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Remembering Keith

Daniel Keith Rebman Jr. passed away Tuesday, October 24, 2017 surrounded by his loving family. He was born on September 2, 1986 in Orlando, Florida to Dan and Tess Rebman. "Keith" was an avid sportsman and participated in many outdoor activities and shooting competitions. At the age of 14, he won the silver medal for men's air pistol in the 2000 National Junior Olympics. 

Keith always desired to serve his community, and shortly after moving to Greenville, SC in 2011 he began to pursue a career in law enforcement. After serving as a dispatcher for the Highway Patrol for 4 years, he graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in 2016, at which time he was awarded the Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award. Keith loved being a trooper, and he served both in Charleston/Berkeley and then in Greenville, SC with pride. Keith is survived by his wife, Michelle, and their three daughters, Olivia, Charlee, and Kennedy, as well as his parents and his sister, Danielle. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Benjamin and Anna Rebman, and by his uncle James Williams. 

Watch Trooper Rebman's memorial service on Fox Carolina or WYFF 4

Keith loved the outdoors.

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Whether in South Carolina, at his family’s farm in Georgia, or back in Florida where he was born, he was always ready to put on his camo and head outside.

Keith’s dad is a retired veterinarian, so he taught his children a love for animals and the outdoors.

Michelle said on one of their first dates, Keith invited her to go out on the water in the family boat. So she came in a summer dress and flip-flops ready for a romantic excursion.

Keith came in boots and camo, with gun slung over his shoulder. He took her out to an island in the swamps and began calling for turkey. When he realized Michelle was getting bored, he held out his hand in an act of chivalry and said, “You want a call?”

Keith loved his family.

The week before is death, Keith was able to take his his girls, Olivia, Charlee, and Kennedy, to his parents’ farm in Georgia for four days.

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They will always remember that time of playing together, riding four-wheelers, and collecting pounds of pecans.

Keith had a deep love for his wife and daughters. He was so euphoric after Michelle accepted his marriage proposal, he got a ticket for driving too slow.

The way he cared for his girls was precious to watch. Despite the camo, he was never too manly for a tea party. I noticed in this photo on the program a little arm around his neck. At church events, he was always holding one of his girls.

Keith loved others.

Keith wasn’t in law enforcement for a power trip. He was a public servant.

He didn’t put on the uniform out of arrogance or bravado. He served and protected others out of love. One of his fellow troopers said, “He had a heart the size of Texas.”

Keith was always smiling.

A childhood friend said, “He had a hard time pulling off a prank.  His poker face was never good.  He always had this sparkle in his eye when he was up to mischief and this half grin.  It’s how I picture him whenever I think of Keith.” 

We live in a country that’s very divided. Where people are increasingly proud and hostile.

Keith was the opposite. He followed Jesus Christ. And like Jesus, Keith was kind, gentle, humble. His smile and sincerity melted barriers.

Keith’s father-in-law told a story about how the neighbor kids who live behind Keith and Michelle’s house started climbing the fence so they could play with their girls. Keith told Michelle he would take care of it.

By taking care of it, Keith didn’t mean he would scare the kids or intimidate them in his uniform. Instead Michelle came home one day and found that he had installed a gate in their fence.

That’s the kind of man Keith was—a man who built gates between people, not fences.

The Bible tells us that all humans are born sinners. By nature and choice, we rebel against God’s law. We make ourselves his enemies. Our punishment is the separation we choose in this life will be extended into eternity–we’ll be separated from Him in Hell forever.

But that’s not what God wants. The Bible tells us He sent His Son Jesus into the world to reconcile us to Him—to make peace.

To build a gate in the fence that separates us from God.

To build a bridge where there was once a wall.

See with only three nails and two pieces of wood, Jesus built a bridge between God and us. We call it the Cross.

We deserved the punishment for our sin—to be eternally separated. But He offers us grace.

In Keith’s Bible, he underlined a verse, John 3:16

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“For God so loved the world [us], that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in him should not perish [Hell], but have everlasting life [heaven].”

God offers you the same grace that Keith received.

That grace not only guaranteed Keith everlasting life in heaven— which is where he went last October. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

That same grace was changing Keith to become more like Jesus. To be a gentle, humble man who would show that kind of care to neighbor kids.

 

Keith's Good News

May I ask you a question? Can you say without any doubt that you would spend eternity in heaven when you die? That may appear to be a question that is impossible for anyone to answer, but consider this verse from the Bible: “These things have I written unto you . . . that ye may know that ye have eternal life. . . .” (I John 5:13).

Trooper Keith Rebman knew that when he died he would go to heaven, not because of what he had done, but because of what Christ had done for him.

What is eternal life? And how can you know if he has eternal life?

1. Eternal life means to live with God in heaven forever. It is the opposite of everlasting punishment.

John 3:16—“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

2. Eternal life comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 14:6—“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

3. Eternal life is a gift that must be received, not worked for.

Ephesians 2:8–9—“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

4. Eternal life is received by turning from your sin and trusting what God has said and asking Him to save you.
You must understand and believe these four things that God has said is true of you:

• You have sinned and broken God’s holy law.

Romans 3:23—“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

• Your sin must be punished and paid for.

Romans 6:23—“For the wages of sin is death. . . .”

• You cannot do anything to pay for your sins or save yourself.

Galatians 2:16—“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ . . . for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

• Only the Lord Jesus Christ is able to save you from your sins.

Acts 4:12—“Neither is there salvation in any other [person, religion, way, etc.]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

John 3:36—“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

What should you do?

Romans 10:9, 13—“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

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