My Lola is in Heaven

She was 86.

We weren’t really close. But I remember her to be quite thoughtful, writing letters and remembering our birthdays. She even had some of her jewelry melted and crafted into rings for her apos (grandkids). I also remember her cooking—the best bopis I’ve had to date, and also the longest hotdog I’ve seen to date!

Earlier today, she has gone to be with the Lord.

It probably won’t be spoken of, but I’m sure it will cross minds in the family: Where is she now? I hope she is in heaven. But can we really be sure?

I have an answer. And I am sure.

Unknown to almost everyone, Pao and I got to visit her in the hospital last year. She was afraid of dying. We got to pray for her, and I got to share with her what the bible says about life after death. She asked for and received God’s forgiveness for her sins, and believed in Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin…

Who among us has never had a single sin?

…is death…

This is what one sin deserves. This is what all of us deserve. Not simply death in the sense that everybody dies, but a spiritual death, separation from God… an eternal death, yes, our place is in hell.

…but the gift of God…

God is loving, yes, but God is also just. He will not let one sin go unpunished. One sin is punishable by death. But God loves us so much that He has given us a gift. A gift. It is not forced. We either receive it or not.

…is eternal life…

Yes! Life after death, in heaven!

…in Christ Jesus…

It is only through the Cross we get to heaven. God is just and will not allow any one sin to go unpunished. Jesus took the punishment for all our sins. That’s why we call Him, “Savior.” That’s why the popular verse says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…”

…our Lord.

We make Jesus the Lord of our lives. He is not only Savior, but also Lord. It is not one or the other. It is both, in One.


Ahhh, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It sounds too easy to be true. It sounds unjust, unfair to some. But it is true. And it is the justice of God and the love of God. It sounds hard to believe for someone who is used to working and earning to get what you think you deserve because of your work. Put it this way: Jesus has worked it out for you. You just have to receive what His finished work deserves. He worked; we earned.

How do we receive what Jesus’ finished work deserves? We believe. We acknowledge that we have sinned. We ask for and receive God’s forgiveness for our sins. We believe that Jesus took the punishment for our sins on the Cross. We believe that Jesus took our place in dying the death we should have died. We believe that because He Himself was sinless, death could not hold Him. We believe that He rose from the dead, offering us the gift of being saved from the eternal consequence of our sins.

Go in a private place and ask God your questions. Tell Him your doubts. Ask Him to make Himself known to you. Ask God to help you believe. In genuine prayer, I believe, God will touch your heart and turn things around for you.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
Yes, when you get serious about finding me
and want it more than anything else,
I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.
I’ll turn things around for you…”
Jeremiah 29:13-14

And so that popular verse continues, “…that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

My mom took this picture at the hospital a few nights ago. I thank God that I got to reassure her of the gift she received, and to pray for her. I was praying she would live to tell the rest of the family her story, how she encountered God, but the Lord had a better plan. No more pain for her, and in her death I get to tell His story.

“Come to me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.”
Jesus
Matthew 11:28

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