Randy Kay

Randy KayI DIED AND EXPERIENCED JESUS IN HEAVEN

David Baldwin: Good day, and welcome to Abundant Life. I am here with Randy Kay. We are going have a little fireside chat about Randy's experience that he actually died and interacted with God, pretty amazing stories, written a book about it called "Dying to Meet Jesus". And it is a story that is worth telling.

   So Randy, give us the overview of what the experience was like for you.

Randy Kay: Yes. David, I did not believe in near-death experiences until I had my own. I really have been involved in clinical work leading a clinical team in Neurology and Cardiology, Cardiovascular Surgery for much of my career. So I was scientifically based, fact-based, and, oftentimes, refuted those stories.

   What happened was I was crying out to God. I was in a moment of feeling broken and frustrated with God. And I shouted out in my bedroom, "God if You are there, I need to see You. I need You to show up."

   So I came back after an interview with a large company - healthcare company - out East. And when I returned, my calf started hurting. And I let it go. I thought, "Well, I had been exercising previously. Maybe I strained my calf." So I let it go for a number of hours. I actually went bicycling up the coast. We live in the San Diego area.

   Normally, what would be a very casual bike ride turned into a very arduous one. And my calf swelled to about one and a half times its size. Again, I tried to reason or rationalize it by saying, "This is just a pulled muscle. And there is no need to fret," because after many trying months actually, we were going on a trip with my family to the mountains. So the last thing I wanted to do is go to the doctor.

   But it got so bad. I could not walk up the stairs. I have asthma. And so my breathing, typically, is strained. But that was tremendously strained to the point where I could not even go from the kitchen to take out the trash to the side yard without being very winded. And when I got to try to go up the stairs, I could barely move my leg.    The calf was very heavy at this point.

   So I decided that I would go to the orthopedic doctor to just get an anti-inflammatory agent, some medications, maybe a pain killer, so that we could go on our trip.

   So I went into the orthopedic doctor. And he said to me, "Okay." Obviously, this does not look normal by this time. It was almost twice the size of my left calf which was normal. He said, "Press into your heel, and tell me how that feels." And it was very painful. He said, "Press into the ball of your foot." And I pressed into the ball of my foot. And he said, "Is that painful?" And I said, "No, just my heel." And he said, "Then that is not the muscle, because in the ball of your feet, if you press in, that is the straining of the muscle. But in the back, that is straining the deep vein."

   I went into that. I was rushed to the ER and then went through a series of tests and ultrasound where they test for blood clots from the lower leg up. And throughout my entire right leg, there were blood clots and several of them, not just one blood clot. But there were six blood clots which had traveled all the way up the leg.

   What happens with blood clots and them traveling is that your arteries, basically, become larger. Your veins become larger - I should say - as it travels up the leg. And eventually, it goes into the lung. And it blocks the pulmonary artery which is the main artery for breathing. That was what was causing me to feel very winded. And the CAT scan confirmed is the D dimer, which is an anticoagulant agent, was high. All the levels were very high. At that point, the doctor came in after all the tests. And he said, "You were a walking dead man when you came in here."

   At that point, I was just thinking, "Okay. I have two young children. I have a wife. We had already gone through some trials. I needed to support them," and all of those questions that arise as a result of facing potentially an impending death. Because the doctor also said there was a twenty-seven-year-old young lady surfer who came in the prior day, and she had died from this very thing called pulmonary embolism which is a blockage clotting the airway. It happens to be the third leading cause of death.

   And so the only thing that could be done was one of two things, to rush me to University of California San Diego where there was a specialist to crack the chest to remove the clots, because there were several of them. And the doctor felt if I was transported there, by the time I got there, I would be dead. So I was placed on heavy anticoagulants that are blood thinners at that point. And it was just a wait-and-see game.

   The patient next to me was transported during the course of this time as we were waiting to see if the body would start to reconcile these blood clots. And the patient next to me was courted out of the room. And I learned later that he probably had what was called MRSA. It is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, one of the most fatal. At that time, the death rate on that alone was twenty percent.

   And so I had both of these things going on. Now, I had what essentially amounted to a traffic jam throughout my body. The doctor came in and tried to pull from my arm some blood. And he said, "Well, this is strange." Because my blood had been coagulating throughout my body, he could not pull out or extract any blood to test it in the lab. Finally, he got a little bit out. But at that time, I was in a crisis mode, to say the very least.

   So I felt like a floppy fish out of water, eventually. I just started convulsing. And it was at that point that my heart went into arrhythmia and eventually stopped. At that point when it stopped, I was in a period of darkness. There is about a six-minute lapse between when the heart stops and the brain stops. The brain is dead.

David: So take us into that, because there is a lot of people that would be very curious as to what that felt like, looked like. You just said it just went dark?

Randy: It went dark. And normally, the clinicians would rush in Code Blue. They are on it, right? But I was in the General Floor, because it was a waiting game at that point with the anticoagulant.

So the nurse had stepped away. The monitor was alarming, that is flat-lining. But there was not an immediate response. So the heart had stopped for about thirty minutes. The brain, typically, clinical studies have shown last for about six minutes thereafter.

So the darkness was something that was immediate which was a kind of a sense of listlessness of being in a space of I do not know what. And I saw in the distance something very strange, because I was literally rising. And this light from above was cascading down and illuminating everything in my midst. And in the distance, I saw faded rolling hills. I saw these kinds of warring figures. They were bizarre. They were otherworldly-looking. And I did not know exactly what that was.

So it created some degree of fear. But I just shouted out the name of Jesus Christ. I just blurted it out, because I knew Jesus at this time even though I had been angry with Him before I had this experience. And it was at that point that-- my wife tells me I cannot cry.

John Burke wrote the foreword for my book. He did the thirty-year study on near-death experiences. And he said, "You know, for many people who have this, they are in the moment. It is not like a typical memory. So you are there." So whenever I mention that time, my feet had settled. And there was an arm wrapped around me.

David: Were you standing or just laying there?

Randy: I was standing. He was by my side.

David: And you just knew it was Jesus?

Randy: I knew that I knew.

David: He did not say anything? It was just in your spirit? Or you just were solidly secure this is Jesus?

Randy: For the first however amount of time, there were no words that needed to be spoken, because I knew I had been ushered into heaven at that point. Everything was intuitive. I knew Jesus' thoughts. He knew mine. Everything was very clear. There was no need to communicate via words.

My first sense in meeting Jesus was this. I said this in my mind. And that is, "So this is love." Because oftentimes, in this world with the relationships we have here, we think of love in terms of an emotion, an action. But Jesus is love. God is love. The Bible tells us that.

And so in meeting the person of love, it was entirely different. He did not have to say I love you, because I knew it. His whole persona was love at that point. And I just caved down to my knees. And He lifted me up. And He said, "Trust Me. Trust Me." And I could feel the whiskers - they were soft - of His beard, His face.

David: He had a beard? He was [crosstalk].

Randy: He did have a beard. Yes. Brown hair, longer brown-

David: It is like the image that people might think or grew up in a church thinking that Jesus would look like?

Randy: Yes, very Middle Eastern. I really did not look at his face until, eventually, when He had lifted me up, and he was by my side. I turned, and I saw His eyes. They were a brown olive color. And He looked through me. And He tunneled into everything dark about me. So the light of Jesus Christ had tunneled through into my darkest places and illuminated me with a peace and a comfort that I had never in my whole life, before-and-after experience. To say it was spectacular or amazing would be a gross understatement.

   I was not concerned at that point of what was around me, because all I wanted to be was in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And He spent time with me. It was not until - He always had His arm around me - after we started taking a walk that I then looked around to see where I was.

David: Where were you?

Randy: I was in heaven. It was a paradise.

David: How do you know it was heaven?

Randy: I knew. Again, in everything, there was intuitive. I knew exactly where I was. I knew what Jesus was saying to me. I knew things beyond what my common understanding would be in my physical body, my spiritual body. I felt like I had gone from an old jalopy to a new sports car.

     I mean it was amazing how good I felt. I could breathe. All of the things that I did not have in this world, that I was deprived of, I had physically or spiritually in that place.

And I knew that I knew. And Jesus, again, did not have to declare, "This is heaven." He did show me as He looked, because I did see the angels abound. And I heard them.

David: What does an angel look like? What did you see then?

Randy: Yes. Well, that is a good question, David, because the angels I saw looked very different than Jesus. Jesus was a common figure just like you and I. He looked very much the same. He spoke in like manner that was nothing the glory of the Lord that we picture, although I did see that during that one point, but it was not then. He was a kindred friend to me. And that was how I thought of Him as we were walking about as a kindred friend.

David: Similar human-looking body that we are familiar with kind of thing?

Randy: Yes. He had a white robe. It was very cottony, very soft. I did not really know what I was wearing at that time. But he looked very much like a common person who would be Middle Eastern,
kind of olive skin.

   But you asked about what the angels looked like. And they were very different. This is going sound a little wacky, but they were gargantuan. They were tall like 7-feet-Shaq-O'Neal type of tall. And their arms were obviously long, but they were kind of a copper-ish-type color as I recall. Because everything is vivid. Even now, the memory is vivid from heaven. Again, that is something indicative of many of those who have had experiences like Mary C. Neal and Don Piper. There was something about their eyes. It was almost like there was more fire than there were pupils. Their voices resonated-- would be a multiple voices, it was.

   So they were otherworldly, I would say, versus Jesus who was very kindred in His appearance, in His nature. And I could see for the first time and looking at them, I could see-- and I think Jesus understood this as well, because He did talk to me. I could see why at the beginning of time - because of these awesome figures, the angels - why some like Satan could say, "Well, follow me," because Jesus was that familiar, and they were that unfamiliar and that a multitude -what, ten percent or a tenth of the angels - would leave with Satan, because it was that way. But everything in heaven had life. Everything was blooming in full. There was nothing dying, no fall--

David: Was it like a forest of trees or flowers or water or rivers? What--

Randy: Yes. It was like a nature scapes, but it was also more than that. So I saw villages of people. And the villages blended together. So they were contiguous. There were not like a Tudor style or anything of that nature. The Bible talks about or Jesus said that He was going and that we would have a mansion, you know?

David: Yes.

Randy: He is building a mansion with several rooms. Well, if you look at the scriptural word, the translation is more dwelling. And so the villages I saw were contiguous. And everybody was living; it seemed, in some way together with each other, because there was an affinity for each other.

   And everybody, as I saw them, was different than I view them in this world. I did not see, for example, any racial differences, although they were racially, ethnically different. I just saw them as their features, as the creativity of God. There was nothing carrying over from this world, no prejudice. There is nothing of that nature, because in heaven, I felt perfected.

David: So you saw other new bodies, human bodies that were in these villages?

Randy: Yes.

David: -- or whatever you want to call?

Randy: And I saw my Grandmother, what some term a life review. I saw my Grandmother who was really the only one that was close to me that had passed by this time. And I saw her, and I had actually led her to the Lord in prayer years prior. And she was there. And I could see her, and she was youthful. She was more like the pictures I saw in the photo album as a young person, not the Grandmother I knew before she had died or as I knew her in this world. But I knew that it was her. And I saw other people as well.

David: Wow.

Randy: Yes. One of the most striking things was the river was coming through. It was just a river. I know the Bible talks about the River of Life. And I did not understand that conceptually. But nothing is metaphorical in heaven, by the way. Nothing is allegorical. Jesus used a lot of them to describe the vine and so forth. And He used a lot of the analogies and such.

   Everything in heaven was literal in the sense that it was what it was. And the River of Life was coming through. And so these beautiful vistas, flowers were growing constantly. So there was nothing dying in heaven.

   And the colors were more vibrant. I saw shades of colors and fragrances that were exponentially more varied than any I had seen. In other words, you would see reds of maybe hundreds of different shades of reds. It was like somebody had removed a veil. And then everything became so brilliant and so breathtaking.

   The River of Life was something that seemed to feed throughout the nature scope that I was looking at.

David: It was literal water?

Randy: It was literal water. And it was rushing forward, and it was feeding in to everything about, through the mountains, through the fields, every place that I saw in my vision of heaven.

   And then I looked, and it appeared in some way, some fashion, because there are no words in the English or any lexicon and all the languages to describe exactly what it is, because it is otherworldly. But it was as though the river was coming through from Jesus Himself. It was flowing from Him and providing life to everything there.

   Then there was joy. The Bible talks about treasures in heaven. And I often wondered what treasures in heaven really were. Do we get a big mansion, bigger house? No. It is none of that, because it is more egalitarian than that.

   What I believe now having come from that experience is that the treasures in heaven really are closeness to God. And that those who are closest to God here, in this life, they had a closeness with Him. Those who are, let us saying, a last-minute conversion, if you will, and they--

David: On the cross with Jesus at the last moment, perhaps.

Randy: Yes. They professed. There is that lapse with the six-minute lapse between the heart and the brain. So maybe God gives people that opportunity. And so the closeness, their closeness, may not be initially, at least, as close as those who had really walked with Him or
drawn close to Him.

   And that was the treasure. Treasure, the ethos of heaven is joy. And joy just permeates. There is no sadness. My tears are one of awe and one of joy, because in heaven, joy is complete.

   I saw children. I saw different stages of life. I saw a cascading kind of linens folding down. It was kind of flowing and a flowing down. And I saw these people frolicking about - angels, children, and adults - just enjoy in abandonment. But there was something very unique about their kind of merriment. And that was that everything was intentional. There was nothing that was not intentional, because everything was directed by the spirit of God.

David: So I am really intrigued as you were seeing everybody there. What were they doing? We talk about in this world that we work. And our work is worship to God. And it is not drudgery. It is not a job. It is the work that is abundant which kind of our goal which is the challenge is.

   So what did you see there that would help us to understand what was everybody doing? Or this is having that feast? And then there was no feast? Were they dancing? I do not know what was going on.

Randy: It was not boring, because a lot of people I think have a preconception that heaven is the clouds, and it is all of that which is not at all true. I mean everyone had things to do and activities. They were different activities, because they were all orchestrated by God.

   So God orchestrated. And again, it was the spirit of God, but also the presence of God was permeating all of heaven and speaking to people. So He was directing

David: Give me some of these activities. Were they just throwing football like that song? I mean what were they doing?

Randy: Yes. So they were constructing things but not construction as we would, let us say a building. What they were doing is constructing that is God's intention for them.

   For example, one of the visions I had or one of the sites I saw was three people. There was a woman. She had a long brown hair. There was a man with kinky black hair. There was another man with a goatee. And so they were holding hands.

   I was there walking with Jesus. And they were to my right. But the woman was praying. And she was looking. It seemed she was praying to the Lord, but she was not looking at Jesus who was next to me. It was as though Jesus was standing in the midst of them as they were holding hands.

   Again, there are no words really. I do not know how the presence of the Lord really infuses itself through every person and every activity. But the woman was praying for somebody. She said, "Thank You, Lord."

   And I documented all of these, by the way, during or after the hospital. So that was journaled. And I recorded these things. And so she prayed that that person would seek God's forgiveness or Christ's forgiveness.

David: What do you think? She was praying for someone that was not in heaven?

Randy: I believe she was. I believe the three of them were joining together in prayer and interceding. Jesus, by the way, intercedes constantly in my experience. And again, it is not something where I speak, He speaks. It is the pervasive presence of Jesus throughout heaven which is directing all of these activities.

   As far as creating -- and this is where it gets, again, a little fuzzy. You know how an artist would paint something and create it? That same level of creativity or a builder who construct a building are following the directions of Jesus Christ. So it was a manifestation of that through the actions and activity of the people doing it.

David: Okay. Now, we always hear eternity is obviously forever. But the concept of time in the midst of this, do you have any sense of how long you are out or in or whatever you want to call this experience? Was it a few moments, a few minutes?

Randy: I was clinically dead for thirty minutes. So that was recorded on the monitor.

David: Okay. So, at least, you had that as a timestamp.

Randy: We know that my heart has stopped for thirty minutes before I had been revived. So that period that I was with Jesus in heaven during that time really was inconsequential in the scheme of what we call time in heaven. Time is after all a human-made creation.

   In heaven, there is no conceptualization of time. I did not see darkness in heaven, not to say there was not darkness in heaven. In the distance, I saw something which was a bit odd, kind of a funnel. And that was different in its makeup than what I was seeing in the light of and the brilliancy of heaven. And I asked Jesus about that, because that was so different. And His response to me was that that was the connection between where I came from - which would be this world - and heaven. In other words, that is where I assumed I was coming through that place to heaven.

   And again, I just have to reiterate that I am a scientific guy. I am a fact-based guy. All of these, I would not be speaking this way if not for my personal experience, because I did refute this before my own. And many of these things are really so incredibly beyond what we are familiar with here, some as familiar- landscapes and such - but some as unfamiliar in terms of the dynamics and God's makeup.

David: So there were obviously no clocks there?

Randy: Yes, no clocks.

David: So that did not exist, for example. But something you said earlier about when the heart stops, the brain is still alive for about six minutes. And you do not know what can happen in that moment if Jesus is inviting them one last opportunity or whatever that looks like. Say more about that.

Randy: Yes. And it ties into what Jesus said. He said and it reiterated what was said in the Bible. And that He said, "I desire that no one would perish."

   And I remember that very distinctly, because the only sadness I really realized in Jesus was His sadness in looking at those who did not know Him in this world. And, again, we were thinking simpatico. Not that I had the mind of God. I did not, but I understood what He wanted me to know.

   And so as He was looking upon those who did not know Him, it was the only time I saw the sadness of Jesus, the sadness of God. The shortest verse, "Jesus wept," I saw the feelings, the emotions of the Lord.

   And that was something that He really yearned for. I do not think we grasp fully how much God desires to be with His creation, with His beloved, and those who are lost rejecting Him and wanting to stray away from Him. That is something that He will go to the ends of the earth - and He has - and delays, if He has to, what His intent is to save that one lost soul.

David: That is awesome. That is awesome. I am excited to hear the immediate understanding, and you are able to communicate. Because where I have kind of invested my desire is why cannot people just communicate better? But you are saying it is there.

   Help us to know how this transition from you staying there to going back? Because I think that would be very interesting. Do you have to go back through this funnel or something?

Randy: Well, what happened was a butterfly actually landed on my shoulder. I am writing it. Dying To Meet Jesus is a book about brokenness and sorrow which briefly mentions my near-death experience. And then people would write me, or they comment back, "I want to hear your full experience, not just snippets of it. I want the full experience."

   And so I go into depth about-- one that happened was a butterfly had landed on my shoulder. It was the most beautiful butterfly, just velvety of colors of all those shades again. Their colors are more pronounced and have not been here.

   And so I was curious about that, because everything is intentional. Nothing happens by happenstance in heaven. So I ask God about that. I said, "Jesus what..?" And He explained to me that this was symbolic of the wisdom that He was providing to me to guide me through life. And He said, "I am going to be returning you. I am returning you."

David: Did He say why?

Randy: Yes. Oh, I asked Him why.

David: Oh, yes.

Randy: That was one thing I was very distraught about. Well, I was never very distraught in heaven at all. But I felt like a child who wakes up on Christmas morning, goes down to unwrap his presents. And then the parent says, "Well, you have to go back to bed and go back to sleep. You cannot open it now." That was how I felt and.

   And so when I asked Him, He said that, "Your purpose is yet to be fulfilled." And so my response to that was, "Well, Jesus, I think I should know my purpose if I have to leave this paradise to return to that world." And by the way, I can say very confidently that none of your loved ones who have gone on to heaven want to come back. I did not want to come back. And so I challenged Jesus at that point. And He told me that my purpose have yet to be fulfilled.

   He said, "I will not give you your purpose in full, because, otherwise, you will rely upon yourself and not upon Me." And I am the type A, a type A-plus person. I have to plan it for everything. I just do not live in a moment very easily. So it is very hard for me personally.

   So I knew what Jesus was telling me at that point that I needed to get still. Whereas the Bible tells us to get still, to wait on Him, which is an anathema to my nature here in this world, and that, "I needed to be moment by moment," He said, focused on him, the relying upon that wisdom to guide me through.

   And I learned that when a friend of mine is going to get his haircut, right, and the hairstylist, he went on the wrong day. He was going to change the appointment. And there was somebody who lost her husband, just recently died, and she was distraught. And the hairstylist said, "Well, I cannot fit you in now but," knowing that he was a believer, "you might want to talk to this person," whose hair he was cutting or styling. And so that was his purpose in the moment at that time was to share the love of Christ to that person. His intention was to get his haircut.

   But I think what the Lord was telling me was that moment by moment - grocery store, at work, wherever we are - that we need to hear the voice of God, because wisdom is essentially the voice of God speaking to us as to what to do and to listen, to be attentive to the Lord. And that was what He was teaching me so that when I return, I would be more attentive to the Lord and directing me in the minutiae of life. Because, as Christians, He taught me that we are not to just hang out. We are to be intentional in what we do in every moment of every day for the opportunities.

David: And that is an ingredient or a step or the key to living a fuller life or this abundant life that we are exploring, yes?

Randy: Yes. And I believe that one of the purposes that I had was instead of-- because I know, David, you have trained so many people and corporations, and I had done some training as well. I felt like in being intentional that I wanted to be more intentional with my walk in Christ and how I could apply that during my walk here more intentionally for Christ to make a kingdom impact versus trying to attain a level of success or trying to achieve a certain title or respect from other people.

David: So your purpose got clear, focused. Would you put any other words to describe your purpose that you are walking out daily now?

Randy: Yes, my overarching purpose is to love God more. My purpose is to grow closer to the Lord. So as I know the closer I grow to God, the closer I get to Him, the more what He wants me to do will just spill out of me.

   He will change the "have to do this", "have to do that, and "I have to do this work", "I have to be good, be a good Christian", or whatever to the "want to", because that is who I am, because I am getting closer to the Lord, so I become more Christ-like. I do not become as Christ, but I got more Christ-like.

   And the closer I become to who Christ, God, wants me to be, the more I can live almost effortlessly in some cases, to do that what He wants me to do. I will know the mind of Christ. I will listen to Him as I heard Him all of the time in heaven. But I will be able to listen to Him more attentively here and be able to do that which He tells me.

   And I will have the will to do it. The "have to" will be changed to the "want to". I want to do good. I want to do these things that are honoring to God and good for other people.

David: So then you are thrust back in or gently placed back in. And you are now called to live this purpose out. But you are back in this world where the evil one is going to trip you up and challenge you and say, "You cannot have the abundant life. You cannot live this purpose." Or, "This is going to throw everything your way."

   Did Jesus give you any insight? Or He just says, "Just remember the butterfly?" Or what was it that He said when you go back in? How are you going to navigate this?

Randy: Yes. So He told me there will be trials. He told me in this world. But He reiterated that because what happened subsequent to my return.

   So my last memory of Jesus was He held my hand. And I said, "I love you. I knew You loved me." That was a given. And that was enough for a lifetime.

   And then I woke up in this dark hospital room. And I thought I needed to recover for months after that, because I had so much damage to my valves in the leg and the heart. My lungs were damaged. I thought, "Okay. No. I am enlightened. I will just go out and do God's will. I am a better person for having met Him face-to-face."

   What happened was some of my greatest trials. Our daughter had many strokes. And she could not even remember her childhood. And in her adolescence, she had these strokes. And then she was raped. And then we had about half a million dollars in bills because of my hospitalization.

   I had all kinds of trials. It felt like I had my Job moment. And I felt like I deserve to have my post-Job moment which was the where he got three-fold more.

David: Yes.

Randy: I had to come back. I know it sounds crass. But, at least, God told me that, right, a season of bounty. It was quite the opposite to that which was a season of trials and brokenness.

   But what I realized through that is that God was using that, because I had this confidence that I never had before. I will never doubt God as I did before my near-death experience where I shouted, "You need to show up. I doubt You have crisis of faith." I am confident. I would be stupid not to be confident in my Lord that He is who He is and that heaven is for real and all of those good things that now I know in my heart of hearts. But I had that confidence that He was always with me to carry me through.

   So I was more capable, able to carry through that brokenness, the hardships that came my way, post being in heaven that maybe otherwise would have been too devastating for me. So He knew that, and He equipped me to do that.

   And so my mission or purpose is to a large extent helping people to overcome suffering, and helping them to overcome brokenness, so that they can live the abundant life.

David: So how are you living the abundant life through that strategy or that calling or that direction?

Randy: Yes. My abundant life definition on that is very different than what it was previous. My definition of abundant life really is in being filled with the spirit of God, Jesus Christ, so that regardless of the circumstances, good or bad that the stability of being filled with God's spirit is the holding force to be able to overcome obstacles and trials. Because there are really only two ways I learned that one can go in living the abundant life.

David: Say more.

Randy: One way is when trials hit is to run away, blame God like I did prior to my NDE.

David: Near-death experience.

Randy: Near-death experience, right. To run away from God, blame God; just seek out other things besides God. And that causes a lack of abundance.

   The other better way and the only way to live an abundant life is to run closer to God. That is to dig in and seek His face, be honest. "God, I do not know why you put me through this. I do not know why I have to go through this trial." And if you have to shout out to Him, "I feel abandoned. I do not even know if You are there." Be honest, transparent with God, because He knows our heart.

   But we are seeking. He knows that we earnestly seeking Him. He knew that. And He did show up. He showed up. I had to die for Him to show up. But earnestly seek after the face of God, so that we do not have to die physically.

   But what I discovered is that I have a lot of people that have contacted me or I have known that have gone through tremendous suffering of all kinds. And I noticed that those who took that second route of drawing closer to God so that it hit the inevitable consequence - suffering, trial, hits - they were not closer to God in that group that those are the people who are closest to God. And that really is the treasure in heaven. So their loss in this world is rewarded in Heaven by closeness and intimacy with God that it will make it all worth it.

David: Nothing is lost.

Randy: Nothing is lost. And we will all be redeemed. And that is a guarantee from the Lord that I learned not in this world, and I learned it being with Him that nothing is lost. Everything will be redeemed. He redeemed our lives on the cross for those who receive that. And he redeems us. Romans 8:28, "All things work for good to those who belong to Him and are called according to His purpose."

   And His purpose is established. It is in our DNA, spiritual DNA. It is really discovering that. And the way that we discover it is to hear. It is to grow closer to God, to hear the voice of God Spirit to direct our steps. And to those people who have suffered the most, then their reward - their redemption - is not just on this earth. That is not for me, because I am able to help people, be able to love them more sincerely, because I know. I feel their pain. But also I know that when I go back, [inaudible], it is going to be beyond words.

David: That is the abundance. Thank you. That is awesome, Randy.

   I would love to talk to you more, and we will. This is the book, Dying to Meet Jesus. There is another resource you have coming out that is going to even offer even more detail about this amazing experience. I do not know if there is even a word to describe what you have gone through. It is like you being the true skeptic, and to have this experience is really helpful I think for those that would be like, "Is this legitimate? Is this real? Is he making this up?" Or, "What is that all about?"

   And you hear the movie Breakthrough which was pretty remarkable and this Heaven Is for Real. You mentioned that as far as an interesting phrase there.

   But we have a lot more for you. This book came out in 2020 just prior to the pandemic, so interesting timing there.

   But this was a podcast, video podcast, for Abundant Life on the story that Randy shared. And I will never forget this. Thank you very much for sharing with me and with our audience.

Randy: Thank you, David.

David: You are welcome. Thank you.

Randy's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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