Chuck Smith went to be with the Lord.
My physician friend who is not a believer (a non-practicing Catholic) had the opportunity to take care of Chuck during one of his surgeries. My friend had been to a Harvest crusade in the early 90’s and remembered Chuck from there and told Chuck about it. He asked Chuck why he became a pastor.
The pastor seized the opportunity to tell him about Christ. A few minutes before surgery Chuck was preaching. For some it is with great restraint that they will muster up the courage to tell an unbeliever about Christ. But not for Chuck Smith.
The dying pastor told the physician that he too wanted to become a physician. It was a dream of his when he was young. A neurosurgeon to be precise. He wanted to be able to perform the most complicated and heroic of surgeries and to save a life in the process.
But then something happened.
He realized there was a much better way of saving people.
There was a way in which he could help save lots and lots of people at once, as opposed to one person, one surgery at a time. So he became a pastor and brought people into the kingdom of God by spreading the gospel. He founded one of the largest system of churches in the world, the Calvary Chapel system. He also mentored Greg Laurie and was intimately involved in building up the Harvest Crusades in the early years.
He continued to preach using an oxygen nasal cannula until the very last week.
He ran the race until the very end. My friend was deeply touched by Chuck’s testimony and I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict him.
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”” Rev 14:13