2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Today I write about Pablo Rojas Jr. or “Paul” as he was also known. This young Christian in his 30s recently passed away from cancer and last night was his celebration of his life of which I was blessed to tune into. This awesome memorial to Paul was something I personally have never witnessed at the RCC funerals I have attended, which are many in the past few years. In this little south Texas chapel, a man’s faith was celebrated in the most genuine fashion.
I got to know a little about Paul from his cousin Isabel and aunt Sara. While Paul was battling cancer for months I was asked to pray for him and honored to do so while asking my Christian groups to join in. Isabel would relay messages to him initially from me, and it was almost immediately I knew Paul was definitely one of us, a saved Christian. I knew that he was fully trusting in God’s will through the utmost trial of his life which was awesome to witness.
Having gone through the battle of cancer with a loved one recently, I could empathize as to what Paul was going through. Not only the physical pain, but the worries, the anxiety, the money stressors, the many surprises and unknowns. And how VERY important it is to trust in God alone, to just let go and let God’s will be done. A very BIG test by tribulation for any Christian to go through but I will say there was always a reason for this from God.
The reason why Paul did not fear his physical death or blame God or fall off from his faith, was because he was already resting in peace in Jesus Christ, he was ALIVE in Christ for an eternity. Something of which I wrote about recently. Romans 5:1-2 teaches us that a justified Christian has PEACE with God through Christ Jesus, and Paul definitely was a witness to this! I never met Paul in person, but I knew his great faith by the same Holy Spirit which indwells me.
Last night as I intently watched the tributes the several speakers gave to Paul, it not only confirmed everything I already knew about him, but it also was quite awesome to witness! You see, I am not part of an immediate family of believers as Paul was, they disowned me when I announced my witness in Jesus Christ and left the Roman Catholic Church. The many funerals I have attended never spoke about the faith of the individual, but all their worldly accomplishments which are meaningless if you think about it. It was never about the glorious work of Jesus Christ and His glory, but their personal works which really mean nothing in the end, they get thrown into the fire with the trash.
And as I watched Paul’s father Pablo get up and speak, it was personally very moving! His heart was broken, but Pablo shared the Gospel! Something Paul would have only wanted to be remembered by. Something I know my own father would not be able to do if I was in the same position. What a blessing of a family! And then Paul’s uncle rose up, also deeply grieving, but his message was not about Paul’s worldly accomplishments, but again it was the Gospel! Speaker after speaker, it was the same thing, the Gospel! What a great testimony in Jesus Christ that Paul’s last statement on this earth would be the Gospel! Something every Christian should hope for. Paul’s young daughter also rose up, her heart equally if not more broken, and had the strength of a Christian to just share her honest and genuine thoughts in such a setting. My heart goes out this family!
You see, by a fallen world Paul was not famous, you may have never heard of him, but by God’s standard, he was a superstar! How many famous musicians or actors are remembered for the Gospel? Absolutely NONE! All their worldly accomplishments mean absolutely nothing as they sit in Hades now awaiting judgment because of that rejection of the Gospel. Paul’s ultimate gift to his family and friends and even those he did not meet was the GOSPEL! The Good News of Jesus Christ which is the power of God unto salvation, so that even after his death, the memory of Paul and the Gospel will be known. Paul is in the presence of the Almighty God as you read this, those so-called famous people by worldly accomplishments are weeping and gnashing their teeth.
Paul was asked how he would like to be remembered, his humble and simple reply was “less of us, more of Him”. He did not want his legacy or remembrance disunited with God’s glory. In other words, he wanted the Gospel to be remembered and his witness and testimony to it!
I do not know all of the things of God’s counsel, but the celebration of Paul’s life and his sad death at such a young age always had a purpose. We may not understand why in this lifetime, but know there was a perfect purpose in God’s will for it. That here was such a great Christian who finished the race, he kept the faith, and his last statement to his family, friends, and the church was the Gospel. To know the very pain he went through to end this race as well, he endured to the end by that awesome Holy Spirit which indwelled him. The witness knowing that you can be presented with absolutely ANYTHING in this lifetime, trials, tribulations, hardships, and IF you placed your faith alone in Jesus Christ, there will be nothing to worry about, you WILL endure to the end!
To the grieving family of Paul who maybe reading this. Know he was resting in peace well before his death. The church mourns this great loss with you. We naturally will miss him. Know also, that God has graced you with the memories of Paul. That you were BLESSED! And there are some of us in the church which will never experience such a love as you did with him. As time goes on, always remind yourself that no matter what the circumstance, the persecution, be just like our brother Paul and end that race well, keep your faith, and always be confident that you will by our loving Almighty God!
Let us always thank God for the blessing of Paul to the church!
Romans 8:37 yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.