Luis Palau and Sons Sharing His Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis and Continued Trust in Jesus

Luis PalauLuis Palau is an international Christian evangelist and the founder of the Luis Palau Evangelical Association, a wonderful ministry that EPM has supported. He’s husband to Pat and dad to four sons. (The Palau family are also fellow Oregonians!) God has used Luis powerfully over the last several decades to share the good news of great happiness about Jesus across the world.

Joined by his sons Andrew and Kevin, Luis made a video announcing that he’s been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I listened to it and was struck with the honesty, faith, and warm family feel of this video. Knowing Luis and his sons, I found it very touching.

As Luis shared so honestly, the reality of death can be difficult, even as a Christian. In this video, excerpted from Eternity 101, I talk about how there’s both sorrow and joy in a believer’s death.

Luis’s perspectives remind me of a conversation that Edward Judson, son of missionary Adoniram Judson (1788 –1850), related that he had with his father (which I quote in Eternal Perspectives):

“Lying here on my bed, when I [missionary Adoniram Judson] could not talk, I have had such views of the loving condescension of Christ, and the glories of heaven, as I believe are seldom granted to mortal man. It is not because I shrink from death that I wish to live, neither is it because the ties that bind me here, though some of them are very sweet, bear any comparison with the drawings I at times feel toward heaven; but a few years would not be missed from my eternity of bliss, and I can well afford to spare them, both for your sake and for the sake of the poor Burmans [people he served].

I am not tired of my work, neither am I tired of the world; yet when Christ calls me home, I shall go with the gladness of a boy bounding away from his school. Perhaps I feel something like the young bride, when she contemplates resigning the pleasant association of her childhood for a yet dearer home—though only a very little like her, for there is no doubt resting on my future.”

“Then death would not take you by surprise,” I [Edward Judson, Adoniram’s son] remarked, “if it should come even before you could get on board ship?”

“O, no,” he said, “death will never take me by surprise—do not be afraid of that—I feel so strong in Christ. He has not led me so tenderly thus far, to forsake me at the very gate of heaven. No, no; I am willing to live a few years longer, if it should be so ordered; and if otherwise, I am willing and glad to die now. I leave myself entirely in the hands of God, to be disposed of according to His will.” [1]

You might also like to check out these past blogs I’ve written related to death:

Why We Don’t Need to Fear the Moment of Our Death

Death: The Last Enemy, and Our Deliverer

Francis Chan on Thinking About Your Death

Why Talking about Mortality with Your Loved Ones Isn’t Morbid, But a Gift

Going to the Party

I’ll close with the verse that Luis finished his video with, one that all of us facing difficult situations can meditate on: “As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him” (2 Samuel 22:31, NIV).

For more on death, eternity, and Heaven, see Randy’s book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Heaven as well as his comprehensive book Heaven and devotional 50 Days of Heaven.  

[1] Edward Judson, The Life of Adoniram Judson (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1883), 539–540.

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries