Yesterday, I had a conversation with a relative.
She told me about a friend of hers that died. It was a man who had ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). This is the same disease that my own father died from. I wrote about his death years ago, in an article entitled, “John Oliver Parkes: May 3, 1927 – September 21, 2000” (https://fcet.biblemessages.com/john-oliver-parkes-may-3-1927-september-21-2000/). This article is a testimony to God’s goodness, even in the face of a terrible disease like ALS (also known as “Lou Gherig’s Disease”).
I was troubled yesterday — deeply troubled — when she told me that her friend’s death was all planned out — to the very day. Perhaps it is not called assisted suicide, but it sounded like assisted suicide to me.
My relative told me of how her friend was unplugged from the machine that was keeping him breathing, so that he could die. At the same time, however, the man had a perfect mind, and was able to think and reason clearly. But due to his pain and suffering, it was deemed by him that he wanted to be unplugged from that machine. How terrible a thing to determine the time when we should die! There is no indication in the Bible that we have been given any authority by our Creator to do such a thing.
I believe we should use every means at our disposal to keep people alive. We are not to unplug the machine if there is one available. Did the man even know Christ before he died? There is no indication at all that he did. How terrible to enter into an eternity without knowing Christ. How terrible, indeed.
During the conversation, my relative made this comment, which I did not agree with. She said, “No good thing can come out of ALS” (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
Remember … my own father died of this same disease. It was as a result of this disease that my dad was finally convinced that he needed to trust in the Lord.
No good thing can come out of ALS? Of course, I do not agree with that statement.
Plenty of good came out of ALS in the case of my father. He is now in heaven, and will one day be given a new body.
The Bible teaches us that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). If you have ALS, or any other disease, God can work through that. There are dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of true stories where people have been strenghthened in their heart as a result of a physical sickness. God definitely works through sickness, even “very bad sicknesses” like ALS, in order to do things that sometimes He could not otherwise do. Of course, I am not advocating being sick! I believe we should do everything possible to become free. I myself was healed of a disease which the doctors said was incurable, which was called Ankylosing Spondilitis. So there you have it! A disease which was supposed to be “incurable” which got healed! So I definitely do not advocate remaining sick if you can find a solution. But neither do I advocate assisted suicide, or unplugging someone from a machine on account of qualify of life. The fact is, a lot of good things can come, even in the midst of very difficult circumstances. I’m living proof. So is my father.
God can do immeasurably more than we could ask or think or even dream of. Never give up hoping, and praying, and believing that God can do exceeding abundantly above all that you could ask or think.
So, as far as “No good thing can come out of ALS,” this simply is not true. Instead, people ought to say, “God can work all things for the better, because He is God and He is absolutely able! I trust Him, even in the face of death!”
Remember Job? Here’s what Job said: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” (Job 13:15)
Jesus said, “… all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23)
In the Bible, we read, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Sadly, it was in that very same conversation that the person I was talking with said, “I do not believe that anything happens after you die. I believe you simply cease to exist.” Is this true? The Bible says it is not true! No wonder my relative was in favor of unplugging the man who had ALS. She did not see any hope for his condition (though my father came to faith in Christ through the same disease). Time to unplug him? But now where is he?
This, then, is even more important than his physical pain or suffering. The GREATER question is, where is he now?
If you are reading these words today, and you have not yet trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, now is the time to do it. Jesus Christ is coming back soon — His reward is with Him, to give to each person according to their deeds. The GREATEST deed you can do and must do is to trust in Christ as personal Lord and Savior.
Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29)
Everything else is secondary, for without faith in Christ, you will not be able to have an eternal relationship with God that is required for eternal peace. Do you want peace, happiness, joy, forgiveness, and all that is good? TRUST IN CHRIST. Jesus paid the penalty on the cross for your sins.Trust in the Lord, and receive Him as Savior of your life — the One who paid the penalty on the cross for our sins, so that we would not have to.
It is wonderful to trust in Christ. God can and will work in your life if you will trust Him.
“… behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Edited: Dec 21, 2012