The Hope That We Have

It has been over six months since my last post to this blog. I originally planned to take some time off for the Christmas holidays, which continued into January, as my wife and I journeyed to the Caribbean for a relaxing vacation. Before I was able to catch up on my work, my father fell ill. For the next two months it was back and forth to hospitals and other medical care facilities. On March 23, 2018 my father went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Then there was the planning for his memorial service and following up on the endless estate matters, while at the same time trying to keep my head above water on numerous other projects. And here I am on July 31, working on the draft of this post. But this is not about me. It is about my Dad an his relationship with Jesus.

My father, Kenneth G. Jones, M.D., has been a great influence on me throughout my life. I miss him greatly and often find myself thinking “I’ll have to tell Dad about that. No, wait… I can’t.” I’m not going to tell his whole life story, but you can read his obituary and see a slide show tribute to his life on his memorial site: Kenneth Goss Jones, M.D. Obituary.

My Dad was not always a follower of Jesus. Nevertheless, he always believed in God. He saw the evidence of God’s beauty in creation. As a surgeon he marveled at the incredible design of the human body, and he considered it self-evident that there was a Creator. He understood he had a responsibility to God, and like the moral man of Romans 2, he worked hard to live an upright and moral life. Dad also understood the Fall. He had seen the depravity of man in both business and politics. As a surgeon, he dedicated his life to reversing the effects of the Fall on human beings and restoring them physically. So he agreed with the first two attributes of a Biblical worldview. But Dad had a problem with Jesus. In fact he often speculated that Jesus was some kind of a huckster. Dad got along very well, or so he thought, without a Savior. And truth be told, he did quite well on his own.

After my Mother passed away in 2012, Dad began to rethink things eternal. My Mom had accepted Jesus many years ago, and it was not lost on Dad that my brother and I were confident of her position with her Lord, while he was not so sure. Dad began to read the Bible differently. When he read his Bible before, he would pull out the bits and pieces that fit his preconceived notions, but after Mom passed, he began to listen to what God was saying. He also became friends with a Lutheran pastor who gave him a new perspective on Jesus Christ. Dad came to realize that he, like all of us, was a sinner, who needed a perfect Savior to restore his broken relationship with his heavenly Father. Dad determined that there was sufficient evidence to believe that God sent His Son, Jesus, to come to earth to live a perfect life and to die as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that we would have eternal life. By faith he accepted God’s free gift of salvation.

Dad’s later years were different. Oh, he was the same person in most ways, but he began to attend a Bible study and to listen to God. He asked questions and reached conclusions that were spiritually informed. He often amazed me with some of his insights. He attended church when his health permitted and prayed regularly. Once, when he was in the hospital, the family gathered to pray for him. When we were finished he insisted on praying for us. As his health deteriorated in his last months, Dad never lost hope. As a physician he knew that he was pushing the limits of what medical science could do, but he faced his situation without fear, confident that he was in the hands of his loving Father. Dad expressed to me that he was tired of all the medical treatment, asserting “I’m ready now to be with Jesus and your mother.” Dad passed away peacefully in the early morning of March 23, 2018. There was no fear or uncertainty in the way he faced his final hours in this life. He knew Jesus was waiting for him.

Our family misses Dad greatly. We grieve, but not as those who are without hope. As Paul wrote: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NASB) We have the assurance that Dad is with Jesus, and are confident that we will be with him again one day.

This is the hope that our faith in Christ gives us. The writer of Hebrews tells us “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 NASB) By faith, we wait patiently for what we have not yet seen. Our faith is not a blind faith, but faith based upon evidence. The Biblical Worldview is unique in that it rests not upon the imagination of some guru, but is rooted firmly in history and in the reality of the world in which we live. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NASB)

My Dad had that hope in God, and in turn, so do we who live on. If you do not have this hope, and would like to know more about the Biblical worldview and about God’s free gift of restoration to fellowship with Him, you can read more or contact me directly through our web site: https://praystandact.org/a-free-gift.

 

 

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