The Bible says in Hebrews 2:15 that most people live their lives in life-long bondage to the fear of death. The same passage says that Jesus died on the cross to deliver us from that fear.
In 2009, the husband of one of our staff members died. He was Lee Bien, the husband of Kay Bien. Lee was a man’s man. He was big and he was husky and he was an outdoorsman. He was a person who worked hard all his life as a pipe fitter. Lee was a devout Christian who had a great zeal for lost souls and who was gifted in personal evangelism as a fisher of men.
Shortly before his death, when he knew that he was at death’s door due to massive heart problems, our Media Director at the time interviewed Lee. I want to share that remarkable interview with you to show you what kind of peace a true believer in Jesus can have in the face of death. It’s a powerful testimony of faith and the power of Jesus to give one victory over death. Only Christians can look death in the eye and say mockingly, “O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?”
Lee Bien Testimony
I pray daily that I would be a man after God’s own heart.
I started out trying to drink myself to death and taking cocaine. I’d take speed to stay up as long as I could. I would go almost two weeks without any sleep just drinking and doing drugs. And, after about two years of that, I was so burned out and everything that I thought about biting a bullet. When I actually had the barrel in my mouth and was fixing to pull the trigger, the Lord touched me. He quietly said, “No, Bien, I love you and I have a plan for you.” I took the gun out and put it aside. I threw out all the drugs and all the drinks and I rededicated my life to Him. I was 37 years old.
From then on God put like a sponge inside of me and I read everything that I could about Him to learn about Jesus. I love Scripture and I love to read it all. Some of the old pastors and preachers and evangelists in the world like Andrew Murray is one of my favorites. They taught me a tremendous amount, and Tory and a bunch of the others.
The Lord started using me to have Bible studies at work and touching hearts by my walk for those I guess who didn’t participate. We usually invited them everyday.
I love to fish. I have met people on the banks and when I would talk with them we would talk about the different fish and what we were trying to catch, or different baits to use. I would sort of kind of bait them in a little bit. I’d ask, “Do you know who was the greatest fisherman that ever was in the world?” They would then come up with, “Well, Van Dam is the best bass fisherman, or Kevin what’s-his-name was the other one, or Mr. Further Croffy and a few others for the catfish.” I’d reply, “Yeah, they were all pretty good, but they don’t even compare to this guy that I am thinking of.” They’d ask, “Well, who could be a better fisherman than them?” I’d answer, “Jesus Christ. Jesus was the best fisherman in the world. He told Peter by golly to come down to the lake and throw a line in and the first fish that he caught he was to take a coin out of its mouth and pay the taxes. Who in the world could ever do that?”
After I retired and the kids were living down in Ingleside down on the coast, I would go down and visit with them. Of course, loving to fish and stuff, and the salt water fishing, I would go after the red or the speckled sea trout. My grandkids, I would take them fishing and stuff, and we would share and we would see things. When we caught a fish, we would look at it and I would show them all the different colors in the fish and the different kinds. I’d then open their mouths, and some of them would have teeth and some of them wouldn’t, just depending on what they ate. But, to my grandchildren I’d say, “I want you to imagine something. We are going to go to Genesis in the Bible at the Creation. Imagine all the different kinds of fish that there are: the shell-fish, the animals, the trees, the grass and everything. And, you know, if you read it and you look at it, it’s all in a sequence and it all leads up to man.”
And, I’d ask, “Can you imagine the wisdom of God creating every little piece? Everything — the ones seen and the ones unseen — the microscopic animal at the bottom of the food-chain all the way up, and it comes to us. Isn’t God amazing?”
I’d continue, “Who could imagine that in your bed there are little, bitty, tiny things that you can’t even see, that’s eating up the dead skin on you and on your bed. Can you imagine that?” And they’d go, “Aaahhhhh!!!” Yet, our bed’s full of them. The whole world is full of things that we cannot see. That is for a purpose. If it wasn’t, this world couldn’t hold together. This is part of the wisdom of God.
I went up to my son’s after he called me there a couple of years ago. He asked me, “Dad, I need your help.” And, I said, “Okay, what would you need?” He replied, “I need you to come up and take care of my children while I go on maneuvers.” So, I went down and bought them both children’s study Bibles. I got them a little six-inch ruler and pens. We started going through the Scriptures and I gave them the Plan of Salvation. And, the Lord used me as an instrument to bring them to Him. It was such a thrill of my life right then.
Jesus loves me. He died on the cross for each and every one of us personally. He shed his life-giving blood by the horrific pains that He went through before He even went on the cross. And then on the cross… the Romans back then in His time were vicious people.
I’m not worthy. Why He would do something like die for me. Sometimes I’m amazed, but I feel His love and that’s good enough for me. He bought me with a price. I was a deep sinner. Nobody liked me. I didn’t even like me. But, he took me out, he put a joy in my heart, and he put a step in my step. I can’t do anything else but talk to Him and live for Him. That’s the truth of the matter. I can’t imagine anyone outside of His Children not wanting to know Him, not wanting to be with Him. He is my best friend. He is my Lord, my master, and my God.