“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:51-58)
Not a lot of people know about Bob Dintsch. He didn’t win an Olympic medal. He didn’t invent the internet or make millions of dollars. Bob Dintsch was the lay leader at a medium-sized church in a quiet suburb. But to those who knew Mr. Bob, he was a modern-day Paul.
Bob was once a politician, but not just any politician, a corrupt one. He laundered drug money, lied to the people, and did several other things punishable in a court of law. Bob even spent time in the big house. It was on his way to prison that Bob met Christ and his life was changed forever. With his wife and young son standing by him, Bob began a career in church ministry. You couldn’t walk into the church without running into Bob. He began mission after mission in the church–whether it was supporting the youth group or starting the first contemporary worship service in the fellowship hall. Bob had a calling from God and nothing was going to stop him. Everyone he met would know about Jesus.
I was on my way home one weekend from school. I usually listened to a CD of choice, but on this trip I decided to play a sermon tape. Not just any sermon tape, but Bob’s sermon. Bob had charisma and an understanding of God. I popped the tape in and listened. Lately, Bob had been battling liver cancer. He was weak and tired but still filled with joy of the Spirit as he preached. Near the end of his sermon he began to talk about heaven. Bob wasn’t scared of dying. The way he figured it, God was just allowing him to go ahead of everyone else. He said, “When I get to Heaven, I am going to be waiting on all of you. You’ll know I’m there, because I will be the one shouting, ‘Come on in! We’ve been waiting for ya!'” After listening to the sermon, I arrived home. It was that same day that God calledBob to his eternal home.
Bob knew that death had no power over him and that death had no victory because Christ was at home, waiting for him. Bob was going homeand he couldn’t have had been more excited to be going there. Bob knew His heavenly father, much like the prodigal son’s father, would be waiting for him.
When my dad died, one of the first images I thought of was Bob and Jesus, standing side by side, calling to my dad, “Come on in! We’ve been waiting for ya!” How wonderful to know that when we go home, Christ will be standing at the gate, like the prodigal sons father, with open arms, glad we’re back in His care at last.