Deliverance From the Fear of Death
The Testimony of Michele Sloop
For as long as I can remember, I was taught about Jesus. My mother was a Christian and my Father was not (but he was saved a couple of years ago). My mother diligently took us to church every Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday night. I remember as a child crying in my pillow because I thought my Dad was going to be eternally in Hell if he died in unbelief. I prayed every night that he would become a Christian.
I was born and raised in California, and I was baptized when I was 11 years old. My dad's job was transferred to Charlotte, NC and we moved to Concord when I was 13. I met my husband when I was 14 and we dated all through High School. We were married when I was 18. We wanted to wait many years to have kids. I remember praying to God to not let me have children if they were not going to become Christians and live faithfully. I could never bear the thought of one of my children being eternally tormented no matter how bad their sin was. When we finally decided to try to start a family I had 2 miscarriages and I thought that this was God’s way of telling me, that since I married a nonbeliever, that it would be best if we did not have children. (How wrong I was in thinking this)! God gave me 2 dreams before I had my children--the dreams told me the gender of each child, and one showed me what my son would look like as a toddler (the dreams were astonishingly accurate). A year after my miscarriages God blessed me with a beautiful healthy baby boy and 2 years after that a beautiful healthy baby girl! I was determined to bring them up in the Truth. But was I seeing the whole truth yet?
As a child and adult I truly believed the lost would be eternally tormented; because that was all I had ever read and heard. Deep down in my heart I guess I've always hoped that God really wasn't this cruel, but I didn't dare deal with this thought. I always pushed it aside and tried to get my mind on something else that wasn't so scary.
I remember once, discussing the Gospel with my mom. I told her that part of why I believed in the Gospel is because it is the best plan for the world that I could ever imagine. When I said this, my mom paused for a moment and then said she was not sure about that, and that God's plan would be better if everyone could ultimately come to the Truth and be saved. We both agreed and the discussion was ended. I pondered on this for quite a long time. This bothered me. I thought how wonderful it would be if everyone would ultimately believe the gospel and repent of his or her sins. This dream of everyone being saved would crumble every time I read my New King James Bible. I saw the words "eternal punishment" and "Hell" and asked God "Why have you planned this?" It was and is too terrible to comprehend!!!
Recently, I was forced to confront this fear of Hell and Death. The fear was getting so strong that all I could think about was death. I questioned whether I was going to heaven or Hell because there were so many good people who lived better lives than me, who were not believers. I knew that we are saved by grace, but there were so many questions I had that needed to be answered. So every day, from then on, I prayed to God for him to take this fear of death away and to show me the whole truth, if I wasn't clearly seeing it yet. I waited for an answer. I read the Bible every night. I searched the Internet for different opinions and was still confused.
Not long after this, one of my friends at work died. He was only in his 30's. His father is one of the partners in the firm I work for (I work for a small CPA firm part-time). A couple of days after his death, I had a very strange dream, which went as follows:
I was in a white void. The ceiling was glass and the floor was glass. I was kind of floating near the top of the glass ceiling. There was a keypad in the glass ceiling. When I looked down on one side there was a big group of people and some of them I recognized as my family and friends. When I looked down on the other side I could see my boss (the father of the son that died) with a book in his hand and he looked very distraught and angry. He was thinking the words Why? Why? I kept looking from side to side. Then I realized the floor and ceiling were closing in on each other and it was going to crush us if I didn't figure out the correct code. I tried to get others to help, but I couldn't figure out the code. This dream was soooooo real; words can't describe how real it felt. I remember looking up through the clear glass ceiling and I could see the heavens, which looked like a bright blue sky. We were all about to be crushed and I was panicking. Suddenly I saw my boss’s son, who was dead. He was on the other side of the glass ceiling. He came from the heavens. His presence was authoritative and bright; he was so overwhelming that it startled me. He expressed to me something to the effect of "You already know what you need to do". When the thought occurred to me that I was seeing someone who was dead, I immediately woke up screaming loudly, but I wasn't frightened, I was amazed!!
I thought about this dream for many weeks, trying to understand the meaning of it. I felt that God was trying to tell me something through it, but I wasn’t sure what He was saying to me. Then four months later I had another dream. I saw my great grandmother and great grandfather.
Both of my great grandparents died when I was in my late teens. They were young enough to be my mother’s parents and they actually did help raise her when she was a child. My great grandparents divorced but stayed friends. Neither of them had much faith in the Bible. They were both very loving grandparents and had their share of problems like everybody does. My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and was only given months to live. The one thing that makes me so sad is that she was so afraid to die and repeatedly said, “I’m not really going to die, am I?” Her soul was not at peace when she died because she had very little faith in Jesus Christ. I have prayed for their souls many times, but always felt that because they did not truly believe, while they were alive, that both of their souls were eternally lost.
There are many details about the dream that I can’t remember and are fuzzy to me. Here is what I remember and feel is the main emphasis of the dream…
I saw my great grandmother and grandfather. They did not look old like I remember them. I recognized them immediately. My grandmother stood out especially. She looked beautiful and was wearing a colorful flowing gown. She was so happy and she held me in her arms, sat down and rocked me like a baby. I know this sounds unusual because I am an adult now, but it was even strange to me because when she was holding me, I could experience her rocking me like a child. I looked like I did when I was a child, and I was also viewing the scene at the same time. I experienced the most loving feeling and felt so content and joyful, like a child. No words were exchanged just the emotions of happiness and peace. I would love to experience this again. My great grandfather was just sitting beside us peacefully smiling and watching us.
When I awoke from this dream I was so happy, and was thinking that I wanted to tell my mom about this as soon as possible. I wanted to let her know that they were OK and were happy. When I explained the dream to my mom she cried and said that my great grandmother, who was her grandmother, always rocked her as a child. This gave me chills when she told me this.
I feel God gave me these dreams to take the fear of death away, and to show me a glimpse of how wonderful the afterlife will be for everyone. I now completely trust and worship God because I know He truly is love, as we know love to be, but at such a superior level of intensity, unlike anything we have ever experienced in our lives. We all have a mission and that is to learn what love (God) is, and how to love others the most we possibly can. God showed us his love by giving His Son’s life as a sacrifice for all of our sins. This is so wonderful that I can hardly comprehend the capacity of forgiveness God has! His forgiveness never ends or stops short.
When we are "born again" it is like our true soul is born for the first time. Our soul grows when we learn to forgive and love as the living God does, whom we put our trust in. I resolve to nurture my soul as I would my own child, with forgiveness, determination, and humble care, not only toward my soul, but also toward others. For I now know that everyone on this earth will have an infant soul within, given by Jesus Christ, the living God. I have decided to focus and allow the eyes of my soul, like the unblinking stare of awe on a baby's face, see the world dazzling and new, free of the deadly grip of sin’s bonds. For when I look into the wide eyes of my baby soul, I will truly see eternity, with my savior. And if I stick to my decision, then perhaps, my soul will grow some, given the excellent light of grace, showered in the true knowledge, and love that all human souls have the ability to soak up.
All souls must mature at some point in the grand scheme of life, which God set forth since the beginning of creation. Once maturity is reached the fruit of the spirit will be produced in all, with great abundance, and it will bring the sweetest joy to our souls. Praise God for this loving, irrevocable gift of life he has bestowed upon us through his son!!! This overwhelming gift of love and forgiveness is exquisitely wrapped in the flesh and blood of the Living God, and the ribbon, on this gift, was painstakingly attached in the shape of a cross. No one will be able to refuse this gift, once the full beauty of it is revealed to them. I know I cannot. I would be blind to the beauty of it, if I didn’t accept it. There are some who are truly spiritually blind and cannot see this gift because they are trapped in darkness. If the majority of mankind will die blind, will God ever allow them to receive their sight? In God’s due time the eyes of the blind will be healed and there sight will be restored, just like Saul of Tarsus - when he was on the road to Damascus. Remember, he said he is the Chief of Sinners? God even revealed His Light to the Chief of Sinners. This is truly amazing.
I urge all people to knock at The Door! He will welcome you in. Some may wonder how to knock. Well, I knocked on the door by continually praying to God and asking Him to fully reveal His love and divine plan to me. The door will be opened and He will welcome all in when they knock on the Door. He just wants us to go to Him for the answers and not just ourselves or the doctrines of men.
Some may think that the gift of God is cheapened, if all will eventually receive it. Some may also wonder what will the reward be to those who diligently serve the Lord in this life. All I can say to those is, what greater reward will there be to those who are faithful unto death, than to hear our Lord say the sweetest words we could possibly hear, which are “WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.” This is my motivation in life, and I hope it is for others as well.
He will welcome all with open arms! Just like the Father of the Prodigal Son! He is constantly looking for His lost child to come back home to Him. It may seem like God casts us into a dark and scary world when we choose the path of sin, but He only allows this so that we will see how empty and wretched are souls are without our Lord. Once we see this, our only desire will be to ask for Him to take us back home as a servant and He will do this because even the lost are His children. A loving father will always take His child back in. He is our true Father and we are all His true children of Love.
I now know the meaning of the first dream, with the glass ceiling. It took me a while to figure it out, but after writing the story “We Are Glass”, the meaning is now clear. When we are in our physical bodies on earth, we are like glass and we will all break. If the dream had continued I would have been crushed along with everybody else in the glass (this represents death). We will all eventually die. Before we die, the light may shine through us, like light shines through glass. Once we die, we are no longer in a form that can be broken; we are in and of the Light. Our savior breaks us free from the broken glass (our dead bodies), and we will no longer be broken. We are literally part of the Light, which is Jesus Christ. How amazing it will be to experience this!!!
I am so thankful for God directing me to the full power of the Savior of the world. I have found peace with God through learning the truth. It has greatly helped my relationship with my husband and I no longer find it difficult to forgive, like I once did. My husband says he has seen a change take place in me. It is wonderful how the Truth shines through perfectly when studying the true meaning of the Greek words.JESUS SAVES ALL!!!!!!! It is like my eyes are opened up and the full beauty of His plan is now revealed to me. Praise God for His mercy and forgiveness through His Son
If you are oppressed by a fear of death, look to the heavens and focus on the Light and Love of the Living God (Jesus Christ). He has the power to break us free from our sin. If we focus on this, then His Light will shine through us, and others will see the Light as well. He has the power to remove all fear!