Months ago when I planned this issue's cover theme of "If a Man Dies, Will He Live Again?" I had no idea it would hit home in such a personal way.
If you've been a Good News reader for long, you've no doubt read the work of John Ross Schroeder. John was a key figure with The Good News for almost 20 years and a respected writer and journalist long before that.
John died on March 8, 2014, in Oxford, England, four days after suffering cardiac arrest while returning home from a press event in London. John was 77 and still going strong.
Some of John's work for The Good News appeared under his byline, but much didn't. He wrote more than a thousand articles over the years, but also wrote the Questions and Answers section of the magazine, compiled our Letters From Our Readers, and wrote many of the items in the Current Events and Trends section. He also contributed greatly to a number of our study guides and Bible Study Course lessons. His writing has touched the lives of literally millions of people over the years.
John traveled widely over the years as an accredited journalist, especially in Europe. His knowledge of European and Middle East history added a great deal to his articles on history and Bible prophecy.
In his later years he also pastored congregations in Northern Ireland and East Sussex, and that experience added another dimension to his writing. He and his wife Jan were an effective team in our British Isles office near their home.
John was a humble servant who dedicated his life to sharing the gospel—the good news—of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God to all the world, and his work was known to readers in nearly every country of the world.
And further, John lived that hope every day. He regularly called or e-mailed me with ideas for articles to better engage readers and convict them of the need to seek God and dedicate their lives to their Creator. On those few occasions when he wasn't working at his desk, he took projects with him so he'd always have something to read or work on.
His dedication to God and His work reminded me of another wholehearted servant of God, the apostle Paul. Nearing the end of his life, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7-8: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return" (New Living Translation).
Our friend John likewise ran his race well. As with Paul, his crown awaits him on that great day of Christ's return when he will rise to live again forevermore!