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“If a man dies, will he live again?“— Job 14:14

My Grandpa Bentley was stricken with cancer. This good, solid man lived as a faithful husband, father, and grandfather. A man of the earth, he spent his life working in agriculture. As children, we loved to visit and walk with him through his backyard orchard of trees that bore the fruit of his labor.

He was warm, loving, and masculine. He sent his family off to church every week and respected my grandmother’s faith. He believed in God but never made time for a personal commitment.

Now he faced eternity. Those of us who loved him were concerned. One day the pastor of the little church my grandmother faithfully attended for years walked with Grandpa out in his orchard and asked, “John, don’t you think it’s time to get right with the Lord?”

“Yeah, I think probably now is a good time,” my grandfather replied. As they walked and talked among the trees he had so lovingly nurtured, John Bentley committed his life to the Lord.

Too soon, he became bedridden and weak. One day, when Grandma checked on him, he was sitting up with his hands raised, smiling, and speaking softly to someone. He spoke the names of old friends and relatives. My grandmother remembers a light that seemed to shine from his face. Then he smiled, lay down, and went to sleep.

God greeted Grandpa at the door of eternity, allowing heaven to shine through for a moment. My grandmother witnessed a glimpse of eternity as her beloved husband went home to the Lord.

“If a man dies, will he live again?”

That question was answered when Jesus died to give us eternal life, then rose again from the dead to prove it.

I am thankful that my grandfather met the Lord before he died.

God is faithful.

He answered my grandmother’s prayers. Grandpa’s trees bore rich, plentiful fruit that blessed us all. But I know he was thankful for his beloved wife’s loving, kind prayers, which bore the greatest fruit of all.

Pastor Ray Bentley

Love God. Love People. Pastor Ray Bentley lived by those words. His love for the Lord and the people he served was demonstrated every day through his actions, leadership, ministry, teaching, sharing, and caring.

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