Monday, April 20, 2020

Living or Living?

. . . that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death . . . Hebrews 2:14 NKJV 

Oh, child of God, death has lost its sting—because the devil’s power over death has been destroyed. So stop being afraid of dying. Ask God’s Holy Spirit for grace, so that by an intimate knowledge of, and a firm belief in, your Redeemer’s death, you will be strengthened for that dreaded moment. When you live near Calvary’s cross, you can think of death with pleasure, and when it comes, welcome it with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord, a covenant-blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile—a going home to the many mansions where loved ones already live. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and striving saints on earth seems large, but that is not true. We are not far from home—a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread, and the soul is launched. How long will its voyage be? How many tiresome winds will fill the sail before it is lowered in the port of peace? How long will that soul be tossed on the waves before it comes to the sea that knows no storm? Listen to the answer: “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 ESV). That ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It just spread its sail and it reached its destination. Like an old boat on the Sea of Galilee, a storm had tossed it—but Jesus said, “Peace! Be still” (Mark 4:39 ESV), and it immediately came to land. Don’t imagine a long period between the moment of death and the eternity of glory. When your eyes close on earth, they open in heaven. The horses of fire (2 Kings 2:11) aren’t on the road for an instant. Oh, child of God, what is there to fear in death, when you know that through the death of your Lord its curse and sting have been destroyed? Death is now just a Jacob’s ladder, with a base in the dark grave and a top reaching to everlasting glory. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Those that lead this charge against this particular virus, and if you listen, to others like it...always begin their talk with numbers. 

People are more than a number to the Creator of the Universe.  Jesus thought of every single person who ever has lived and will live in the history of the world while nailed to that cross.  In those moments on the cross, Jesus believed all of them and all of you were worth what He was going through.  

My friend death, to many, is a fearsome thing.  To me, and maybe I am just that different, it is exactly as the verse he quoted. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  In an instant, you leave one place and are at the next. 

I can't prove my next statement but I really do ascribe to the notion that since the cross, it's Jesus who shows up to bring people to where they go next.  He conquered sin, death and the grave.  He is King over all including death.  We were and are that important to Him that I have trouble believing He would relegate that to another. 

We live in uncertain times.  But they really are not so uncertain.  The Bible is playing out before our very eyes.  There's more than enough evidence to those with Spiritual eyes to see to see the hands of God. 

There was talk already on a global immunization program. A card or something to have to prove you were ok snd safe to do business with.  Similar wording is always looked at as the description of the mark of the Beast in the book of Revelation.  Whether or not it's directly tied to that idea is irrelevant, people in the Church are on the alert. 

We who are in Christ are in Christ's hands.  He is in the Father's hands.  He is the Creator of the Universe.  He sets the rules and standards by which we can live our lives. The so-called laws of nature.  The principles of the laws of thermodynamics.  The laws of gravity.  Of electricity.  Of motion. God rules all of Creation. 

We, are given choice, because of the work on the cross by Jesus.  It was the Father's Plan and it was perfect.  Be clear on this, Satan is NOT the equal of the Father or Jesus or the Spirit.  He is a created being who fell from his position in the hierarchy of Angelic beings because of pride.  He wanted the Throne of God. He wanted the worship of men and angels.  He is the one who convinced Cain to kill his brother.  He convinced Eve to sin and to go convince Adam to do the same.  Death came because of sin.  Death is not just a separation of the soul and body.  It can be an eternal separation from man and God.

Hell is very real.  Not just from the description given by Jesus on it, but proven by modern day accounts of people on their deathbed.  Crying out in pain at the fact that as death draws nearer the heat and flames of Hell licked at their feet.  All the while they gnashed at God in anger.  Refusing to be saved by Jesus.  It's recorded.  You can indeed find it.  

Then there are those who just don't see it coming at all.  Believing that the day is their oyster and it's there to be enjoyed!  They have money and time and go live as if there's no tomorrow.  Yet as the parable said of one such man, they are fools because their time comes and who will get their wealth and possessions?  

They are still others who scrape by.  They are not forgotten before God.  But all must come to Christ in whatever state they are.

We all are equal in that we all die at some point.   This isn't a lesson in morbidity. It's a fact of the Bible and life.  

Jesus promised a peace that passes all understanding.  Think about that.  While it's well documented of people rejecting Christ slipping into the fiery Hell, there is equal evidence of that peace that passes all understanding on the faces of those who have believed in Jesus Christ for Salvation.  They entered deaths door more alive than they were at their physical death.  They know their Master is on the other side.  They know that in a moment they will be embracing Jesus Himself.  That the battle of life has been won.

Jesus does not wish that any perish to spend eternity in Hell.  But reality is that the choice is yours.  He paid the price that all men and women must pay at the end of their lives on this world.  But if you haven't received Christ as your personal Savior, you will pay that price yourself.  For those who are saved, Jesus paid it in full.  For those who rejected it, they are on the hook for that debt personally.  Nobody can buy their passage from Hell to Heaven.  The only acceptable way by the Father is through the Son. Jesus Christ. 

Look at your life this day my friend.  Have plans for it do you?  Guess what? So did everyone else who woke up dead.   We have people we know who have died from this coronavirus.  Their end may have not been what they envisioned but Jesus was with them just the same.  

What plans should you make for today? 
Try this...Lord what would you have me do?  Let's do this together.  Let me remember my life is in your hands.  Apart from you I can do nothing.  Let me live this moment for you.  

Read the story of the Prodigal Son.  The other son, the one who didn't do as his brother.  Who always did what he was told was very bitter at his father and brother.  Why? Because his obedience wasn't out of love or respect for his father. It was out of selfishness. He lived his life without learning how to really live.  Are you living for yourself or for Christ? 

That's your question for today. 

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