“Everybody gets dead someday!” So, why does God raise the dead? It certainly is not as often as we pray but there does seem to be a common denominator. It’s like God is taking out His calling card and presenting it to a skeptical public, saying, “This is who I Am!” Now, we have seen the dead raised about eight times in the last 18 years. The last one was the day before yesterday and it was one of the exceptions. Twice we have seen people who had some knowledge of who Jesus was, but had not yet fully accepted him, brought back from the dead. God gave them second chances, and it has been a great witness to the communities they were from. These two people were very open to Christ, yet had an incomplete knowledge of who He is. This last man was a 69 year-old, who had lived a very raucous life, married six times, a heavy drinker, involved in crimes, etc. His son came to church and received Christ. He was a new believer and didn’t know much about Jesus but shared what he knew with his father, who was showing interest.
The old man knew he was dying but was very clear and alert. He called the church to find out more about Jesus. He asked the Pastor to come and pray for him. Pastor Som Art (See Sidebar story) and one of the elders went to minister to him. He lived in a poor section of town and the address was hard to find; clear across the city of Phnom Penh. Som Art was having trouble figuring out the directions when he got a call from the son, “Don’t trouble yourselves, the doctors are here and my father is dead.” Som Art went anyway, thinking he could comfort the family, and arrived about 20 minutes later. The man was pale, not breathing, no pulse, and growing cold. The doctors there confirmed he was dead when Som Art and the Elder knelt down to pray. Color started to come back to the mans face, his heart started to beat and he began breathing. He opens his eyes and began to talk, “I was at the entrance to heaven, and it is a beautiful place, but I wasn’t ready to go in yet.” The many family members, excited doctors and Pastor Som Art and the elder were astonished. Pastor Some Art explained how Jesus had paid for every infraction of his life and by believing that He rose from the dead and declaring Jesus to be the Lord of his life there was no barrier to heaven. The man prayed and with a calm smile said, “I’m ready now.” Pastor Som Art left and later that night the ailing man did go off, very peacefully, to be with the Lord. The entire community can talk of little else.