I want to share an event that took place in my life in the fall of 1994.

I was lying on my bed in the evening, praying and waiting on the Lord, as at that time was my habit. I felt impressed to read 1 Corinthians 15. I was reading and wondering what the words were saying; when one of the verses jumped out at me. You know what I mean about jumping out - where a verse just stands out and so clearly makes sense and appears to be directly speaking to you. It seemed as though the Lord was saying the words to me in conversation. The verse that stood out was 1Cor15: 26. "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." While this verse was attracting my undivided attention, I felt the Lord placing the thought in my spirit, "tonight this will happen in you".  I lay there and contemplated this word, and felt it meant I was going to die that night. I became assured death would be destroyed within me.

In the past, at times; the Lord Jesus would come close and ask me if I was ready to go home to be with Him. My immediate jubilant cry was "YES". He would then say "just checking". Throughout the years my response had always been the same "YES, YES, Lord I want to be where You are".  Not that there was anything wrong with life on earth, but to be in the presence of the Lord continually was all that I wanted. I was not disappointed when He said that this was not the time; because I knew that the time would surely come when I would not come and go from His presence. My desire has been to only be at his side, for truly that is where fullness of joy is. (Ps 16:11 "...In thy presence is fullness of joy;..."). One time Jesus came close and asked if I was ready to come home with Him. My agonized response was "Not at this time". I had a wonderful wife and children and felt that I could not leave them. For months I went before the Lord and showed Him why I could not leave the earth and my family at this time. Finally, He showed me that He loved my family more than I did, and if it was in His perfect plan to take me home; He would work everything out and it would turn out for good. I then relented and said if it was what He wanted, than I was willing to go home. This was not an easy thing for my wife, but she finally agreed; if it was what the Lord wanted, than it was okay with her. Around this same time I became aware of a physical ailment, that had the potential to take my life. It seemed as though the Lord was going to make good his promise and that I would be going home. Life continued. I felt as if I was given a reprieve similar to Hezekiah  as he was on his death bed and cried out to the Lord, who gave him another fifteen years to live (2Kings 20).

For almost seven years, I had lived as if He was going to take me home, then on that night (in the fall of 1994); He came and said He was going to destroy death within me. I firmly believed that I would not live to see morning, but that I would see dawn in a bright beautiful land where everything is full of life. I was excited and sad. As I talked out my feelings to Him, I told Him that I was not happy to be going away; when I felt there was so much ministry left to do. I was disappointed that I had not been used by Him to do more for His kingdom, but I finally resolved within myself that if life on earth was over, then it was over and it would be okay.

That evening a dear friend phoned and I was able to explain things to her and we talked of dying in the Lord and what was happening to me. It is one thing to talk about a revelation within yourself, but when you start sharing with friends that you feel strongly that you are going to die that night - then the revelation is real. It is not something you have made up in your head.

Later my wife returned home and I shared this with her. She was not impressed, but wonderful wife that she is; she put her faith in the Lord and agreed to press on with Him, even if I was not to be at her side. As bedtime approached, we said our good-byes and thanked the Lord for His love to us and for giving us 20 good years together and four beautiful children. All night the two us laid there, expecting that I was going home. All night, I laid there with one eye open, listening, waiting, for my Lord to come and receive me. Finally, morning came; I stirred and looked around and realized I was still on earth with my beautiful wife. I pinched myself and decided I was still alive on earth.

I wondered what the Lord meant in His word to me, "The last enemy to be destroyed is death". As I prepared for work, I realized He was saying that death in me was being destroyed. The fear of death is one of the greatest hindrances to our living. How much of our life is caught up in keeping ourselves from dying, how much of our activities are premised on a fear of dying? How differently we would act if death had no hold over us! Our very earth-life is based on avoiding death. As I went through the day, I felt as if He might still take me home, but more so that He was destroying death within me. That evening and in subsequent evenings, and there have been many since that night; I have realized several things I would like to share.

First off, "The last enemy...". The term "last" is exciting!! To get to the last of anything is usually an exhilarating experience, "the last mile" when running a marathon is fantastically beautiful, as is "the last hill" to be climbed. There is something final about the last one. There is an ending to a book or a stage of life when we come to the last. The last grade, the last year of university, the ending of one stage and the passing on to the next.

The "last enemy". I have battled many enemies as have all of you, and to get to the last one is an exciting prospect. The first enemy, the first mile, etc is nothing to compare with the last one. When the last enemy is destroyed the war is over. We will have fought in many battles before the last enemy is destroyed. I realized that the Lord was saying that in me the last enemy, death was being destroyed. I no longer have a fear of death. I am not as conscious of what I eat, how much I sleep, how many vitamins I take, etc. I still am cautious when I drive, but I do not have fear of what might happen or could happen. My mind does not entertain deathly thoughts.

Does this mean I shall live forever? This is a question I am still working on. There are many verses that if they are applied literally and are taken for exactly what they say; state that we can live forever. Romans 8:13 "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live," This verse states we can live and not die if we follow after the Spirit. By having death destroyed within us, it becomes much easier to walk after the Lord, because we are not so concerned about taking care of our ourselves. We realize that death can not touch us and so we do not walk in fear of death, but we walk in the faith of life that comes from above.

Since that time I have shared this story with dear friends. The message has been, that in order to enter into life we must face death. Some had just been to see the doctor and found out that they had potential life-threatening problems. The message the Lord was giving them was that they had to face death. They had to look death squarely in the eye, to realize that they might die and be taken home, that their life on earth might be over. This "death facing" is one way death is destroyed within us. The coming face to face with death must be real; not a superficial experience. It has to be a definite experience of "I am probably going to die", and then facing all the fears and worries that come out of that realization.

When Abraham put Isaac on the altar (Gen. 22), he did not do it on casual basis. He knew that his son could die. He knew the Lord could resurrect him, but he also knew that he could die. If the sacrifice cannot die, it is not a true sacrifice. If we face death, but say within ourselves, that the Lord loves me so much that He would not let it happen; then we are not really facing death. We are facing it with some illusion of promise in our wallet. If Abraham had known that the Lord was going to supply a ram for the sacrifice, then what type of sacrifice would his have been? If we face death and believe in our hearts that the Lord will not let us die because we are His own, or because the church will pray for us and the Lord will honour their prayers, or because He would not leave our loved ones alone; then we are not truly facing death. Death must be faced with no illusion of some life promise defending us from the sacrificial knife. The only promise we can hold onto is that with Him is Life Everlasting. We have to accept that our time on earth could definitely be over, that the Lord is calling us home to be with Him. When this is faced squarely, one of two things will happen; either you will physically die or death will die within you. I am sorry, but there can be no promises until you face death. There is no bribery with God. The attitude "I know Lord that if I face death, You'll supply another ram for the sacrifice", does not work. Death is the last enemy and must be completely destroyed. So hang onto the promise of resurrection and come out the other side, either in newness of life here, with no death within you or in newness of life with the Lord. Wait a minute did I not just say the same thing. If we say the Lord is with us here (I will never leave you nor forsake you), then what is the difference if we are still alive on earth or in his presence? Both happen when death is destroyed and we live - which is resurrection. So, when the Lord is destroying death - He is calling us to walk in resurrection of life. He wants us to walk in the complete fullness that He has prepared for us before the creation of the world. He wants us to be like Him, to pass from death into life.

WE HAVE BEEN ROBBED! We have told that we have to wait till we get to heaven before we can know fullness of joy. The Lord wants us to have it NOW. His is an eternal kingdom and the only word that applies is NOW, an ever-present situation. He wants us to walk with Him in fullness NOW and He is in the process of destroying death within us - NOW!