And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)
Fidel Castro And Me
The leader of the Republic of Cuba died November 25 at the age of 90. Fidel Castro was a larger than life story for all those growing up in Florida during the late 50’s and early 60’s. His exploits on the island just 90 miles south of Florida brought a lot of fears and worries to the western hemisphere. Taking control of the nation in 1959, Castro led Cuba into a pro-communist state with fearful consequences. His tenure of rule was characterized by ruthless oppression over the nation, executing thousands who opposed him, and imprisoning tens of thousands. His policies created a repressive society ruled by secret police and death squads. He will be remembered in history as a tyrant who ruled his nation with an iron fist oppressing the people into submission. He will not be absolved of his legacy. What happened November 25 is what makes Fidel Castro exactly like every person on the face of the earth: he died.
The world is filled with despots who bring fear and death. In our time, people remember the days of Adolph Hitler, Hirohito, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin Laden to name a few. These were leaders who brought terror to the world – for a time. Among a list of many others they share the same fate as all men with the reality that death waits for all. Fidel Castro falls in line with every man when on November 25 he crossed the river of death and became a believer in the Almighty Lord God. He is not standing on top of an armored tank spouting communist rhetoric or denouncing brutally those who believe in God. His life is now in the hands of the One who created him and he is bowing before something bigger than he dreamed could be. A man who was larger in life is now equalized in the darkness of death as one who is exactly like all those he oppressively ruled over.
It matters not what history says of Castro or whether he is remembered as a great leader or dictator. At this moment, the only thing on the mind of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is God. And less we think there is a justice in this, let us remember we will all be standing before the judgment seat of God thinking about one thing. It is appointed for all men to die and we share the common place at the judgment seat of the Lord. Kings will stand next to peasants. Tyrants will share the same destruction as those they oppressed. Righteous and unrighteous people from all nations and every generation of Adam will assemble in the hall of judgment to receive the things done in the body. People die every day. Some die with notoriety, most die unnoticed in the annals of man. Death is the common denominator that reminds man we all come from Adam. What separates the few from the many is Jesus Christ. Do not rejoice in the death of another. His death will not matter in your death. What will be of utmost importance is your obedience to the will of God.
Men shun the thought of death as sad, but death will only be sad to those who have not thought of it. It must come sooner or later, and then he who has refused to seek the truth in life will be forced to face it in death. (Francois Fenelon, Spiritual Letters of, c. 1700)