The last thing I remember her saying was, “Danny, why can’t my way be right?” She said this from her wheelchair, as I tried to explain to her how God had healed me of Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is the same disease that she had.
This was not the first time I had tried to talk to her about Jesus. There had been many other times, as well. But it all seemed to be in vain.
I had told her how I had trusted in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
I had told her how I had been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis.
I had told her how God had shown me that there were issues in my heart that needed to be dealt with before I was able to receive my healing.
Or did I? Did I tell her all that? I tried to. I tried my very best.
But she was angry. She was very very angry. She was so angry that when she came to that special healing meeting hosted by those two preachers, she stood up right in the middle of the service and laced them with profanities. Yes, she did that right in the middle of the service. Then, she hobbled out of that service on her crutches. At that time, she was able to get by on her crutches (though barely). Now, it was less than 10 years later. Both her knees had been replaced. Both her hips had been replaced. Her neck was frozen solid and she could not turn it. She had been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, but this had been going on for a very long time — since she was 14, in fact (about 36 years).
Instead of thinking about, or considering, Jesus, which was “my way,” she developed a friendship with a man who was into the New Age movement (a form of Hinduism), who lived in Boston (about a seven hour drive). She travelled many times to see him. Then, she paid this man for counselling. This was supposed to help her, but it didn’t. Instead, she grew worse. The New Age movement was no help at all! Sadly, I also knew that spirits were involved in the New Age movement, and these demonic spirits were not friendly towards Jesus. My sister was on a desperate search to find healing, but in the end, found none. All the while, I was right there. But she didn’t want Jesus.
What I learned through a very difficult process was that there was a form of rebellion in my family line that had opened up the doors to this disease (Ankylosing Spondylitis), which affected my father, my father’s sister, my own sister, and myself. It was all connected. It was just like happened to this man Gehazi, who was a servant to the prophet Elisha. This man Gehazi had rebelled against God, and had become proud in his heart. The prophet then told him what would happen:
“Therefore the leprosy of Naaman will cling to you and to your offspring forever.” (2 Kings 5:27)
All this for coveting the gold and silver of this man named Naaman. Yes, that was the result! These things were real. Now, it was thousands of years later, and this same type of curse was at work in my own family line. I was one of the victims, but God graciously set me free! I found the answer, and only wanted to share it. My sister wanted none of it. That was the sad part.
As hard as I tried, I could not seem to break through to my sister. I had prayed for her. Then, the dreaded phone call came. “Danny, Penny has died.”
I thought, “Wow, I never expected this. She was only 50 years old. I thought she had so much longer to live.”
What had actually happened? Sadly, a tragic accident occurred which, under normal circumstances, was entirely preventable. A table which had been specially constructed for her (because of her inability to move), had malfunctioned and fallen on her, breaking her neck suddenly in the middle of the night. It has been surmised that perhaps the cat jumped on the table, and it then suddenly fell over and broke her neck.
But how come this table fell over in the first place? I actually tested the table after the fact, and found it to be completely unstable. Yes, it had been specially constructed for her, but no, it had not been properly constructed. The base was completely unstable. It could easily tip over, if even a small amount of pressure was applied at a certain spot. Evidently, this is exactly what happened. In the middle of the night, she either hit it, or the cat jumped on it, and it tipped over, suddenly breaking her neck. That table had actually been constructed to act like a hospital table, hovering over her bed. Her phone was on that table. The legs of that table had wheels on it. She had something like a backscratcher that she used to pull the table closer to her when the phone rang. It was not a cell phone. It was a regular landline phone that was on that table.
Now, she was dead.
Fifty years come and gone. And the last thing I remember her saying to me was, “Danny, why can’t my way be right?”
Then, the tragic dream.
The Tragic Dream
I had this dream after she died, but I can’t remember exactly how long, perhaps 6 months or so. In the dream, my sister was speaking to me from the other side of eternity. She was “beyond the veil” — she was on the “other side.” Yet she was communicating with me. You will understand later what actually happened, but for now, this is what I observed. This dream was actually an allegory, given to me by God.
In the dream, my sister was lying down on her side. The “gist” of the dream was that my sister was experiencing physical discomfort as she lay on her side. In real life, before she died, she was in physical discomfort all the time. So it would have been normal for her to ask someone to help her. But this dream had another meaning. It utilized her former discomfort to speak about her current discomfort.
In the dream, she said to me, “Danny, do you think it would be possible to turn me over?” For she was in pain on the side that she was on. She asked this in the sweetest, gentlest, voice. She was hoping that someone could please help her, if it was at all possible. Was it?
This dream was an allegory of how my sister was actually on the wrong side of eternity (in hell), and wished to be on the other side (in heaven). This dream was not about her being on the wrong side of her body at all. Her body was in the ground (buried). But her soul would live on for all eternity. Where was she now?
Lazarus and the Rich Man
A very similar story is actually found in the pages of the Bible, and it is the story of the rich man, who went to hell, and then wanted to get out. However, he could not (see Luke 16:19-31). This story is actually very explicit. It says,
“Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. He cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.’ (Luke 16:19-24)
Notice how the rich man, in hell, now wants out. He is asking the same question that my sister asked in the dream. She said, “Danny, do you think it would be possible to turn me over?” In other words, “Is there any way to get out of this place?” This question is answered in the Bible. Being in hell, the rich man now wanted mercy. For he said, “I am in anguish in this flame.” The story continues:
“But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us.’” (Luke 16:25-26)
Notice carefully that Abraham says that it is impossible to go from one place to another, once you have died. Yes, the rich man and Abraham were able to communicate in the story. And yes, I too was able to communicate with my sister in the dream. But neither Abraham, nor God, was able to alleviate the pain and suffering of the rich man who went to hell once he went there. The doors were shut and the suffering was eternal.
There was a reason that my sister said to me in the dream, “Danny, do you think it would be possible to turn me over?” God was speaking to me. He was saying, “Danny, I want you to pass this message on to those who are still living. Hell is eternal. Tell these people who are still living so that they do not go there.”
Since God gave me this dream, he cares. He does not want anyone to go to hell. And that is why Jesus died on the cross, to spare us from eternal damnation.
Only One Way
In the dream, my sister wanted to know, “Is there any way to get out of this place?” No, there is no way to get out once you are there. But there is a way to avoid going there in the first place. That way is Jesus Christ, who said,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” (See John 14:6)
From this, we see that Jesus is the only way to God the Father. There is no other way.
Perhaps you are thinking, “Your sister suffered so much while she was on the earth. Surely, her suffering pays for her eternity and she can now go to heaven.” But it does not work that way. I wish it did work that way, so that my sister, and all people, could go to heaven, immediately upon their death. But if experiencing physical pain was all that was required to buy us a ticket to heaven, then that would nullify the work of the cross. It would make what Jesus did in dying for us on the cross of no effect. Jesus sternly warned those who did not believe in him, saying,
“I said therefore to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
These same people had rejected him. They said he was not the Son of God. They said he was not God’s chosen Messiah. They rejected his deity (that he is God in the flesh). They defied him. Jesus has compassion on all people. However, there is only one way to be saved. Therefore, as much as I would like my sister to go to heaven, because of all that she suffered, God would be making an exception for her if he allowed her to go to heaven apart from trusting in Jesus. And it would also make the suffering of Christ of no effect. We cannot nullify the importance of the blood of Christ for any reason. God cannot do that. God will not do that. The blood of Jesus Christ is precious.
“… you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Consider what Paul writes,
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)
Your eternity rests in the finished work of Christ on the cross. All your efforts, all your works, all your pain, and all of your suffering, are of no effect, if you do not trust in Christ. If you reject Christ, or think that a mere prayer will save you, when in fact you are expected to live a holy life, then will that save you? Jesus said,
“Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
My sister did not confess Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. Instead, she rejected him, and paid the ultimate price.
A Common Misconception
It is a common misconception that God sends people to hell, much like a parent would send his young son, or young daughter, to his or her bedroom, for misbehaving. This is an incorrect picture of God. God does not send people to hell, but people choose to reject God, because their deeds are evil, and they do not want to submit themselves to God’s holiness and perfection (see John 3:19-20). They do not want to confess that they are sinners, in need of a Savior. This is the reason people go to hell. When you portray God as sending people to hell, what you are really doing is blaming God for the problems of other people.
God provided the solution and sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.
It is the rejection of this one fact that causes people to go to hell. Meanwhile, God says explicitly in his word (the Bible),
“For I have no pleasure in the death of the dying,” declares the Lord Yahweh. “And so repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32, LEB)
“The Lord is not delaying the promise, as some consider slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
You need to take these passages at face value, because they say that God does not want you to go to hell. These passages tell us that the answer is repentance, which means to change your ways and your thoughts. Hell is an eternal place of torment that was created for the devil and his angels (demonic spirits). And if we hold to ways that are in keeping with the devil and his angels, then we will by necessity end up there, too. You have one life to make up your mind as to what you are going to do with Jesus. That one life is this life, and there is no reincarnation. For the Bible says,
… it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Judgment awaits. There is no reincarnation. And there is also no purgatory. This is very clear from the passage that we already saw concerning Lazarus who went to heaven and the rich man who went to hell (see Luke 16:19-31). There was no in-between “holding tank” called purgatory. That is nowhere to be found in the Bible. So today, while you get drunk, or carouse in sexual promiscuity, and follow paths that are not from God at all, death who is the reaper, awaits. And when will it claim you? “According to the World Health Organization, 56 million people die each year, which is an average of about 153,424 people each day.” What day will you die?
You may be thinking, “I have many years to go. My retirement is in place.” But are you ready to meet God? This was the same thinking of a certain rich man. For we read,
“The ground of a certain rich man produced abundantly. He reasoned within himself, saying, ‘What will I do, because I don’t have room to store my crops?’ He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. I will tell my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (See Luke 12:16-21)
What must you do to be saved? And what must you do to be prepared to meet God on judgment day? It is as simple as ABC.
A: Acknowledge that you are a sinner, in need of God’s saving mercy. Each of us has done wrong, and the Bible says,
“for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
B: Believe that Christ died for your sins, and paid the price for those sins on the cross.
… Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3)
C: Confess that Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior.
… if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9)
Gaining a Better Understanding
Some people are stumbled by what they see around them. They may have looked at churches, or church leaders, or other religious organizations, and become confused by what they see. There are people who have been hurt by religious institutions. None of this is God’s will. God is a good God and loves you. He sent Jesus to die for your sins on the cross. How much does God love you?
“For while we were still helpless, yet at the proper time Christ died for the ungodly. For only rarely will someone die on behalf of a righteous person (for on behalf of a good person possibly someone might even dare to die), but God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Think about it. Jesus died for you. He took upon himself all the punishment that you and I deserved to take. He did that willfully and laid down his life of his own accord. Jesus said,
“No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” (See John 10:18)
What Jesus did was incredible. He paid your debt in full so that you could escape the just penalty for sin.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
There is nothing more than needs to be done, except to trust in him, and live for him. One day, all who have trusted in him will receive new bodies. They shall live on a newly recreated earth:
“He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more.” (See Revelation 21:4)
This life that God offers you is incredible. But it did cost Jesus everything — even his own life. Are you willing to trust him and take him at his word? Jesus said,
“Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)
Doing great exploits for God will not save you. But genuinely trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins will save you — for it is by faith, and not by works, that a person is saved:
“for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Hence, this life is yours in exchange for your trust. Will you give him your heart and trust him today?
“But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name.” (John 1:12)
Receive Christ and trust in him today.
“Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.” (See 2 Corinthians 6:2)
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*The printable tract is provided as a PDF document that you can easily print on any letter-sized paper. Print the page (on both sides). If your printer cannot print both sides, simply print on one side, then feed the paper back in, and print on the other. Then, simply fold the page three times in half. This tract is small (2.75″ x 4.25″ — a bit larger than a business card) and convenient for responsible free distribution.