Death for the Christian is the doorway to Heaven’s glory

Published 8:04 am Friday, October 20, 2023

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

 

Dear Rev. Graham: In our high-tech society it seems that parents encourage their children to play games on their devices but shield them from reality. My elderly father is dying and my adult children (who are Christians) feel that it is morbid to let their children visit with him since his ability to communicate is difficult, but he’s aware of the presence of loved ones. What encouragement is there about this sensitive issue? – D.P.

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Dear D.P.: A hospice nurse was helping care for a grandfather who was dying. His four-year-old granddaughter was ordered to go another part of the house to play, and told not to go near Grandpa’s room. The adult members of the family sat and cried in the living room, and the teenage grandsons wandered in and out of the house aimlessly. The hospice worker found the little girl sobbing in the corner of her room. “What’s the matter, honey?” she asked. “They won’t let me see Grandpa,” she whimpered. The nurse said to the family, “It’s wrong not to allow the children to see their grandfather and tell him goodbye. Don’t keep them away.” Reluctantly, the parents told their children they could go into the room. The little girl stood on her tiptoes and kissed her grandpa, and then, not satisfied that he knew she was there, she pulled herself up on the bed and snuggled next to him. The boys sat in chairs beside his bed, and a smile came to Grandpa’s face — and he died peacefully. That little girl never forgot the experience.

What an important time for teaching the peace of God in difficult times. Jesus spoke about death and said, “He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me … has passed from death into life” (John 5:24). Death for the Christian is the doorway to Heaven’s glory.

 

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)