Luis Palau: Death Is Now a Reality for Me

Luis Palau
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Luis Palau has stage 4 lung cancer.

The Argentine-born evangelist, who is 83, made the announcement in a YouTube video with two of his sons by his side.

In the video, Kevin Palau, who is the president and CEO of the Luis Palau Association, said his dad and his mom Patricia “had a super busy fall…traveling around the world sharing the Good News like they always do.” The evangelist returned from a long trip to the United Kingdom in December “with kind of a chest cold…that wouldn’t go away.”

“We finally got Dad to go into the doctor and to our surprise, the early report we got, just before Christmas, was that there was some cancer in one of Dad’s lungs.”

“Everything is ready and if the Lord wants to take me home in the next few months or two years or whatever it is, I’m ready,” Palau, who has preached across the globe for five decades, said.

Luis Palau Thought It Was Pneumonia. 

Palau’s ministry is based in the Portland, Oregon, area. When he returned home in November he noticed symptoms but thought they might indicate pneumonia until doctors ran tests.  

“Just this week it was clearly confirmed. Stage 4 lung cancer,” he said in a statement posted January 18th on the Luis Palau Association website. “As you can imagine, this isn’t news we were expecting or hoping for. Yet our trust in the Lord remains rock solid.”

On the ministry’s website, Palau wrote in a health update:

“As we seek the best medical advice and counsel, we’re also trusting the Lord and praying for complete healing. I would ask you to join us in that prayer. We’ll be sure to keep you updated.

In many ways, I feel the Lord has much more in store for me. Yet whatever tomorrow holds—I’m completely at peace. Both Patricia and I are. As we look back, we praise the Lord. Fifty-seven years of marriage. How many places we’ve been. How many people we’ve reached with the Gospel.

I hold strong to verses like Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The Future Is Bright for Luis Palau Ministry

Palau, who has been preaching the gospel for five decades, said he is confident his ministry will continue. In addition to Kevin, son Andrew is an evangelist with the ministry and son Keith is on the organization’s development team.

In the video Palau said he feels fine but gave indications of how difficult it is to face this kind of diagnosis:

“If the Lord wants to take me home in the next few months, or two years, or whatever it is, I’m ready. I know it sounds crazy, it’s not like, ‘Ooh, I can’t wait to go to heaven.’ Yes it’s true. I actually [am].”

He explained that he has preached about heaven often, because his own father died when he was young. “Now, it’s reality for me.”

Palau shared that earlier this week, “the Lord seemed to say to me, ‘Hey, I thought you read the Bible, and you knew that there comes a time when it is time to go.’” He then recited biblical examples of the apostles Paul (2 Tim. 4) and Peter (2 Pet. 1) acknowledging that their deaths were coming soon with peace.

Then Palau became teary, recalling verses from Revelation that “his servants shall see his face” (Rev. 22:3–4), and from Isaiah that “your eyes will behold the King in his beauty” (Isa. 33:17).

“I’ve preached about heaven a lot, and…you cry a lot.”

In a letter on his website he closed with a personal appeal: “Pat and I would love to hear from you. Any word from the Lord—any Scripture or encouragement you could give. It would be a true blessing. You can email me at [email protected] We may not be able to respond right away, but we’ll do our best.”

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Bob Ditmer
Bob Ditmer has worked in Christian media for more than 20 years including positions with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and Focus on the Family.

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