The thing that people with a fatal medical prognosis know that nobody else knows is that we are all going to die soon. It is fascinating to me---not that these select individuals have such clarity, but that the rest of us are so dull; Romans 11:8 calls it a "spirit of stupor."
Serial killer Ted Bundy, on the night before his execution in the Florida State Prison in January 1989, was asked by James Dobson (the only interview he granted, over the clamoring horde of journalists outside his walls):
"There is tremendous cynicism about you on the outside. . . . I'm not sure there's anything you could say that people would believe, yet you told me . . . that you have accepted the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and are a follower and believer in Him. Do you draw strength from that as you approach these final hours?"
"I do. I can't say that being in the valley of the shadow of death is something I've become all that accustomed to, and that I'm strong and nothing's bothering me. It's no fun. It gets kind of lonely. Yet I have to remind myself that every one of us will go through this someday in one way or another. . . . Countless millions who have walked this earth before us have gone through this, so this is just an experience we all share."
I am not scheduled to be executed in the electric chair but to have an MRI for a suspicious mammogram. It clears the sinuses. What it does for me in particular is cause me to lose total interest, very suddenly, in any notion of Christianity as a good moral code or religion. As the preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) wrote in Authentic Christianity:
"The fundamental thing is that Christianity is about Jesus. . . . Christianity is not a teaching---it is a person. . . . The Lord Jesus Christ was the theme of the preaching of the early church. . . . This is the tragic thing that has been forgotten at the present time. 'What we need,' people say, 'is the application of his teaching.' But it is not. What you need is to know him and to come into relationship with him. . . ."