TODAY’S GUEST: Dr. Bruce Baker is president of BecomingMature.org. Dr. Baker is also the former pastor of Washington County Bible Church in Brenham, TX. Prior to this, he was Assistant Professor of Bible and Theology at Grace School of Theology, in Houston, TX.
Receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness causes many people to go into a tailspin of despair and depression. This is rarely considered a gift, but that is exactly how Baker sees it. He has ALS. With gentleness and candor, he explores the universal questions of pain: why me, why now, and why this?
For Thou Art With Me: Biblical Help for the Terminally Ill and Those Who Love Them – Two reasons a terminal disease is a gift: first, it leaves you no choice but to face the inevitable; and second, you’ve been given time to get ready. Now, obviously, all people, regardless of their health, have time to get ready. Everyone knows death is coming, and everyone should prepare for it. And that is exactly how this book helps.
Why people fear death: All people know that 1) God exists, 2) that there is life after death, 3) that what one does in this life has a direct bearing on one s life after death, and 4) that between themselves and God something is wrong. This is why people fear death! Knowing why we are afraid to die does not help us overcome our fear of death. Exploring the reason for this fear is the antidote provided.
What death means for the believer: It is a key in a door. It is a change in location. It is an answer to prayer. It is the delivery of the gift. These are evidenced by the psalmist who says, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).
Questions about assisted suicide? Baker provides the distinction between termination of life and termination of treatment from a Biblical perspective. This book is a practical resource for someone facing the end of life. In contrast to more stuff, hope and help for the person who is dying as well as loved ones and care givers is the best gift that can be given.
Also mentioned during the podcast, Dr. Bruce Baker’s book, Spiritual Maturity
1 Corinthians 15:1-58
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:4-6