About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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The Death Of My Dad


As I post this article on June 7, 2021, it has been twenty years to the day when at 8:50 PM, June 7, 2001, I laid my right hand on my cancer-consumed father.  I, and my wife Dianne proceeded to ask Jesus to immediately take dad home to heaven.  I prayed the same prayer for Dianne's deathly-ill brother a couple of years earlier, and Jesus took him within five seconds of my prayer.  That was utterly amazing.  Steering someone to the stairway to heaven in such a sorrow-filled situation is incredibly comforting.  Yes, I did shed my tears, but ten minutes after asking Jesus to take dad, he departed this life, but as I believe Revelation 21:1 predicts, dad will return to reside on a newly created earth. 


Was my father's short seventy-seven year life all there was to him?  Is he gone for good?  An atheist might remind me of 1 Peter 1:24 in support of his no God, no after-life claim, but of course, he'd take the quote out of its Biblical context.  


"All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall."


Yes, dad's life on earth was fleeting.  One day he was here and the next day he was gone.  Is the atheist right?  Is my earthly life all there is to me?  Will my remains rot away beneath a tombstone?  That's not my belief, but if I'm wrong, I've fallen headlong into a life of fake faith.   I've allowed myself to be deceived by the mother of all hoaxes.  So what caused me to believe June 7, 2001 was not the end of dad?


I admit it.  I was raised with a Biblical belief system where I spent many emotional moments at an altar of prayer, but that's not the only reason for my belief.  Some say I took a misguided leap of faith.  They suggest that I took a leap into the unknown without giving serious thought to where I would land, but faith is not such a leap.  Faith, especially Biblical faith, is trust, and trust implies a thought process that leads to a logical conclusion.  There was no leap away from logic for me.  I do have the mental capacity to think issues through.  A systematic processing of Biblical issues has, thus, led me to conclude that the Biblical belief system is universally true, but there is more.    


As important as intellectual pursuit of truth is, it was not the only reason why I have securely placed my trust in the Bible's view of truth.  I have experienced an inner transformation that confirms my belief.  In New Testament terminology, I have become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  I have become a born-again-of-the-Sprit of God person (John 3:1 - 5).  The Spirit of the Almighty Creator God has come to reside within me; something the atheist says is mere emotion, a psychosomatic failure of my mind, a fabrication of my over-active imagination.  I understand the criticism, but if you haven't been spiritually transformed, how could you comprehend its reality?             


Is my dad just a memory in my mind?  If I live as long as dad, I'll be saying my earthly goodbyes in seven short years.  Is the atheist right when he claims there is no God and my existence will end at death?  In the vernacular of the godless, I answer the atheist.  "Hell no!  I cannot bring myself to side with the atheist.  It goes against the very core of who I have become, and that's a born-of-the-Spirit of God human being."   

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