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  • Allen Domelle

Sick Unto Death

Isaiah 38:1

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.

Hezekiah was a relatively young man when he was given the message that he was going to die. Isaiah told Hezekiah to Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die. This certainly had to be a shock to Hezekiah, and his response to this message was prayer, but it was the preacher’s counsel that many overlook. Isaiah said, Set thine house in order. Isaiah was telling Hezekiah to prepare for the end of life so that his family would not have to deal with death’s difficult decisions.

One of the sad things I must deal with as a pastor are people who have not prepared for the end of life. I know, many don't like to talk about the end of life, but it will come and is a part of life. Not preparing for the end of life because you don't want to talk about it is selfish. One day when you face eternity’s door, your family needs to know your desires because their decision-maker will be broken. Let me share several thoughts on preparing for the end of life.

First, you never know when your life will come to an end. Some people live a long time, but some live shorter lives. You must set your house because of the brevity of life. We hope that nobody will have to make tough decisions about prolonging our life through medical technology, but the reality is many are faced with these tough decisions. Because you don't know when you will step into eternity, you need to make decisions about whether you want machines to keep you alive or for God to take you to Heaven on His terms.

Second, you must prepare for the end of life by getting saved. One of the worst things a pastor must deal with in doing someone’s funeral is not knowing if they are saved. If you are not saved, now is the time to get saved because eternity will come. If you are saved, you need to write down for the family when you got saved so they and the pastor doing your funeral will know. It gives great comfort to all present at your funeral that you are saved.

Third, prepare documents to let others know what to do if the only life-saving measure is to keep you on machines to preserve your life. You need to fill out documents that designates an individual to make medical decisions for you at the end of your life. You need to be sure that your health care directive specifies whether you want machines to prolong your life and if you want certain medicines to keep you alive. I know these are uncomfortable thoughts for some, but they are compassionate forethoughts for those who must care for you at the end of your life. A physician can point you to a person who can help you with these documents, or you can talk to your attorney as well.

Fourth, prepare funeral instructions so you can have a Christian burial. Remember, you are a Christian, and you should be buried as one. Having a Christian funeral that brings glory to God is paramount to your testimony.

My friend, remember that Heaven is a real place where the saved go when they die. Technology has placed many in difficult situations that would not have been a decision many years ago. I am not against technology, but I do believe that because we believe in Heaven, it is a great testimony to show others the peace God can give by letting someone go to Heaven when God has prepared them to go.

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