Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Death of an unbeliever

I work in a nursing home, I see the elderly drugged daily because of pain, or behavioral issues. Several have passed away since I started working there, they depart in silence, largely due to the influence of drugs. I ponder what would it be like if they were not under the influence of drugs, which leads me to this question---What happens when an unbeliever faces his/her own death. Here is an account of the death of an atheist...

The noted French atheist, Voltaire, died a frightening death. Let me quote for you the exact record as published, “When Voltaire felt the stroke that he realized must terminate in death, he was overpowered with remorse. He at once sent for the priest, and wanted to be ‘reconciled with the church.’ His infidel flatterers hastened to his chamber to prevent his recantation; but it was only to witness his ignominy and their own. He cursed them to their faces; and, as his distress was increased by their presence, he repeatedly and loudly exclaimed, ‘Begone! It is you that have brought me to my present condition. Leave me, I say; begone! What a wretched glory is this which you have produced to me!’

“Hoping to allay his anguish by a written recantation, he had it prepared, signed it, and saw it witnessed. But it was all unavailing. For two months he was tortured with such an agony as led him at times to gnash his teeth in impotent rage against God and man. At other times in plaintive accents, he would plead, ‘O, Christ! O, Lord Jesus!’ Then, turning his face, he would cry out, ‘I must die-abandoned of God and of men!’

“As his end drew near, his condition became so frightful that his infidel associates were afraid to approach his bedside. Still they guarded the door, that others might not know how awfully an infidel was compelled to die. Even his nurse repeatedly said, ‘For all the wealth of Europe I would never see another infidel die.’ It was a scene of horror that lies beyond all exaggeration. Such is the well-attested end of the one who had a natural sovereignty of intellect, excellent education, great wealth, and much earthly honor.” (Dying Testimonies of Saved and Unsaved by Rev. S B Shaw, pp. 49-50.)


susanv said...

I'm a pharmacist and an RN, and I also suffer from degeneration of the spine and severe arthritis. I'm just asking you to not judge people so quickly on their pain meds. It's a fact that many elderly, as well as children, who cannot speak for themselves, often suffer in pain due to lack of enough pain medicine, more often than from too much medicine. If any of the elderly are like me (I'm not elderly yet though), the pain medicine just relieves some of the pain, but it is always there. Until you have walked in their shoes, you cannot speak for someone in chronic pain. It can be indescribable agony, picture knives up and down your arms for instance. I'm in my mid-50s and have been suffering with chronic pain for 15 years, and before that, the pain was off and on since 1982.

Also, my husband and I just attended an apologetics conference with Dr Norman Geisler and others, and many of the people who were existentialists such as Camus and Sarte actually became Christians pretty much on their death beds, and unfortunately, most of the public is unaware of this. The other points you made were very good.

lyn said...

I ask you to point out where I 'judged' those who use pain medication.
I have seen the elderly drugged with morphine because of mild behavior incidents...this is inexcusable. They are given sleeping pills, or various other drugs because they suffer dementia or alzheimer's. Why-they still do not sleep at night!! So why drug them needlessly-could money be the motive...more than likely, yes.
There are times when medication is truly warranted, that's NOT what this post was referring to...I am speaking about the excess in over-medicating those who aren't even in their right minds.

I have a sister who suffers terribly with arthritis of her knee, she is nearly crippled by it. She takes NOTHING. I praise her for her reliance on God for strength to get through each day.{BTW, she works 10-12 hours a day, standing on her feet, doing hair for a living}.

I recommend this article to all...

As for your accusation that I am trying to 'speak for those in chronic pain', I believe you have read more into my introduction than need be. My WHOLE POINT was to show how drugs affect those who are dying/die. We do not see the terrors of hell in them because they are in a drug-induced state when they die. That was the whole gist of this post...not judging people who take meds. I do believe you have overreacted to this post.

As for deathbed confessions, how can a soul who is in a drug-induced state hear and comprehend the Gospel!!
Yes, they happen, but they are not the norm, and the sinner is not in a fog- neither drunk nor drugged.
America is caught up in an easy-believism Gospel, i.e., just invite Jesus into your heart, or make your decision, or choose Jesus. NONE of these methods are biblical. Man is radically depraved, born hating God and loving sin. No one is saved apart from the grace and mercy of God made available through Jesus Christ. Read Ephesians 2:8,9 to understand how a dead in sin sinner is saved.
One must be born again, or literally born from above, this is not humanly possible. No church, no repeated prayer, no work of man can re-birth the soul. It is only the supernatural work of God that transforms a dead sinner into a born again believer. All of salvation is of God...repentance and faith are God-given.
The thief on the cross showed the great mercy of God to forgive, even at the last hour of life. However, there are no other examples found in all of scripture of any deathbed confessions. This is dangerous, sinners needn't think they can live their whole lives in rebellion against God and deliberately sin daily, then on their deathbed, be saved. How many know the hour of their death...therein lies the danger of even speaking of a deathbed confession.

Kristina said...

I just found your blog as I have begun reading The Dying Testimonies Of The Saved and Unsaved by S.B Shaw and am looking for printed copies of this work. It is a compelling compilation of real life experiences that is unfortunately out of print. It is something that should be mandatory reading along with the Bible in every classroom. I dream big ")

Your entry and the response of Susan V caught my eye as I am someone who has suffered with chronic pain for several years now. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Auto Immune the doctors tell me. For the first four years I followed the doctors every instruction and only became worse. The pain was lifted somewhat but I was so drugged up I could barely function! I am now over a year and a half off all forms of medication and functioning much better. The pain is there always, yet I can get through it most days and do rely on God to get me through the thick of it. My point being that I agree with you wholeheartedly that we as a society are completely over prescribed medication from cradle to grave. My mother at 86 years of age is addicted to several medications that make her dizzy and agitated to the point of being unable to live an enjoyable life in her sundown years. She lost her license due to the meds and a great deal of freedom. We trust too easily in the so called experts who constantly push pills on us and yes for certain profit is a huge factor as well as the numbing and dumbing down of the masses to keep us compliant. Satan's great work indeed. Keeping the truth of death passing into eternal damnation quieted by drug induced speechlessness. horrifying! God Bless you for your work with the elderly! Continue to be a light to them and to pray for each one.
To dear Susan, I can sympathize with feeling excruciating pain. It can be maddening as if you might go completely insane if you cannot escape it! However there is hope! Real hope and comfort from God when we hand ourselves over to Him in prayer during the hardest of times. Read the book I have stated above. It is online for free at many sites, just Google it. The stories in this writing are so very compelling and will open your eyes to what pain, suffering, dying and death are meant to be in these our so called "civilized" days. What we do to the elderly is unspeakable, sinful and disgusting all in the name of progress and humanity. Instead we steal humanity right out from under those we love the most! God Bless you both!!!!!

lyn said...

Hi Kristina,
Thank you for your testimony to the reliance upon God for dealing with pain.
I see so much prescription drug addictions, my own sister became addicted because of chronic back pain. Praise be to God, she is now off them, but it nearly cost her her marriage and her life. We have become so reliant upon man's way of dealing with all things, we forget to lean upon the One who created all things out of nothing. What power there is in that truth!!!
I know I am preaching to the choir concerning this, thank you for your comment, God bless!

shane said...

I have heard stories about unbelievers that were dying and their last few moments were spent screaming for someone to pull them out of the fire. Or of someone that was bedridden that had pulled themselves up around the headboard of the bed because of the fire at their feet.

Who knows if they are true or not though. Who knows if what they were experiencing was real or not or just caused by medications or dementia. These types of stories are common down here in the Bible belt. Especially when I was in the Pentecostal movement.

lyn said...

It's ironic you should mention that,on his deathbed,my grandpa [who was Roman Catholic] screamed out to his sister,'Pull me out Helen!'.
There may be some truth to what you say.
A friend of my daughter was telling her about her grandma. She was on her deathbed, and suddenly her eyes flew open and she screamed 'No-o-o-o-o-o!!' The family was bewildered by this. She then cried out,'don't send me back there!' The family immediately sent the young girl out of the room.
Pastor Don Currin, who is affiliated with P. Washer's Heartcry missionary, spoke at our church. In one of his sermons, he said if we didn't drug the elderly, we would see terrors of hell in their eyes as they pass from this life to the next. I do believe he's right.

Anonymous said...

What a frightening testimony. And such a good point you brought up regarding pain meds, that without them, the deathbed scenes would be horrific! But the "living" would then know the truth, and perhaps repent and be saved upon witnessing such scenarios. Satan has all the bases covered doesn't he? It truly is a miricle when one soul is converted.

Great post, Lyn. Makes one think...

Anonymous said...

Oops...I neglected to mention one more thing: your working in a nursing home must be very tough. Bless you for being a candle in a dark and lonely place for many forgotten souls. I pray that He is made manifest through you for His eternal purpose.

In Christ,

lyn said...

Hi Pearl,
Thank you for your kind words; it is tough to work in a nursing home. It breaks my heart to see those with dementia and alzheimer's suffer. I look at them and wonder what happened- they are kept in a drugged state to help 'control' their behavior. One man was given shots of morphine to control his 'behavior'.
It's horrifying to see this abuse. There's nothing that can be done, because the Doctor has ordered this, and the family, in their misunderstanding, agrees to it.

myinnuendo99 said...

I also wanted to say thank you Lyn for what all you do in taking care of people. It really takes a special person such as you whom God has created to bring him such glory in what really matters and counts for all eternity-taking care and loving people. I'm sure that the paucity of caretakers can leave you and your staff inundated and overwhelmed because of the lack of care in our society for especially the elderly. I understand not everyone is able to take care of their parents etc. My oldest brother was taking care of our dad who has alzheimers. Yet his job did not permit him to leave my dad alone as his alzheimers got much worse. Now, he's in a nursing home. He doesn't chew his food properly and so now they're going to put a feeding tube in. My ONLY FEAR is, I lament and cry for him that he may not be saved and I've begged God to save him and or even restore him his sanity. I just thank GOD for all the days of the breath of life he has given him. Anyways, thank you Lyn for all you do in Jesus precious name and for His glory

lyn said...

May God be merciful to your dad. I see so many elderly with such hard hearts... I fear for them.

Debbie said...

Hi Lyn,

Thank you for pointing out how people are deluded by the easy believism Gospel. I would only like to add a scripture reference for those who would disagree with what you said. Please read Hebrews 3:7-19. There "IS" danger in delay. When you hear and believe what Jesus has done for you, don't think you can go about life any way you choose and repent on your deathbed. There are too many warnings in scripture that say this will not happen. Read verse 15 again. I would just like to encourage anyone with this word, "TODAY" if Jesus is calling you don't delay in answering Him. PLEASE READ LUKE 9:61-62. This is Jesus speaking in very simple terms that we can all understand.

lyn said...

Hi debbie,
You are absolutely correct in saying people shouldn't think they can repent on their deathbed; no one is guaranteed a tomorrow, let alone a life that reaches into the golden years. No one should neglect so great a salvation.
Thank you for bringing procrastination into the light of what scripture teaches...' today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts'...all we have is today.

Bless you,