Death is often a sad instance to the remaining, no matter how prepared they may be but it is always unusual. Just yesterday, 5th December 2016, the world lost a gospel music icon Mr. Sifiso Ncwane to a short illness suspected to come from kidney failure. He was dear to many of his followers and the Christian community at large, I liked him and his music too.
This past weekend I had attended a night vigil that was then followed by a funeral of a Christian old lady who demonstrated throughout her sick days before death that she had a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ. I had wanted to do the imaginary death with the congregation in the night vigil just to encourage and comfort them that their loved one is in eternal joy and her death was gain to her. I couldn’t because time could not allow but I wish to share the same to encourage the Ncwane family and friends that their loved one is now comforted in Heaven. This is a mystery ‘yimfihlakalo’ that I want to share.
Allow me to Biblically imagine his death and reveal truths covered in the Bible about the Heavenly celebrated life of Christian. Mr. Ncwane is reported to have died in hospital after suffering some severe pain that made him vomit some blood. This must have been a very painful experience. For Christians, such pain does not go on for a long time because death always comes as a relief. Mistakenly do we often say that people rest when they die yet this only applies to Christians. There is no peace for the ungodly when they die for they enter a place of permanent pain with no rest.
The Biblical imagination
When death was certain for Mr. Ncwane, he saw angels coming to meet him to take him home. Christians are always welcomed by Angels when they die. We get this from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:20 – 25. Mr. Ncwane then must have felt indescribable warmth of Jesus’ love and got interested in the afterlife, forgetting about this life. When he moved out of his body, all the pain subsided and he wondered what could be happening but then he realized that he was now out of his earthly body. He might have tried communicating to the people around his death bed to tell them not to worry because he is now feeling no pain but they could not hear him. He might have tried to touch them but his hand went through their bodies.
Soon an angel(s) call him up to follow as they began their ascension. The sounds and sight of this world gradually faded and a new environment came about. Christians go up when they die. Jesus Himself went up to Heaven in full sight of His disciples. As a model for Christians, His ascension demonstrated what happened when Christians go home. What a fulfilling moment that must have been for Mr. Ncwane. He must have looked around and only to find that he is dressed in pure white linen, spotless and glorious. This is a garment of righteousness that only the pure in heart are dressed on when they approach the pearly gates of Heaven. We get to know about this garment of righteousness in the book of Revelation 19:8.
When he approached Heaven’s gates, they were closed and another angel by the gate told him to wait until his name is confirmed to be recorded in the big book of life. While waiting in confidence, he must have wondered about the beauty of the surroundings. When I talk about this beauty, I’m reminded of the fact that the devil feels jealous about Christians because they get to experience this beauty which he will never ever experience yet he once enjoyed Heaven with all his demons. Just as a reminder, the only purpose the devil hates Christians is that they still have the chance to get to a place where he will never ever access yet he has clear understanding of its beauty.
Once Mr. Ncwane’s name was found in the book by Heaven’s gate, the book of life, the gates opened for him. It is true that all whose names are not written in the book of life shall be cast out into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). It goes without saying that those whose names are written in the book of life are gladly welcome into Heaven. When he entered, a loud clap of joy from Heavenly beings was heard and he was warmly welcomed into the Heaven, a place of eternal rest.
Friends and family, I would love for you to be comforted in that Mr. Ncwane, as we all believe he was a Christian, is in joy and would never want to come back because the place he is in is incomparably better than this world. Duduzelekani.
If we all want to meet him one day, lets live according to God’s commandments and we shall when our time comes. If you are a non-believer in Christ, the direct opposite of the good that happens to Christians when they die shall be to you. It’s an irreversible condition for everyone that crosses over to the afterlife.
Image taken from: http://sfisoncwane.co.za/biography/