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(Article by Denny Burk and orginally found at his blog.)

The head of Venezuela’s presidential guard was with Hugo Chávez during his final moments. His report on Chávez’s last words paints a picture of a man desperately clinging to life. According to this report, Chávez said:

I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die.

As a rule, I’m no fan of socialist dictators—particularly those of Chávez’s ilk. But this strikes me as one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. I grieve to think about what the horror of his final moments must have been like. Death is no respecter of persons—not even of billionaire Presidents who command a cult-like following among their countrymen. Not even of you. As the old hymn has it, “Time like an ever-flowing stream bears all its sons away.” None of us will escape this great equalizer.

But the great question we all have to ask ourselves is this: Will we be ready? Will our last words exhibit the desperation of a person who knows that it is all slipping away? Of a person who has the foreboding sense that something more terrible than he can imagine waits just on the other side? Or will our final words reflect the confidence that Christ has defeated the final enemy (1 Cor. 15:26)? The confidence that whoever trusts in Jesus Christ will live even if he dies (John 11:25)?

If the moment of your demise were descending upon you and you could see it coming as Chávez could, what would you say? That is the great question of your life. It’s the great question of every person’s life.

Psalm 90:10-12
10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11 Who understands the power of Thine anger,
And Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee?
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.

14 Responses to “Chávez’s Last Words and Yours”

  1. on 12 Mar 2013 at 10:46 amJohn

    I didn’t know democratically elected leaders were considered “dictators.”

  2. on 12 Mar 2013 at 2:13 pmWolfgang

    John,

    I suppose it depends on what information people are fed as “truth” and believe to be true … sometimes the exact opposite is regarded to be the “truth” by different parties.

    As per definition, one would normally NOT call a democratically elected leader a “dictator” … but then, those same circles sometimes call others exactly what they themselves really are (having the general public sufficiently “brainwashed” to believe their deception).

  3. on 13 Mar 2013 at 12:37 pmVictor

    John & Wolfgang, what did you think of the main content of the article?

  4. on 13 Mar 2013 at 4:23 pmWolfgang

    Victor,

    not so sure what to think of the main content … since there are some other similar matters which have bearing on the main content

    Will our last words exhibit the desperation of a person who knows that it is all slipping away? Of a person who has the foreboding sense that something more terrible than he can imagine waits just on the other side?

    how do you know that these reported last words do “exhibit the desparation of a person who knows that it is all slipping away”? or how do you know that they reflect “a person who has the foreboding sense that something more terrrible than he can imagine waits just on the other side” ?

    The article displays the common “politically correct” US American view on Chavez …. but is that view even accurate? or is it more a slanderous political propaganda view trying to make someone look bad who did not quite “obey” the US American political dictate and was more interested in keeping a bit more of the oil money in his country to use for his people rather than allowing foreign oil companies to exploit the resources of his country?

    Sure, this man will have had his faults and made his errors …. but let’s for a moment think a bit more straight …. for the death of how many people was Chavez responsible during his government over the last decades? for the death of how many people have US presidents been responsible over the same period of time?

    As for the point in the article about being prepared for when the time of one’s exit from this life comes … I agree with your encouragement to be in a situation where we can have confidence in Christ’s accomplished work of redemption and salvation! Actually, I think a correct understanding of matters relating the coming of the Lord will provide an even greater confidence and assurance than those can have who do not see the work of Christ as accomplished yet.

  5. on 13 Mar 2013 at 10:00 pmXavier

    Found this to be an ominous warning for any country with left-leaning heads of government:

    Chávez won power democratically 14 years ago after failing to take it by force, then turned the country into an anti-American state that attempted to export and support leftist socialism throughout Latin America.

    In doing so, he seized private companies such as banks and the oil industry, packed them with confidantes and cohorts and soaked them for cash he sometimes spent on housing projects and food giveaways in impoverished villages and barrios.

    He practically gave away Venezuela’s oil to Cuba, which he saw as a model, and to a charitable company created by former Democratic U.S. representative Joseph Patrick Kennedy II for goodwill in the United States.

    Though his crony capitalism and nepotism damaged the country’s ability to pay its debts, sell food or invest in the future, the poor backed him all the way.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/03/05/chavez-mood-reactions/1965805/

  6. on 13 Mar 2013 at 10:25 pmJohn

    Xavier:

    That those harsh things are being said by the American media is not surprising. Please recall that this same country is the one who practically colonized Cuba and stole its resources until the Revolution in 1959. Similarly in Venezuela, let’s not forget rich elitist groups controlling the oil profits and distributing only amongst themselves. It was Chavez who nationalized the industry and significantly reduced poverty.

  7. on 14 Mar 2013 at 2:32 amWolfgang

    Carlos,

    seems like you are not only “parroting” certain religious viewpoints without personally investigating a little more carefully and endeavoring to learn the truth …
    Here, you do the same with secular matters as well by following along and propagating a certain viewpoint promoted by one sided media propaganda.

  8. on 14 Mar 2013 at 9:10 amXavier

    John

    How did Chavez reduce poverty? Got any stats to back that up?

    PS: USA Today, like most “mainstream” media outlets, is very much left-leaning.

  9. on 14 Mar 2013 at 9:15 amJas

    Wolfgang
    I think he was quoting, not parroting.
    Yes I would be very careful in following MSM . They cater to certain political mindsets that buy or advertise on their crud. It really doesnt take much research to find most of the facts yourself .

  10. on 14 Mar 2013 at 9:35 amWolfgang

    Jas,

    Yes I would be very careful in following MSM . They cater to certain political mindsets that buy or advertise on their crud. It really doesnt take much research to find most of the facts yourself .

    Did you address the above to the wrong person?

  11. on 14 Mar 2013 at 9:37 amJas

    Wolfgang
    No I was agreeing with you and John

  12. on 14 Mar 2013 at 9:39 amWolfgang

    Jas

    I think he was quoting, not parroting.

    a certain character or manner of quoting (not all quoting) pretty much equals parroting …

  13. on 14 Mar 2013 at 9:56 amJas

    The quote was provided with source so it was still the authors words not Xaviers. He was not claiming it was his thoughts or words to hide the source.

  14. on 14 Mar 2013 at 10:41 amJas

    The real question is if the original structure of Israel existed today how we describe it? Would we send our CIA in to undermine its structure ? Would we force it to be a democracy ?
    Socialism can be a good thing or an evil thing just as Democracy can be both.
    I really dont think Chavez cared for the poor people but thats just my opinion.

  

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