I had a heart attack a few years back. It was a piece of cake, it didn't slow me down all that much. I'd had the shortness of breath symptoms for decades but I figured that was because I'd worked for years in woodworking factories when they weren't all that concerned about dust protection. A few years before the heart attack I had an annoying pain in my left arm that I kind of ignored because I attributed that to a large benign growth on my neck next to my spine. I delayed having that removed because I didn't want the surgery getting in the way of my church and horse activities.
I had the growth finally removed a couple months before the heart attack but the arm pain remained. I figured it would take some time before the nerves and stuff reworked so I paid no attention to the discomfort.
They had gotten the tractor at the barn stuck way out in the mud and it had run out of fuel. Diesels running out of fuel can be a hassle. I carried the fuel through the mud and put it in. I opened up the bleeders and climbed on the tractor and turned the key and all it did was click. I went back through the mud to get tools to take the battery out to get it to the charger. I get back and notice the battery is far smaller than a diesel battery should be so I carry it back, put it in the truck and go buy a new much stronger battery, and that battery goes in the tractor. I turn the key and that battery spun that engine so fast the fuel shot out of the bleeders right away. I shut them off and the tractor started instantly. I chained a fence post on the outside of the tractor tire and backed it out of the mud.
Beginning to end over a couple hours I made 4 trips slogging through the mud carrying rather heavy loads.
That evening my arm started to get downright annoying. I chalked that up to the fact that I had overworked it. Long about 11 I decided to go to bed figuring it would be back to "normal" when I woke up. The pain wasn't really anything I couldn't live with if it didn't go away. I didn't like it but I figured I could live with it. About 1 in the morning I remembered my brother saying he had the same thing happen to him. Since I couldn't sleep anyway I decided to drive myself to the ER.
I get to the ER and the night nurse takes one look at me and asks quickly, "Do you need to see the doctor?" She writes my name down and takes me into the exam room and starts hooking me up to the EKG machine. The doctor comes in after a bit, looks down at the sheet and then says to me, "You are having a heart attack. What I want to do is give you a clot buster, but if you have ever had a stroke or TIA (had a bunch of them) it could act on any clots from those and you may have a stroke and you may die. What do you want me to do?"
I figured whether I die from the heart attack, die from the clot buster, I'm still dead, so I told him go ahead. The nano-second the nurse STARTED to put that stuff in my vein all the discomfort vanished. I could have gotten up and left right then but I knew they wouldn't let me without a struggle. 3 o'clock in the morning they bundle me up and send me to another hospital where I was rushed through some doors and they start working on me right away. Around 5 that afternoon I'm on my way out of the hospital with a couple of stents and "minimal, minimal damage to your heart." The whole thing was absolutely painless, nothing to it.
And now comes the hernia hell...
A few weeks later what I thought were swollen lymph nodes turned out to be a hernia. "Knowing you, the recovery time is normally a couple months but with you will be a couple weeks, I'll get you an appointment with the surgeon," my long time primary care doctor told me.
The day before the surgery the surgeon's office calls and tells me the anesthesiologist wants to know what stents I have. I call and get the info for him and he tells me he's not going to do the surgery unless it an urgent emergency. I ask why and he tells me that 4% of the people put to sleep with those stents don't wake up. I tell him 96% do. He's adamant.
I surgery shop around and get the same answer and the hernia is getting worse. Let me tell you I was EXTREMELY careful of that thing because it could become what they called "strangulated." Then one night it was so painful and protruding I headed for the ER 50 miles from here. They took me right into a room where three large gorillas started working on me. Two held me down and the other one started pushing on that thing.
I have suffered excruciating pain in my time but NOTHING even began to hold a candle to that. They loaded me up with morphine, which did nothing. People were coming in and saying they're making room in the OR only to come back later saying they were filled and the pushing went on and on and on while I screamed and fought the whole time while they were telling me to relax. I had to stop them several times so that I could get my wits back.
They finally got it back and I was so limp and worn out I couldn't move and they let me stay in the exam room until they had a bed for me.
The next day the surgeon comes to see me and he says if the cardiologist gives him a clearance letter he'll operate. The cardio tells me, "No elective surgery for 12 months after a heart attack."
So I had to put up with that thing for about 10 months. But I wasn't gentle with it. If it started sticking out I just shoved it back in. I didn't give it a chance to become painful, I'd had all that pain I wanted.
I said all that to tell you I would have done pretty much anything for that pain to stop or at the very least to subside a little. Words cannot express the relief I felt when it did.
If you have never had intense pain, physical or mental, trust me, you don't want it.
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then 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 in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ (Luke 16:19-31 NKJV)
If you have ever suffered intense pain you more than likely knew that sooner or later the torment would end.
When the end of our life comes and we open our eyes for the last and final time we will either be with God or away from him...
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41 NKJV)
Everlasting fire. When you suffer the slightest burn it causes an immediate reaction to where you think of nothing else. The Rich Man in the narration immediately sought the slightest relief, "for I am tormented in this flame!" He is in unimaginable, indescribable agony, he thinks the touch of a wet finger on his tongue will give him some relief.
Not only is he told there is no relief, he's told there is no escape from the torment, it will NEVER be any different for him. Through out all unending eternity his existence will be that moment, nothing will EVER change the tiniest bit.
And to make matters worse, as if that was possible, he's told that even the good things of his earthly life will torment him. No matter how evil anyone is they will still enjoy some of the blessings of God. They will enjoy the sunshine, perhaps a child hugging them, things that make them happy or feel good. All of them will be terribly missed in the solitary confinement of torment. Even the presence of others will be denied, there will be nothing to share.
And as if the unending torment and unimaginable agony is not enough the passage indicates those in torment will be able to see what being with God and the heavenly host is like on the other side of the gulf.
And if someone you know is there and they have the slightest care for you, they will not want you to come there. "Send someone to tell my brothers to not come here!"
God makes no one be with Him if they choose not to be.
Nothing in this world is more important to you than obeying God. Compare what men says to what God says. When some religious guide tells you something be sure they can take you there in the word.
God's Plan of Salvation
1. The great love of God for man (John 3:16) 2. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Saviour (Luke 19:10) 3. Sent the Holy Spirit as a guide (John 16:13) 4. Gave the Gospel as "the power" unto salvation (Romans 1:16) 5. Provided atonement by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)
1. Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32) 2. Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31) 3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30) 4. Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32) 5. Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38) 6. Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
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