This post is in two parts.
I urge you to read both parts to get even more excited about ‘The INEVITABLE!’
I was asked to do a tribute at the memorial service of my cousin Raymond Middleton who was an amazing trophy of grace, and who will no doubt have been welcomed by the Master with a ‘well done faithful servant.’
Raymond’s death was totally unexpected. His attractive and youthful seventy two year old wife Janet, had her hubby with her one minute and not the next. Their marriage was a happy and blissful one. Ray was a minister and both he and his wife faithful servants of the Lord. What comfort could I possibly bring to Ray’s grieve stricken wife and sons, Carl, James, and Ian?
We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t grieve or shed tears for the loss of a loved one. Even Jesus wept. God created us with our emotions of tears, laughter, sadness.
Make no mistake, death is no respecter of persons. All the great heroes of the Bible were not exempt. But unlike the unsaved, Janet can draw comfort from the fact that she will see her Ray again. Yet there are still Christians who adamantly believe that we will not recognise one another in heaven because of a verse in Ecclesiastes 1:11 “There is no remembrance of former things.”
But how cruel it would be for a mom and dad to lose a little daughter never ever to see her face again! Or for a husband to lose a wife or a wife a husband to be told ‘that’s the end!’ But because of the Lord’s compassion, there are loving clues in His word that we will be joyfully reunited with our loved ones again. This fact helped King David with his grief on the death of his child.
God had taken David’s son because it was conceived in some sin David had committed. The child became sick so David fasted for him to live but his prayers were not answered. David had to live with the pain of losing a son, but he did draw some comfort that he would see him again, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23).
David wouldn’t have found such comfort if he thought that he wasn’t going to recognise his child!
*The rich man recognised Lazarus in heaven!
*The disciples recognised Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration even though they had died years before!
*The disciples recognised Jesus after He had risen from the dead. His Resurrection shows how we will know one another after death.
If we are looking forward to meeting our heroes of the Bible whom we have never met, such as blameless Job, faithful Jeremiah, & meek Moses, then we are certainly going to meet up with our dear ones again. There would be no point to life otherwise. The Scripture in Ecclesiastes that some Christians take to believe that we will not know our loved ones says ‘no remembrance of former ‘THINGS’ not people! And that ‘lack-of-remembrance’ will be all those not-so-nice ‘THINGS’ that marred life here due to sickness, selfishness, sin, jealousy, rebellion, strife, stress and worry! (I realise there will be no ‘given in marriage’ as it will be something far better!)
God did not design the family unit for death to separate them forever! The very reason He came from heaven was to banish that terribly ugly thing called death! He didn’t come to earth to abolish sickness, as sickness is a natural outcome of disobedience in the Garden of Eden; and although I do believe in Divine healing & have experienced it firsthand, the Lord was CRUCIFIED to abolish the result of sickness – the ‘INEVITABLE’ ; and it was ‘death’ that was mocked in the very face of Satan… “O death where is your sting? O death where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). “He will swallow up death for all time” (Isaiah 25:8).
Heaven will not be sitting on a cloud bored! Heaven is a world A real ‘other’ world. A tangible place living with our loved ones and heros of the Bible. A place of bliss and never-ending inexplicable joy, that God Himself has prepared for us, and the ‘Inevitable’ will be the start of living that even a multi billionaire’s lifestyle couldn’t come close to!
That’s what is so wonderful about being born again. The free gift of Salvation brings about everlasting life that does away with death… and is what everyone craves for these days: to live for as long as they possibly can to avoid death for as long as they possibly can!
God couldn’t be kinder than to give us assurances that we will not be dead!
“He who believes in me will live EVEN IF HE DIES” (John 11:25).
“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14)
I am looking forward to seeing my Godly parents again. But I also want to shake the hand and have a chat with some of my favourite people of the Bible such as Abigail, the long-suffering wife who tolerated a fool of a husband called Nabal who’s mother must have had trouble bringing him up, as his name means ‘fool’. And I must speak with Mary, who was the chosen vessel to carry the Lord for 9 months; and I long to meet the Apostle Paul who endured so much brutality to bring us the Gospel.
One day, I am going to join my parents, and my cousin Ray, and others, in what they’ve already had the privilege of enjoying and seeing before I did! The Creator. The One who made the world. The One who allowed cruel people to cat whip Him and drive nails into him so as to destroy what puts fear into people most – DEATH, that ‘devastating thing’ that cruelly separates us from our loved ones. THAT is what He came to earth to do! To destroy it!
Satan’s very first lie in Genesis 3:4 was about death! He said, “You surely will not die!” Yet he was unwittingly telling the truth as we will not!
God left the glory of heaven to banish that incident called the ‘inevitable’ that causes so much pain on the loss of a loved one.
There is so much emphasis these days on how to stay young. We are bombarded with adverts about products that promise to keep us living longer. Chemists are full of such products.
But Psalm 90:10 tells us how long we can expect to live so that we can be prepared for the inevitable, that is if the Lord doesn’t return beforehand… “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years. Or if due to strength eighty years.”
The Scripture says “life is a mere breath and like a tale told” and this is so true as we look back and ask ‘where did those years go?’
Our real, true, perfect home is one of never ending pleasure and is somewhere called PARADISE – heaven! A real tangible place of uninterrupted contentment that nothing can spoil, no sorrow, NO sickness that leads to DEATH! Whatever luxury cruise, or ten star hotel, in the most exotic of places someone has had the privilege of experiencing here on earth, is nothing to what God has prepared for us!
Revelation 21 describes a little of what our permanent home will be like, and it is breathtaking.
So never fear death dear Christian! Your body is only the ‘pod’ that keeps you intact on earth – your ‘earthly house.’ Your soul never dies and your soul is as visible and real to God as your body is to other bodies!
Jesus wasn’t a ghost when he came out of that tomb of death making clear in His compassion to us that we will be visible and tangible after death too! He looked like a person so much so, that Mary thought he was the gardener – just to show that we too will be a real person! He had a real body. He walked. He talked. He ate. He conversed with the disciples.
“This perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:54), meaning that the corruptible (that which dies due to sin) will be changed to the incorruptible (that which will never die again).
The Thessalonians were worried about being separated from their loved ones. So Paul comforted them with this…
“We do not want you to be uniformed (i.e. oblivious, unenlightened, ignorant) about those who are asleep so that you WILL NOT GRIEVE AS DO THE REST WHO HAVE NO HOPE. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 18).
There is no doubt that we will be reunited with loved ones again, and that we will KNOW THEM. The unsaved do not have such comforting knowledge as they simply don’t believe it. Unbelief robs of truth. Of course, I realise there may be relatives you may prefer not to be reunited with! Not that you didn’t love them, but maybe because they weren’t too nice, or caused you stress or heartache! Don’t worry! Those will be the ‘THINGS’ in Ecclesiastes that will be absent as we will have perfectly renewed relationships, without all the flaws and niggly things that ruined them here on earth.
The Apostle Paul knew just how exciting heaven was, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain and I do not know which to choose and am hard pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is much better, yet to remain is necessary for your sake” (Philippians 1:21-23).
Paul wouldn’t have been excited about death if it wasn’t something better than life on earth! And Paul wouldn’t have preferred to be with Christ if he thought it meant waiting under the dirt for 2000 years or more until the Lord returned again. Paul knew that death just did not didn’t exist for a Christian!
God could not be kinder than giving us this promise… ‘absent from the body present with the Lord!’
When we are truly born again death should never haunt us.
My husband often bemoans that I talk of heaven far too much because he doesn’t like to think he may have to live without me one day; and it is true that death does cause pain to those who are left, but it is only temporary pain compared with the everlasting glory to come! Everything here is temporary. When I was preparing for this tribute for my cousin Raymond, it got me even more excited than ever about heaven, much to my husband’s dismay!
I have two songs for my funeral (even though I won’t be in attendance!) if the Lord doesn’t return prior…
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
I looked over Jordan and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home
I saw a band of angels coming after me
Coming for to carry me home
If you get to heaven before I do
Coming for to carry me home
Tell all my friends, I’ll be coming too!
Coming for to carry me home.
Someone asked Billy Graham, ‘Will there be golf in heaven Billy?’ Billy answered, ‘if golf is necessary for your joy, then there will be golf in heaven’
If ever God called me to take out a message – it would be this one: to excite Christians about their inheritance as I know many Christians who are so afraid of dying. Yet it is going to be such a reunion, such a celebration, such a party of happiness and laughter, it would make the glamour of the Hollywood awards with their red carpet, million dollar cars, mansions, sequin frocks, diamonds, and banquets, look like a boot sale on a miserable grey and rainy-day in a muddy field!
We often hear people ask, ‘what’s life all about? ‘Why are we here.’ ‘Is this it? And we need to get the message out that thankfully, NO this is not it because being born again means we have an unearned ticket that says, ‘I am not dead, I am more alive than I have ever been!’
Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, TODAY you shall be with Me in PARADISE” (Luke 23:43).
This next Scripture is almost too exciting for me to take in! “When He appears, we will be like Him” (1 John 3:2). Can it be that our humble God is going to make us like HIM!!? Well, God doesn’t lie!
What is the deepest desire that most of us Christians have? It is a longing to be used of Him. And this next Scripture not only shows how humble our God is, but reveals how we will be used of Him as we never thought possible…
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he/whoever believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12).
Greater works than His!? How can this be!? He performed miracles…
>He raised the dead: Jairus’s daughter; Lazarus; the widows’ son.
>He healed lepers and ten all at one time!
>He put the ear of Malchus back where it was in the first place!
>He made the blind see.
>He told the sea to stop causing a fuss.
>He created enough bread & fish to feed thousands with lots left over (a good lesson in waste).
>He made water ferment in a second.
>He made a withered hand unwithered.
>He put money in a fish’s mouth.
>He cast out demons.
>He healed a man who was paralysed.
>He withered up a fig tree.
Jesus doesn’t lie, so what can that Scripture mean? Even though the disciples did perform miracles, they weren’t ‘greater’ than those Jesus did. And anyway, the Lord wasn’t addressing this statement only to the disciples as it says ‘whosoever.’
Let’s be honest, we do not see ‘greater works’ these days. So are we waiting for that special person to come and do these ‘greater works’? What worldwide news that would be! But I don’t think so. That one person would not be able to handle such power and would become the biggest celebrity this side of heaven, something so contrary to God’s humble nature. That person would find it impossible to keep humble or hidden, and people would begin to idolise them and see them almost as God! And how would they cope with the protection needed when doing ‘greater works’ as Jesus had to preach from a boat due to the crowds.
This Scripture has to be futuristic. It has to be prophetic because it says, “WHEN He appears, we shall be like Him”
The Scriptures teach that we will reign with Him! “If we endure, we will also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12).
Dictionary definition of reign: when a King or Queen reigns over a country; to control it; to rule over it.
What will we rule? Kingdoms! So He will need to give His authority and power to His children to perform ‘greater works’ and they will be much greater works than healings.
But like most promises in God’s word, there are conditions to them. And this promise too has a condition… “if we endure.” Endure what?
“Endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3)
And aren’t we all enduring SOMETHNG here? Whether it be bereavement, or merely feeling like a stranger on this sin-cursed earth? “I am a stranger in the earth” (Psalm 119:19). This world’s sinful new ideology pains us more every day dreading what nonsense will be dreamed up next for our children to have to conform to.
This world’s standards are so contrary to Gods that He called the world ‘the enemy’ because the world’s ideology is the complete opposite to the teachings of the Christ, but we are seen as ‘stupid’ if we dare believe and want to adhere God’s word, hence we don’t fit in it and are like fish out of water.
Don’t get too comfortable! You don’t belong here if you are born again!
And the ‘INEVITABLE’ will be the beginning of PARADISE! “Our Saviour Jesus Christ WHO ABOLISHED DEATH” (2 Timothy 1:10).
But better than all the luxury in Paradise, and the joy of seeing our loved ones again… will be to actually see the risen Lord – who paid the price to save our soul to deliver us from ‘the inevitable’!
See you there sometime!
“I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).
This message was taken from ‘The Skinny Soul’
Did you know that the Bible actually speaks about having a fat soul!
Keep your soul fat and healthy!
By the time you have finished reading The Skinny Soul you will know the health and wealth, of the most precious possession you have!
The Skinny Soul – 26 eclectic messages to fatten up the soul!