Covid, Death and Life Destiny
Covid, death and life is the most talked-about topic in our world today.
As at 29-09-2021, the Covid statistics in a snapshot of random countries is as shown. The top three countries that leads in cases and deaths are USA, India and Brazil. We can see that the total of deaths is 4,799731 deaths. From the start of Covid till now is about 7,570 deaths on a daily basis. That is a lot of deaths, meaning 7,570 souls have their journey on this earth ended daily because of covid. It is time for us to take stock of our lives.
Death and life of an influential and powerful legend
What were the last words of Apple legendary Steve Jobs moments before he passed away due to cancer at age 56?
*Highlighted text are in blue
Below is his set of last words that he leaves to the world. The text highlighted in blue is of paramount significance:
I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes my life is an epitome of success.
However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.
At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud of, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
In the dark, when I looked at the green lights, of artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
It should be something more important: For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
Meaning of death and life
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each one of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love. This is the true wealth that will follows you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travels thousand of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. strive to reach the goals you want to achieve.
Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
Material things lost can be found. But one thing that you can never find once you have lost it, is life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbors.”
Wise words on death and life
In the book of Ecclesiastes in the bible, Ecclesiastes 9:2,3:
Ecclesiastes 9:2,3 –
All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
This tells us that though life may dealt each one of us a different set of cards to everyone. Those who were dealt a good set of cards live kingly life like the founder of Apple. Others may be dealt a bad set of cards and live a pauper life. But there is one card dealt to everyone that is fair and certain – they all go to the dead.
Death is the leveler for everyone regardless of one’s social status, wealth, power and accomplishments.
Where are the dead
What non-Christian-believing Chinese believe? This is an account told by someone with the experience of witnessing death messengers:
The account of her story: “That very night that she sensed that her sickly husband was nearing death, she has prepared herself to be at his side to provide emotional comfort to him.
The house was a small flat and they were the only two people in the house. Though it was a long night but events were very vivid in her mind. She kept watch over her sick husband during the long night. This was the moment which is of utmost importance, watching her loved one passing through the river of death. This is the reality of the inevitable event.
The time was past midnight. She recalled that she heard the sound caused by dragging chains along the floor outside of the house. The dragging chain sound was approaching to the house main door.
And then she saw with her eyes the two death messengers appearing before her. They were holding chains in their hand and one of the death messenger with the head of a cow and the other the face of the horse. This was also what most traditional Chinese believes.
This woman heard the chains dragging sounds, saw the two death messengers from Hades and saw the departure of her husband’s soul. She witnessed this spiritual event that she recounted to us as she was grieving.
In the bible, Hades is the Hebrew word sheʼohlʹ and its Greek equivalent is haiʹdes. It is mentioned more than 70 times and is related to death.
She’ohl’, or Hades, is thus not a literal place in a specific location. Rather, it is the common grave of dead mankind, the figurative location where all of mankind sleep in death regardless of race or religion.
What happened after death
An account of what happened after death was given by Scott Drummond who was dead for 4 minutes. He decided to share this story in 2020 because of the events of the global covid pandemic. According to his account he was shown a video of all that he did from the day he was a baby till he was 20 years old when the 20-minutes death happened. After that he was then sent back to continue his life, but with a transformed personality and life’s values.
What Jesus said about death and life destiny matters
The story of a rich man and a beggar and where they went after they died is recorded in the book of Luke chapter 20:19-26. It was mentioned that there are two places that people would go to when they died. One is Hades and the other is Abraham’s bosom and these two are separated by a great gulf and the separation is eternal.
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And 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 tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Where is Abraham’s bosom
Gospel story starting with Abraham
“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, so shall thy seed be.” (Gen 15:5)
God told Abraham that his seeds will be as the stars in the firmament.
Abraham died without seeing this promise in his lifetime. All he had was a belief and a promise that he passed on faithfully to his seed generations after generations about this promise of the Lord.
The belief as recorded in verse 16 “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Gen 15:6)
Today we see the real fulfilment of this biblical promise in the world.
Fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham
- The people of the nation Israel, the Jews, have for generations are direct descendants of Abraham.
- The followers from the religion of Muslims claim that their ancestor is Ishmael. It is recorded in the book of Genesis as well as Islamic traditions consider Ishmael to be the ancestor of the Ishmaelites. Ishmael is a descendant Abraham, born to him from his second wife Hagar. Muslims believe Muhammad was the descendant of Ishmael that would establish a great nation, as promised by God in Genesis 17:20.
- From Jesus Christ, a descendant of Abraham, we have people of the Christian faith consisting of both Catholics and Protestants.
The ultimate test of Abraham’s faith towards God is that Abraham obeyed God and was willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as what God commanded him to do as a test of his faith. for that God sealed His covenant with Abraham and a promise of a son, Isaac through Sarah, his wife.
And through this promised son, Isaac, God is going to bless the whole world with His own Son, Jesus from the lineage of Isaac. This is according to what is recorded in the book of Galatians 4:28. “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”
Abraham’s Bosom when related to death and life destiny
God has designated a better country in heaven. He had prepared a city for Abraham and his descendants through the promised son. Once we finished our journey on earth, we goes to Abraham’s bosom. This is written in the book of Hebrew chapter 11: 16.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Who is the “Lazarus” amongst us
Wong Hui Chew is as much the “Lazarus” in our midst. He passed away on 17th Sept 2021 at the age 46. What is written here is adapted from his legacy, a book about his life. This book “Get Up And Go” is available in pdf format for download at https://homeless.sg/getupandgo. For more updates, please visit https://facebook.com/wonghuichew/
Though he is born in Singapore to a Singapore citizen father and mother, he ended up being declared as “stateless” through strange turn of events and circumstances. He had never travelled anywhere out of Singapore and no place he has been homeless most of his entire life.
Life dealt him a bad set of cards
His life is very much sustained by care by total strangers, donations from kind-hearted people, welfare assistance and help from strangers that appeared whenever there is a special need.
Growing up, he was badly treated by his father and disliked by an older brother who was physically aggressive towards him with his hands and objects.
When he was a few months old, his father gambled away the money that his mother gave to buy milk powder and brought him to nurse from a black dog which just had a litter of puppies.
At age four, his older brother took a red brick piece from the floor and hurled it at him from a distance. It hit his chest and caused a cut with blood oozing from it. Feeling dizzy from the hit, he almost toppled into a nearby well. This injury subsequently leads him to have an under-developed heart condition. Such heart condition requires monthly injection to promotes growth of his heart from age 12. Not only was medical treatment needed, the trauma also opened up a deep chasm where he felt fear easily throughout his life.
Up to age four, he was helping his mother picked used condensed milk can from a hawker centre near the old Tanjong Pagar train station to make a living. Because of the blistering heat, they took shelter under lorries. Once there was one driver who checked and saw them before driving his lorry. This saved them from getting injured or killed if they had not remained under the lorry.
When he was 29 years old, he had an accident where he felled three floors from a flat. This resulted in him breaking his backbone. However he survived the fall. He recovered from this fall miraculously without much health complications. However at age 38, he slipped and felled on the wet floor of a public toilet and discovered that his lower spine hurts very badly from the fall. Within three months he was completely unable to walk from the pain and his legs weakened.
Against great odds
In-between at age 34, he and his mother were brought by government officials to stay at the Welfare Home for the Destitute. Though it was a welfare home, he felt being lock inside behind those metal grills. He was told that they could not leave unless a family member come to take them out. It so traumatised him that he drank bleach in an attempted suicide but after three days his life was saved through surgery.
From the many traumatic events that happened to him he suffered for recurring episodes of depression and anxiety. Whenever he was seized with fear or emotionally affected he would found himself confused and attempting suicide. On one night in 2015, he cut his wrist and stabbed his stomach twice. At that moment a couple walked past and saw him that saved his life.
In another episodes of overwhelming fear in 2016, he again stabbed his stomach thrice, blacked out and find himself in Singapore General Hospital.
A man with great hope and knows his destiny
His life consists not only traumatic experiences, he was also suffered the misfortune of being unable to get an education. This happened because he did not meet the basic education requirements to enrol in schools. Being illiterate makes him very dependent on others for his hospital appointment and other important activities. He is unable to read road signs and ended up losing his way, read sms texts and filling forms. Without the help of the many kind souls, he is immobilized carrying out some of his important activities.
Through the years he has been living and dealing with health conditions such as hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, degenerative disc disease, clinical depression and anxiety.
Though faced with so much physical violence, parental neglect, and multiple traumatic events he has always maintain a positive outlook through his faith in God. He came to faith In Jesus Christ since age 19.
In year 2015, a group of young people started to became friends to Hui Chew and come together as a group to help him with his life journey. His request for a book legacy was fulfilled when one of them helped authored his book with assistance from many others in the group. It was completed before he passed away. Another opened up his home for Hui Chew to pass away dignified in a family setting.
Citizen of Heaven
The book of Philippians chapter 3 verse 20,21 speaks in this manner; “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
Since Feb 2021, he suffered from his deteriorating heart conditions and his many health ailments. Months later he passed away in the loving arms of a Christian brother while an unseen angel escorted his soul to Abraham’s Bosom, a heavenly country and a city build by God.
Truly he is a man that never had any friendship with this world, a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief who found God as His Father, who set Hui Chew among families.
James 4:4 – whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Psalms 68:5, 6 – A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families.
May we draws inspiration from reading his book that is available free. We are thankful that his life show us truth about Abraham’s Bosom and the Lazarus that Jesus speaks about. Have you considered where is your destiny?