Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ: As some of you are already aware, I have stage 4 urethral cancer. It’s non-operable and invasive (having now already spread to lymph nodes, both regional and distal; other organs; bone; and other areas of the body as well).
It was during the first week of April, the oncologist gave a prognosis of five months maximum. That was almost 3 months ago. Some days when I awaken, I am amazed to still be here. Although none of us (mankind) can know the exact time and date of our death, as this is in the Lord’s hands alone. God’s will be done.
As I write this today, already some body systems and organs are failing. The body functions revive long enough to support the body through another day or two, maybe even up to a week, but then fail again. But there will soon come a time when they no longer function enough to sustain physical life.
These corruptible bodies of flesh die. That is no big news flash to anyone (even though most of mankind will do anything they can do NOT to think about their own physical deaths which sin works inside each body to bring us all to).
In fact, we are all promised physical death (Heb. 9:27). The only ones who won’t die a physical death are those who are taken in the rapture (those who are “alive and remain” as 1 Thes. 4:16-18 and 1 Cor. 15:49-53 foretell). And yes, there is hope, even in this late stage of the physical death process I am now in, that the rapture will occur before my own body succumbs, as scripture shows the imminence of the rapture (any day or time expectancy).
The rapture has been imminent for the last 2,000 years. It could have happened any time since the cross and after the church was formed (“ekklesia” – called out from the world and to the Lord), and the doctrine revealed to Paul. But it didn’t. The rapture hadn’t happened in those centuries since. Yet that possibility was a great comfort to every believer prior to ourselves and is still a great comfort to us believers today.
But we should be even MORE COMFORTED than believers before us. Why? Here’s the part I fear some folks miss these days. Even though the rapture is still imminent, it now is also sure to be near!
God’s word foretold what the world would look like prior to the tribulation. His word also foretells what the world will look like during the tribulation. And not only do we recognize that all of the scriptural truths foretold to occur prior to the tribulation are now prevalent, but so also do we recognize that even many of the events foretold to occur during the tribulation are now also being readied and aligned for soon future fulfillment as well.
I’d been hoping to finish an article on this very topic – an in-depth look at the scripture of how it is aligned exactly as foretold it would be prior to the tribulation, and of how tribulation events are being prepared for soon future fulfillment as well. It can only mean one thing, that the rapture is indeed near, which we can also look to scripture for.
But I can’t promise to get that article finished. It took me almost 3 months to simply get this “not farewell” article written. So short are the moments of time in which my brain is clear without pain dominating and my physical strength enough to type. I can’t promise to finish that article on the alignment of events, but if it be God’s will, it will then be finished. If not, then not.
For now? I do want to thank you all for the outpouring of love and prayers on my behalf that so many brothers and sisters in Christ have already sent up. I very much appreciate it!
I humbly ask that if you feel inclined to pray for me, that you’d please pray: “God’s will be done” rather than for healing. And if you would, please also pray that the Lord would be merciful regarding pain relief, as there are other issues as well causing numerous painful conditions along with and because of the cancer which causes much physical pain.
“… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
But all according to God’s perfect will. He alone determines the date of death for us all (or the rapture, should it occur prior to our physical deaths). He truly is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). Should there be some final lesson I am to learn from the pain and suffering, I pray I would be humble to receive and learn. We can truly learn much in every circumstance in life, if we are willing to heed God’s word and His perfect will. Sometimes the lesson is simply to rely fully on the Lord alone, and not mankind, and not ourselves.
I want to thank all the readers and brothers and sisters in Christ who have reached out with encouraging scripture and with prayers to the Lord. I also want to thank Todd Strandberg and Terry James for publishing the articles I’ve written in the past here on Rapture Ready. Thank you both so much for serving the Lord tirelessly, and giving pre-trib authors a venue or outlet to publish articles.
Special thanks to Cindy Nuara (an excellent editor and author here at Rapture Ready), who has been so kind as to fix many of the numerous typos and grammatical errors in the articles I’ve submitted. (She likely cringed every time she’s seen my submitted work, as there is only so much even the best of editors can do to correct some mistakes). My constant run-on sentences, rabbit trails, redundancies, and lack of an orderly format must have been a nightmare to deal with.
But it’s not just Cindy’s excellent editorial skills I admire; I also truly admire her devotion to the Lord. Not just here at Rapture Ready, but in other locations on the internet (social media being one) wherein she tirelessly posts the most relevant (to scriptural eschatological Bible prophecy) articles and information. Her God-given and Holy-Spirit leading insight is a treasure trove. Her witty poems often bring levity to situations wherein we would otherwise simply desire to cry about.
I’m also thankful for Cindy’s friendship and fellowship in God’s word. All of her wonderful attributes are truly inspiring. An excellent role model and example to others. She is also encouraging and a praying woman. Thank you so very much, Cindy.
Most of all, I want to thank Alice Childs. Most of you are familiar with her outstanding and Biblically sound articles here on Rapture ready. Alice’s exceptional work is first-rate. Her vocabulary is such that she always chooses the precise words needed to fully define any given scriptural topic. How I greatly admire her way with words! And there is much more I want to thank Alice for.
Those of you who have the pleasure of being friends with Alice already know what a wonderful encouragement she is! She has long been a wonderful example of a Godly woman whom I admire greatly. Her love for the Lord and her countless hours spent defending God’s word and earnestly contending for the faith is also commendable. And she does so with more grace and kindness than I’ve ever seen done. The patience of Job.
I particularly treasure the countless hours in Bible study we’ve spent together. I’ve thanked the Lord many times for bringing us together in friendship, faith, and fellowship. We often joke that she sees “the forest” and I see “the trees.” So much so that I chew on the leaves and bark. Our study together is so complimentary. Iron sharpening iron.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Prov. 27:17).
Our fellowship in the Lord is precious, as so few love the Lord and His word with the reverence dear Alice displays. I’m so thankful for such a huge blessing! And even more, as the rest of the verse above exclaims, she also sharpens my countenance.
There has not been even one day that has gone by since the cancer diagnosis that Alice has failed to check in on me and ask me how I’m doing! Not even one! Her friendship and fellowship has been unwavering. She has been a compassionate ear when I’ve vented numerous frustrations about medical and physical problems. And even more, she often comforts with scripture. What a blessing she is. I pray the Lord blesses her richly.
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thes. 5:11).
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
Those of you who already have the pleasure of knowing Alice, know that she is a loyal friend. And loyal most of all to God’s word and to the Lord!
So I’d also like to ask you all to please pray for Alice. Now, first because she is an unwavering friend to me, and I’d ask you to pray the Lord blesses her richly for her kindness. Her patience and compassion has made such a difference. And next, please pray for her after I pass (should the Lord tarry), as she will grieve the (temporary) loss of our daily in-depth Bible studies and fellowship, as well as our friendship.
I pray her sorrow will turn to joy when I am gone, because she will know that I will be with the Lord where I do so long to be. And I will be out of pain and suffering which has dominated these final days. She will be glad for this and rejoice. Yet maybe her heart will feel sadness and loss (as we all do at the passing of a loved one or dear friend). So please keep Alice and my family also in prayer, when I pass on (should the Lord tarry). My parents and sons will also be mourning the loss as well. Please keep them all in prayer, if you would.
And to Alice directly, I say: Dearest sister in Christ, we believers will soon all meet in the air, as the dead in Christ rise first, then those (believers) who are alive and remain will also meet the Lord in the air. We will then forever be with the Lord! Oh, what comfort this is to all believers who know God’s word and the promises therein! I know you know these things well. Take comfort, as we will all soon be together in eternity. I love you, my dear friend and sister in Christ. Thank you; from the bottom of my heart, thank you! Mere words cannot express my gratitude and appreciation.
I long to meet her dear husband, son, daughter, and grandchildren as well. So often recently she has spent time listening to my myriad concerns, and I know her family has kindly and graciously suffered the loss of the time she’s spent helping and comforting me. I do so appreciate them all. What a wonderful example of a Christian marriage those two have also. What a perfect example of biblical marriage and family the Childs’ family is.
I am looking forward to seeing my grandparents, sister, uncle, aunts, and some cousins (all who were and are believers) who are already in heaven. And also soon to meet so many fellow believers on that great and wonderful day of the rapture! I truly do believe the rapture to be near.
So I’d like to leave off in this article “Not Farewell, but – See You Soon,” with this: We believers will ALL soon be with the Lord. It’s not a farewell when we are believers. We believers WILL all be reunited soon at the rapture! And then? We will be given perfect and incorruptible bodies just like Jesus’ own! (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2; Col. 3:4).
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thes. 4:16-18).
“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:49-53).
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).