It seems the closer Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gets to eternity, the more he talks (and maybe thinks) about Jesus Christ.
Chavez has ruled Venezuela with an iron fist for the past 13 years and is an admitted follower of atheists Karl Marx and Fidel Castro. He is struggling with cancer and has undergone chemotherapy and two surgeries to remove tumors. He is back in Cuba where he is currently undergoing radiation therapy.
Some Venezuelans doubt he will survive the illness to run for re-election in October.
The former Catholic altar boy is attending mass more often these days and he talks more frequently about God and Jesus when he appears on television. Chavez even wept last month during a televised mass and he was overheard praying that Jesus (he calls him the greatest socialist who ever lived) will, "give me life because I still have things to do."
He says his battle with cancer has made him "more Christian."
Linda Aguirre, president of the Council of Christian Public Employees says God has begun a work in the Venezuelan president.
Is this a sincere spiritual awakening, or just another poltiical ploy by Chavez to win over Catholic and Evangelical voters?
Watch the following video clip of Chavez, which includes a comment from him as he holds a crucifix in his hand. He says it's the same one he clutched when he was left to die on the seashore during the April 2002 coup. He says God did a miracle that day and spared his life.
In the video, Chavez kisses the crucifix exclaiming, "I'm sure our Christ will do it again, continuing making the miracle!"
Also in the video clip, nurse Herminda Farfan says she doubts Chavez's sincerity about his Christian faith. She says, "Lucifer did what he (Chavez) does, he kissed Christ, and Jesus said: 'go down, because this is not your kingdom.' That's what Jesus said to Satan and that is what Hugo Chavez is doing. He also cheated the people, saying they are the force. The force is God and God does not want him (Chavez) to continue in power."
CCPE President Aguirre refers to Romans 13 in the video. She says "the president has been put here by God because all authority is placed by God and we will continue praying and support him."
Only God knows if Hugo Chavez will overcome the cancer and continue in power after the October election. Let's pray the Venezuelan president has experienced a true conversion. If he has, both he and Venezuela will never be the same.