Elliot Soh was called home to the Lord on September 28, 2019 at the age of 25 after a nine-month battle with stage 4 sarcoma. He passed away in London where he was studying. Before he left, he wrote this goodbye message. This has been reproduced with permission from Elliot’s family.
It saddens me that I have to say goodbye to everyone that I have known and been close to, and while you can be sad for me, I hope it will not affect you negatively in any way. Because I have been experiencing great joy amidst all this suffering for the past nine months.
I’ve never had any doubt towards God or any worries for the future, and I will now be resting till Jesus comes back to welcome us into His kingdom, a much much better place than this current world.
So please feel at ease for me and I’m sorry I have left a memory scar in your life. But I also hope it’s a meaningful and encouraging one.
I’m sorry I can’t see you Singaporean peeps again in December or anytime soon, but you know where to find me if you want to see me again.
I’m resting peacefully with God because of what Jesus has done for me and I really hope I see you there with God when the day comes!
DON’T LOSE HEART WHEN SUFFERING COMES
Just wanted to share how thankful I am that God has been disciplining me for the past nine months through suffering and hardship, and I just feel so blessed and joyful that I have been able to cope well spiritually and emotionally. Because God is faithful and His steadfast love towards me has sustained me thus far.
Just wanted to encourage you all not to lose heart when we’re faced with sufferings or when we feel discouraged by persecutions for being a Christian. But constantly remind ourselves of God’s steadfast love to us through Jesus.
Also, continue treasuring God over everything else as we wait patiently to see His face. Let the love of Christ control us because our old self is dead when Jesus died for us. But He lives and so we should also be living our lives to proclaim the gospel to the people around us and not go back to our old ways of living for ourselves.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
I know I’ve been on and on about God and Christianity, but it really has changed my life completely. This joy that I bring comes from God!
He has shown me what unconditional love and mercy looks like. The hope I have in Him and His promises has brought me so much joy in my life that I can’t deny I felt a lot more joy in my sufferings for the past nine months.
My positivity comes from knowing God is there for me and that He is sustaining me throughout this tough period. I have been praying for you a lot that you may one day believe and trust in Jesus like how I do.
And I really really want to see you experience the same joy that I have when your relationship with God is restored. (I just started crying a lot because I can’t bear the pain to not see you or my other friends in new creation/heaven for eternity.)
THERE’S ALWAYS A CHOICE
It really cuts into my heart so deep because the truth I believe in has one choice and two outcomes. And I really don’t want this to seem like emotional blackmail – it’s more of a loving warning.
The choice is whether you believe and trust in Jesus and what He has done for us or not. The outcomes are:
- If you trust in Him, you will have a restored relationship with Him that was broken at first. And this comes with eternal blessings and promised to us.
- If you don’t trust in Him, your broken relationship with Him is not restored. And this means you’re separated from God for eternity and there won’t be any blessings but only sufferings that are way worse than what we experience on earth because it will be for eternity.
After going through nine months of suffering, I can say that tasting the bitter metal taste in your mouth from the chemo poison is truly horrific. I would really not want any of my friends to experience it (it’s like licking a melted AA battery in an alarm clock).
But what’s worse is the thought of hell and how the friends I care and love, who are not reconciled with God, are heading there. It truly breaks my heart that if it did happen then they will be tasting far worse chemo poison for eternity. And I really don’t want that to happen.
I have no worries about the future or whether I’m healed or not because I know that there are far greater things after death for me.
I don’t know if you will respond positively or negatively to this, but it’s out of genuine love that I really have to share this with you. I really hope you would take time to consider it.
It’s just so important, and I pray that you and my other friends may be saved more than my cancer being healed! The sufferings we experience here are temporary but after our deaths, it will be eternal.
I will be resting peacefully with God, and I really really hope that day will come when I can see you together with God too! It will be for eternity, and it’s all joy, peace, comfort, security and plenty more blessings like new bodies that have no more suffering and pain. And no more sin or death.
God has a great plan for me and is in control of my life, and has the power to heal me completely. But it’s His choice and timing for what is to happen to me! Hence I have no worries about the future or whether I’m healed or not because I know that there are far greater things after death for me.
WHAT DOES LIFE REALLY MEAN?
A friend asked: “What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘life’”?
What is life all about and what does it mean? Is it all about the journey of living the good life (in our own perspective) or aiming towards having one? Is it only about having meaningful experiences while going through hardship? Or about us satisfying our needs and wants?
You can have everything in the world… but death will rob you of all that someday.
Is there something more to life that we have somehow been blinded to? It seems like we all have this void in our hearts that is longing for something greater. But we somehow can’t find it and that makes us seek every other thing in the world. Yet these worldly desires cannot fill that void.
There is also the problem of death that restricts life from being lived to the fullest. You can have everything in the world from riches to good health to fame and many great relationships. But death will rob you of all that someday, and it won’t matter how much you had at the end.
It seems like life is so bleak because of death. But the Bible explains how death is the result of sin, and how sin and death were conquered by Jesus.
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD CAN BE RESTORED
Sin is the inevitable rebellion and disobedience against God who created us. Sin is in all mankind because of the first man and woman who disobeyed God who chose to live in their own ways.
Before they disobeyed God, they had a relationship with God. But after they disobeyed, this relationship had been broken and they had been cursed with death. While it may seem unfair to every human for being cursed with sin and death, God had already planned from the beginning to deal with this problem of sin and death.
He made a promise with a few Old Testament people that He will restore the relationship with His people, and bless them with a lot more things. And that the promise was going to be fulfilled by Abraham’s offspring (one person) – that person is Jesus.
Because God is holy and just, He hates sin and cannot let sin go unpunished. But because He is loving and merciful, He sent His own Son to die on the Cross so that our sins can be forgiven, and Jesus took the punishment of eternal death that was suppose to be ours cause God will judge everyone.
When He sees us Christians, He sees Jesus’ blood that paid the price for our sins. But He did not die from it but lives forever, so that whoever repents of their sins, believes and trusts that He had done all these for us can also live forever, and have a restored relationship with God. And we will be able to live with God for eternity with no sin and death and sufferings. There will be joy, peace, comfort and security with God and no more injustice or evil.
I hope you do not see this as emotional blackmail or that I’m using my cancer as an excuse to preach, but this is a loving warning that comes genuine from me. Although this message about hell sounds harsh and condemning, there is also grace and mercy for everyone who believes.
I may even lose a few friendships because of what I have said, but because I care for and love you guys, I have to share this truth with you. It is only wicked and selfish that we Christians withhold this truth from non-Christians.
The only way for us to restore this broken relationship with God is through Jesus, and those who do not believe in this are still in a broken relationship. And this mean that their sins are not yet forgiven and when they die on earth, they will be judged and the punishment is hell – which is a combination of being separated from God for eternity, destruction and punishment.
And what makes hell so bad is really not being together with God, and sufferings will be many times worse than the ones we face on earth and it will be for eternity.
I would rather have my friends listen to the gospel and make a decision to accept Jesus in their lives than for my cancer to be healed.
This is where my personal experience comes in. I have suffered immensely for the past nine months, and one of the worst sufferings is to go through chemo. The bitter metal taste in your mouth because of the chemodrug is so horrific that it makes you super nauseous and it weakens your whole body. What’s worse is that I had to go through it six times over four months and my chemodrugs were super strong.
I’m sure there are a lot more cancer patients who go through worse and longer periods, but just experiencing this has made me think about how hell would be a place where the chemodrugs are going to taste a lot worse and it’s going to be forever. Just having this thought alone has really made me want to share with everyone about God and how Jesus can save us from this if we believe.
I have tasted poison, and I really don’t want my friends and family to taste it for eternity. This has been a strong burden in my heart for many years, and it’s because I love my friends and family that I really want them to reconcile with God. I would rather have my friends listen to the gospel and make a decision to accept Jesus in their lives than for my cancer to be healed.
God has really strengthened me and sustained me through all these sufferings, and I have remained joyful throughout the past nine months because my relationship with God has already been restored and nothing can separate me from God’s love.
I know that these sufferings are only temporary and when we die on earth, I will be with God where there’s no more suffering – an even better life that one cannot imagine, but we can be certain that it’s many times greater.
There’s one God, one world with a lot of humans who have lived and died, and there has to be consistency throughout time.
Many would say “to each his own faith” and it’s okay for anyone to believe in whatever they want. But that’s a very dangerous idea: If 10 people believed in going to 100 different heavens that are made up of their own ideas, then do you really think they will go to their own heavens? If it’s all different, then won’t they be all alone forever? Just a thought.
At the end of the day, everyone has to make their own personal decision on choosing Jesus, and that will really impact the way we live.
THIS IS WHAT I DESIRE FOR YOU
Money, relationships and everything you treasure in this world are worth nothing when you know you are going to pass away within weeks, and death can happen anytime, anywhere, at any age.
I will be resting peacefully with God, and I really really hope that day will come when I can see you together with God too!
These are some of my desires for different groups of people:
To non-Christians, my desire is for you to give some thought about God. To explore more about Him through the Bible (the Gospel of John is a good start), and to understand the gospel message and what Jesus has done for us.
To Christians, my desire is for you to continue prioritising gospel work over all other worldly things, and doing that involves commitment to faithful Bible teaching to shape our mindsets and to continue standing firm in our faith in Jesus. We have the full assurance of faith and instead of focusing on our worldly pleasures, we should be reaching out to people who need to hear the gospel so that they can be saved too.
- What does life mean to you?
- What are your priorities in life?
- What are your thoughts on death?
- Do you know where you’re going after you die?