Tag Archives: death

Eternal Destiny

Do you find it hard to talk about death? Why is it that we avoid that topic–especially if we are believers? Is it fear? Is the lack of trust? It wasn’t that way for Job or Peter or Paul or Jesus.

job 14 to 17 destiny2a

Job is a man who continues to remain strong in the midst of his three friends’ conclusions of why he is in this ‘mess.’ He is aware of his destiny but isn’t sure of what happens after death. Sadly, there are many today around in our world that also lacks the peace of knowing. They have not heard the words of our Savior nor have they seen the marvelous work that the Holy Spirit does when He comes to indwell the believer. James reminds us that we best not take life for granted. It could be snuffed out at any moment.

Eliphaz will have none of this! He is correct in saying that God judges all corrupt sinners. However, in his analysis he cannot see into the future nor can he see what Job’s destiny book shows. Although Job has reminded all three so-called comforters of this fact, Eliphaz pursues this train of thought without missing a beat. Again he calls Job a windbag of sorts and it is because of him that meditation before a holy God is certain to die.

So how do we face such harsh criticism?  Job gives us a clue when he says; I would try to comfort you. My advocate is in heaven, My intercessor is my friend. My eyes will continue to pour forth my tears to God. I will not give up.

How about you? Are you certain that if death came knocking you would be ready?




“What will your R.S.V.P. Say?”

ImageAs Jesus ended his earthly time with his disciples he had them prepare the Passover, his last meal with them before the cross. He emphasized that as they partook of the bread and wine that it represented his body and his blood shed for them. Although they did not totally understand the significance of this night until after the Resurrection, they quickly instituted what we know as Communion. In this way they obeyed his command to remember his death until he returns and when we may all celebrate it with him in heaven.

In Proverbs 9, Solomon used an analogy of two banquets prepared by Lady Wisdom and Dame Folly. Lady Wisdom is busy preparing a dinner for the guests, the naïve who lack understanding, sending out the dinner invitations to come and feast at her table. The invitation reads: “Blessed is everyone who will feast in the kingdom of God!” She sends her slaves to gather those invited to come. In contrast Dame Folly, who is naïve and does not know anything, sits at the door of her house calling to the passersby, come and taste of the “stolen waters which are sweet.” This reminds us of the parable Jesus taught in the NT of a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son and invited many guests. However, those who were invited offered excuses and would not come. Thus he said ‘the ones who had been invited were not worthy.” Why were they not worthy? They did not come when called.

Our King is busy preparing a sumptuous banquet for us and invites us to come. Will we offer excuses or be ready? God’s banquet leads to life eternal but Dame Folly’s only offers separation and death.

“The Lion-like Lamb and the Lamb-like Lion”

ImageJohn, in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day,  continues to share with the reader his vision of heaven and its activities. In Rev 1 John saw : “Jesus Christ – the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood,” and now in chapter 5 John saw the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Lamb of God as John the Baptist had declared. The Apostle John writes “You [the Lamb of God] are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were killed, and at the cost of your own blood you have purchased for God persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation.”  In both chapters John reminds the reader that it was his precious blood that paid the ransom. Heb 9:22 Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Now notice what John tells us beyond those descriptions. The Lion-like Lamb/Lamb-like Lion is standing. He has finished his work and now is worthy to take the scroll of judgment and to open it. No one else is worthy and thus John is found weeping at this realization. Secondly, he has 7 horns symbolizing strength and power. He has conquered sin, death and Satan not just because he was a Lion but because he was a Lamb-like Lion who was willing to allow man to take his life that he might redeem them from the jaws of death and sin and the power of Satan.

To those who have bowed the knee and accepted this gift of the Lamb’s blood is given a promise which John repeats in ch 5 as he had written in ch 1:  “has appointed us as a kingdom, as priests serving his God and Father/You have appointed them as a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Our Savior is both Lion and Lamb and he is waiting for us to stop and with the angels, living creatures, elders, whose number was then thousand times then thousand, thousands times thousands sing: “Worthy is the lamb who was killed to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and praise!” 

 Have you bowed the knee and are thus able to join the chorus today?

Where Were You…The Apostle John’s Reflections….

ImageWe all have times when we can recall “where we were” when something of significance happened. As we read John 19, the Apostle John shares with us his recollection of the day when holiness was triumphant over evil. John shares with us “where he was” on that fateful day when the words of Simeon must have come flooding back to the heart of Mary: Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, [Luke 2]

As we read John 19 and see the ugliness of sin in all of its horror we recall these words of Jesus: “hated by everyone because of my name….yet a time is coming when the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God.” The religious leaders fulfilled those words when they cried: “crucify him, crucify him.” But, what man plans for evil God turns to good. Jesus endured that we might see God’s plan and purpose for the redemption of man. Act 2:23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles…thus fulfilling 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.”…so that the truth of Acts 4:12 might be ours to claim: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

In the midst of this horror, John focuses our attention on Christ, and along with the other gospel writers, shares the last words heard from the lips of our Savior:

Father, Forgive them, they know not what they do…

[to the thief] Today you shall be with me in paradise…

[to Mary] Woman, behold your son and [to John] behold your mother…

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?…

I thirst…

It is finished…

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit…

From there, John turns our attention to the small band of persistent faithful followers as they and he become witnesses to this scene. It was this tenacity, this indefatigable belief in Jesus as THE CHRIST that carried them to this point in time. John 19:25 “Now standing beside Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene…and the disciple whom he loved standing there,” This scene would be forever etched in John’s memory as the turning point of his faith, the turning point of seeing God’s plan fulfilled…but as of yet he did not understand the full scope.

And then John turns our attention to the two secret disciples who stepped out of the darkness into the light. They had not been strong enough to stand in life but Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus became the ministering servants to the body of our Lord in his death. What they paid in the earthly price for their stand against the Sanhedrin is not known but it was a small price for what they gained in eternal rewards. “Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.” [Matt 10]                         

 Where were you when you realized the price paid for your sin?


“The D Word” is NOT Divorce!

ImageToday would have been the anniversary of my in-law’s marriage. They lived through their 73rd wedding anniversary, she dying on that day and my father in law 18 days later. They were a beautiful picture of true wedded bliss, literally bound to one another “until death do us part”. On the other side was my own mother who buried two husbands and was widowed for several years after. What does all of this have to do with today? In  Romans 7, Paul is using the analogy of marriage to show that just as my mother in law  was bound to her first husband for 73 yrs; she was never was “unbound”. It was death that unbound my in-laws, if even for a short period of time. My own mother was married for 35 yrs upon which my father died. She then was, unlike my in- laws, free to marry another and several years later she did. It was death that ended my own parent’s marriage relationship. It was death that ended my in-law’s marriage. Death is the only “D” word allowed!

 Paul reminds us that once someone is crucified with Christ, who was raised from the dead, so are we also “raised to newness of life” and no longer bound to the Law.  Jesus’ death and our acceptance of that sacrifice for our sin rescinded our binding to the Law.

Therefore, once freed from the rules and regulations from the Law,  what is the believer’s responsibility? It is to see the Law as God’s standard of righteousness, to see how it reveals man’s sin, and to see it as a guide for life. One’s position becomes one’s practice so to speak. We are now to live a life of holiness that we may honor and glorify Him who gave so much. In the past we were slaves to sin, now we are slaves to righteousness. But, as Paul says, it will be a struggle between the flesh and our new spirit in Christ until we take that last breath. We struggle between what we want to do and what we should do. It is at times like this that we can only come to Christ for cleansing. IJohn 1:9 “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” Thus Paul ends this chapter by saying: Romans 7:25 “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” And that should be our ending as well.

Hangest thou in there Beloved!