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 anyway because I have been experiencing great joy amidst all this suffering for the past nine months and 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 am sorry I have left a memory scar in your life, but also hope it is a meaningful and encouraging one. I’m sorry I can’t see you Singaporean peeps again in Dec or anytime soon but you know where to find me if you want to see me again! I am 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!
Elliot (fourth from the left) & his family
Just wanted to share how thankful I am that God has been disciplining me for the past 9 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.
“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 are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
I know I've been going on and on about God and Christianity but it really has changed my life completely, and this joy that I bring comes from God!
He has shown me what unconditional love and mercy looks like. And 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 just 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 here because I can't bear the pain to not see you or my other friends in new creation/heaven for eternity.)
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 but 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 1) if you trust in Him, you will have a restored relationship with Him that was broken at first, and this comes with eternal blessings promised to us 2) if you don't trust in Him, your broken relationship with Him is not restored, and this means you are 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.
And 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 and I would really not want any of my friends to experience it (its like licking a melted AA battery in an alarm clock).
But what’s worse is the thought of hell and how the friends that I care and love who have not reconciled with God are heading there, and 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 don't know if you will respond positively or negatively to this but it is out of genuine love that I really have to share this with you. And i really hope you would take time to consider it and lemme know what you think! 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 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 am healed or not because I know that there are far greater things after death for me!
A friend asked what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Life’.
I have no worries about the future or whether I am healed or not because I know that there are far greater things after death for me!
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, or is there something more to life that we have somehow been blinded to. 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, but 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 in the bible, it explains how death is the result of sin and how sin and death was conquered by Jesus. 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 and they chose to live life 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) and that person is Jesus.
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.
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 supposed to be ours cause God will judge everyone, but 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 genuinely from me, and 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 and love you guys, I have to share this truth with you, and 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 means 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 worst than the ones we face on earth and it will be for eternity.
Elliot with his friends from St. Helen's Church in London
None of that can satisfy this void in my heart other than knowing God and knowing that my relationship with Him is restored.
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 chemo drug is so horrific that it makes you super nauseous and it weakens your whole body. (It's like licking a melted aa battery that has leaked in your alarm clock) and what's worse is that I had to go through it 6 times over four months and my chemo drugs were super strong.
(I'm sure there are a lot more cancer patients who go through worst and longer periods) but just experiencing this, has made me think about how hell would be a place where the chemo drugs are going to taste a lot worse and it's going to be forever. And 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 God's love from me, and i know that these sufferings are only temporary and when we die on earth, i will be with God where there's no more sufferings but an even better life that one cannot imagine what it's like but can be certain that it is 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 liberal idea where if 100 people believe 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, and 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 it will really impact the way we live.
I can say I have lived a lot of my life already, I have traveled so much, eaten a lot of good food, acquired many useful skills, had many great relationships, but none of that can satisfy this void in my heart other than knowing God and knowing that my relationship with Him is restored.
Money, relationships and everything you treasure in this world is worth nothing when you know you are going to pass away within weeks, and death can happen anytime anywhere at any age.
These are some of my desires for different groups of people: