By now, you’ve probably heard, but on January 24th, Radical Mentoring Founder Regi Campbell went home to meet His Heavenly Father. You can read more about Regi and his cancer journey here. Our team is incredibly grateful and appreciative of the kind words and encouragement that have poured forth since Regi’s passing. Starting in 2011, Regi wrote two blog posts a week like clockwork, sharing his wisdom and wit to the thousands who received and read his posts, always challenging us and always pointing us towards Jesus. Today, we want to share his last post with you. I think you’ll find it to be classic Regi, modeling authentic faith for each of us right up to the end. Next week, we’ll fill you in on what this space will look like going forward, but for now, we appreciate you reading. Lastly, Regi’s Memorial Service will be this Saturday, Feb 8th at 1pm at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA, we’d be honored if you’d join us. – Kevin, Trey & Jackson, The Radical Mentoring Team
When first told that I had a rare, fast-growing, incurable cancer, it didn’t register with me. It’s like you know something is real, but it takes a while before you know it. It’s “both/and,” not “either/or.” Even knowing His ultimate earthly destiny, Jesus seemed to keep rockin’ along until He decided to go to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. That’s when He talked more often about what was going to happen to Him.
But there’s one big, interesting thing I noticed. Whenever Jesus told people He was going to die, He always told them He’d be coming again. I’ve made that a principle. I never talk about my end on earth without connecting it to my beginning in the next life. It reminds me of my hope for Heaven, and it reflects my faith that Jesus is going to take me there.
Something else I share with Jesus. Before his crucifixion, there were multiple efforts to kill Him . . . from Herod trying to wipe Him out just after His birth (Matthew 2:13), to the crowd in Nazareth trying to drive him off a cliff (Luke 4:28-30) to a near-stoning in Jerusalem (John 8:58-59). My lung transplant and other illnesses feel like dress rehearsals now. The adrenaline of His certain destiny was probably familiar.
John 12 recounts how Mary anointed Jesus with perfume in an act of worship. James 5 instructs us to call on elders to anoint us and pray over us. My elder prayer session at North Point Community Church was one of the highlights of my life. I think elder prayer may be an important part of God’s process for preparing His sons and daughters to transition to the afterlife.
A few other things I noticed about Jesus. He prayed. Alone with His Father. He asked others to pray for Him. He didn’t back down or back out of His earthly ministry. He continued to take hard stances in front of His enemies, and He kept investing in His guys, even after they waffled and ran. He got His house in order for His mom. And when the time came, He suffered courageously.
A lot of people question Jesus’ words from the cross when He asked, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46b). To me, these words show the strength of their relationship. Jesus doesn’t doubt God’s existence. He’s still talking to Him. He’s missing God’s presence, which had been there since the beginning of time and was, at that moment (and for the next three days), gone.
But because of Jesus’ obedience to His Father in allowing Himself to be sacrificed like an innocent lamb, we never face a single second of separation from the Father. When the lights go out in this life, they’re already on in the next. And His face is the first thing we’ll see. For me, I’ll meet in person, for the first time, the pen pal I’ve been in intimate friendship with for thirty-eight years.
When it’s time for my last words, they won’t be about being forsaken. They’ll be, “Thank You for loving me. Thank You for adopting me into Your family.”
Scripture: After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)