)