Just as this issue was going to press, word was received of the tragic death by drowning of 17-year-old Jered Pyle, a junior at Worthington Christian High School, affiliated with the Worthington (OH) Grace Brethren Church. This edited piece was written by his football coach, Mike Stanley (featured in the Sept/Oct 2005 FGBC World, see Crusader Football Seeks to ‘Honor Jesus’).
Last Wednesday I got the type of call a coach never wants to get. My quarterback, our captain and fun-loving 17-year-old teammate, had drowned. I knew his character so I knew there were no drugs, drinking, or stupid behavior involved. I was right. He simply was unable to finish the swim.
At the accident site I could hardly breathe; yet I knew Jered was a Christian. I knew with absolute certainty he would be in heaven.
On Friday, visiting hours were held. Rick [Jered’s dad] said, “I’m hanging by a thread at times, but it is a strong thread.” He was trusting the fact that Jered had crossed the final goal line and was waiting for the rest of us to join him in the end zone celebration.
How could I be so sure I would see Jered again? Let me share with you a final exam paper Jered had written only hours before he died:
4. Which of these three books was your favorite and why?
“I would say Galatians is my favorite. Galatians is such an encouraging book for my own walk with God. I know I’m in Christ and when I die I will be with Him. I know this because I have faith and believe that what God has said is what is true and right. When we accept Christ as our Savior we are no longer lost slaves of this world, instead we are ‘heirs’ to heaven. And this is very encouraging to me.”
We grieve, but not as “the rest who have no hope.” I Thessalonians 4:13.
What about you? Do you have Jered’s hope? If the people you love were looking into your coffin would they have the hope, the confident expectation that they would see you again in heaven?
To know you are going to heaven is as simple as A