A radio ad announces, “The most frightening words one could ever hear is ‘You have cancer.’” This is from a medical facility that specializes in the care and treatment of cancer patients.
I heard this ad several months ago and thought to myself, “No, the most frightening words one could ever hear are found in Matthew 25:41b ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’”
Well, a few weeks ago I was able to personally test that theory. I heard the words, “You have cancer.” To say that those words shook me to the core would be the understatement of a lifetime. So many unanswered questions, even now. What kind of cancer is it? Is it a treatable form or can I expect it to be terminal? How much time will I have left on this earth? The night I heard those terrible works I awoke more than once in a cold sweat, heart pounding, feeling like I was unable to even breathe.
By the way, this news was much more devastating than that of a year and a half ago when I was told I needed open-heart surgery. With that, I knew it would be difficult and the rehab laborious, but the difference was I had every reason to believe that I would be “fixed, as good as new.” This news carried no such expectations.
The next day I went into the office as usual, because that’s what I do, right? I worked on the things I needed to, still very much overwhelmed by the news. My thoughts were uncontrollably negative, why? how? why now? Early in the afternoon I decided I should post the results of my doctor’s report on fb because I had promised to keep everyone up to date on things. I did so briefly and did not give it another thought. As the afternoon went on I began to notice an incredible, may I say a miraculous, change in my spirit and my thinking. New thoughts were crowding out the old and a spirit of strength was taking over. One overarching thought continued, “One day, maybe one day soon, you may be feeling ill, weak, listless; but that day is not today! Today you are strong and vibrant and able to be active and alert. Don’t live today like you are already feeling the affects of an affliction, live today for all its worth.”
As I was thinking on those thoughts it occurred to me what it was that had made the difference. When I checked again on my fb page I saw that nearly 200 people, on my page and on the pages of those who had shared my post, had said that they were praying for me. Hallelujah! What an instantaneous answer to prayer! Whether my physical body had changed or not, my mind and spirit had been, and immediately so! What power prayer holds! What a difference we make when we get on our knees before our Almighty God and bring our petitions to Him! Words are insufficient to say “thank you” to those who have prayed for me or how earnest I would implore all to continue in prayer for me, and for others battling the curses of this world whether they be through ill health or any other.
So, back to the original question, “What is the most frightening thing one could ever hear?” Let’s consider the answer in light of a few scriptures –
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Am I praying that my cancer will be treatable and my life extended a good long time? Yes, I most certainly am! Am I praying that, without even the aid of medical treatment, God would bring complete healing to my body? Yes, I most certainly am! Please feel free to pray for these things along with me!
And yet, I am not in fear and trembling about what eternity brings. The Holy Spirit has sealed that future for me a long time ago when I humbly accepted the finished work of Christ as the payment for my awful sin. You see, I believe that when Jesus says, “Whosoever,” that is exactly what He means. I believe:
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
For me, that passage gives great hope and encouragement. This life still offers terrors and thorns. The next only hope and glory. I have put my trust in Christ and am resting in His precious promises.
I must point out that the last part of the last verse offers an ominous warning. For those who have rejected the Savior of the world, there will be no salvation, no hope, no happy ending. Don’t wait, trust Him today. He alone is worthy of our undying devotion. Amen!
Chas and his wife have been ministering at Liberty since 1990. He enjoys dining with family and friends as well as all types of music, sports, and outdoor activities. His greatest joy comes from connecting with others and sharing the love of Christ which is central to everything else.