At age 66, my dad finally found the Lord and was baptized. He was never a very religious person, but in the final years of his life he was able to touch so many different people and show God's mercy because of his decision to honor Christ and live for him. He recently died of cancer. He was 74 years old, but faced his death with hope and peace because he knew he was going to see God's glory and live in a better place.
My Dad and I had been estranged for the past 15 years, and I never got to know the 'new' man my Dad had become. I had found out that he was dying and I went to the hospital to see him. The first thing we both did was to tell each other that we were sorry and the healing process began. I was able to find comfort in his walk with Christ when at last we did talk. We were able to spend 2 hours, talking and listening to each other. In addition, I heard remarkable stories about my Dad from those that knew him and had seen the change in his life. The thing that helps through this difficult time is that I know one day we will meet again and be able to renew our love.
Jesus says to come to Him and you will have everlasting life. I thank God that my Dad had the opportunity to get to know Jesus even if I couldn't be there to witness this transformation. What greater joy can there be than to know that even though our relationship was strained and broken, God found a way to heal it ... for eternity.
And now, brothers and sisters, I want you to know what will happen to the Christians who have died so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died.
I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NLT)