Is Faith in Jesus Christ Sufficient?
from Scott Neville
I have been a Christian for forty years (ever since I was nineteen) and have always believed with the Apostle Paul that, "to go to be with the Lord is better than staying here" (paraphrase). I believe this to the extent that when I am asked to pray for a Christian who is sick, I ask whether they want me to pray for them to stay here or go to Heaven. As the years have passed, I have endeavored to set my heart on things above and less on earthly things. Yet, as frequently as I speak of the desirability of going to Heaven, I would not want anyone to think I have a death wish, for the extent of my life here on earth is entirely up to the Lord. In fact, thanks to Jesus, I have had a very good life and have never been happier then these past two years since my retirement. If it is the Lord's will, I would enjoy more years like these last two. However, having said that, I am confident that it would not be as enjoyable as going to Heaven.
Now having talked tough about how much better Heaven would be than this earth, my faith had never been put to the test until recently.
In the past, as an x-ray tech, I have often been part of a hospital Emergency Room team. I have seen the team struggle to meet the needs of the immediate moment - to handle multiple patient accident victims or in other instances do all they could to preserve the life of a single heart attack patient. Until October 14, 1994, I had never been on the receiving end of the scenario.
On that date, when I arrived at Albany Medical Center, I was in the midst of having a heart attack. The ER team who worked on me consisted of two nurses, two doctors, an x-ray tech, a medical laboratory tech, an EKG tech, and a few other miscellaneous individuals. As I observed these medical professionals, I knew from past experience that they were superb.
I was perfectly at peace despite the chest pain and the sense I had from the frantic activities of the team that they were struggling to hang on to me. I assured them that I knew they were doing a great job and that if they were to lose me they should have no regrets, for I had an absolute guarantee of Heaven because of Jesus Christ; and that I could not lose whether I stayed here or went to be with Him. No sooner had I made this statement when I went into cardiac arrest. A few good thumps to my chest brought me back. At this point, they got the electrodes out, placed one under my back and one on my chest, and gave me three or four jolts of electricity for good measure. Although I don't remember the thumps to my chest, I do remember the electrodes being used and the discomfort of having my whole chest and left arm uncontrollably twitch and draw up tight, and my upper body actually lift off the table an inch or so. I must admit that although I had absolutely no regrets about going to Heaven, I was very grieved to see how sad my wife Marty looked when they told her that there was a chance that they were going to lose me.
At this point, in November 1994, it appears the Lord has more for me to do here on earth, but there have been times in the four or five weeks following my quadruple by-pass surgery on October 24th that I know it would have been easier to go be with the Lord.
Let me conclude by saying that the Lord is sufficient. He has been faithful these past forty years, and four weeks ago at the point of death he held me secure. I would encourage anyone who has yet to place his/her faith in Jesus to do so — I can assure you that you will have no regrets. If you do not understand what it means to place your faith in Christ, please let me know. I would like to give you the book More Than A Carpenter