For some time the Lord has been bringing home to me some truths about 'death' and passing on to the next world. I say that because over the last two or three years, a lot of my friends and colleagues and some wonderful sponsors for missions have 'died'. I’d like to first tell you about a few of them and then share what I learned and am thinking. Perhaps it may helpful to you.
Our longterm colleague from our early days in China, Juliana, (photo below) passed away in May 2014 after contracting cancer in her womb. She had gone to India and set up a foundation for educating poor children with her Indian husband. Hundreds of believers and non-believers alike attended her funeral and she left a big impression for the Lord there in Delhi.
For us who heard the news it was almost unbelievable that a bright vibrant woman should 'die' in her early very 50's. She lit up any room she came into and won hundreds of souls in China and wherever she went. She lived with us for exactly three years and was a huge asset to God’s work. The Chinese loved her to pieces!
A couple of years ago, dear 'Elder Warden’ as I always used to call him, passed away in London with prostate cancer. It was he, through his interest and keen question, who had a big influence on our China mission work in its early days. His cheerful face and keen interest in missions was always an inspiration to us.
A few months ago a dear pastor’s wife, Mrs. G of a church in London, went to be with the Lord. What a warm and fiery woman she was with a great belief in prayer and love for Jesus Christ. How she prayed and loved mission work in our ministry! God bless her. She 'leaves behind' her husband Pastor and five children and not a few grandchildren I believe.
One of my first pastors, and a man who influenced me greatly when I was young, was Pastor Arthur from England, who spent decades himself on the mission fields especially of South America and India and died in India last year. It was so 'unbelievable' to hear he also had gone to heaven.
Pastor Couple's Son
The son of a pastor couple in Oxfordshire who was 20 I think, and also a believer, had a car accident and died just a few days before his wedding to his long term fiancée. The death raises many questions to many people I am sure.
You know looking back at just these few recent deaths and Heavenly Graduations has made me wonder a lot about life, and also about how much I really believe the Word of God about death. I sat down several times and just thought and prayed about it and for the people involved.
Often it is quite a shock to hear that people you loved so much and who 'walked the earth' with you, it seems just like yesterday, well it seems very hard sometimes to absorb the fact that they are no longer here.
I wonder why and where did they go and how were they in their last moments and seconds or even months before they passed on? I tried to think about some of them and all they had done in this life, and especially what are they doing now. I also thought quite a bit about their living loved one(s) and how they have been coping and surviving without them.
All this had a very deep effect on me in 2014. I naturally also began to think that I may also sooner or later be 'going the way of all flesh'. After all, some of these precious people's deaths were not expected or happened suddenly.
Above all it made me go back and look at the verses in the Bible about the promises of God for Eternal Life that we have been given. What are they really, and can we trust them? Here are some of my favourites below in the Epistles at the end of this article below.
You know in this life we often make the mistake of looking at our life as counted in years. The Bible does talk about three score years and ten and fourscore.
Psalm 90:10 -- The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
But the Bible also says that when we think about our life we should actually 'number the days,' not the years.
Psalm 90:12 -- Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Verses 1 - 12 are very well worth reading.
So recently I actually took time to 'number the days' if God lets me reach 70 years or 80 years, for example, (I am nearly 62 now!) and I have found this gives me a real and sobering wake up call to see how few there are left! This then inspires me to pray and ask the Lord to help me really use each waking day for Him and His Kingdom and His People and my own family also.
The Devil constantly puts in front of us rubbish and time-wasting plans that we so easily accept. Like Pastor Wommack said: 'Each new day you are burning Daylight.'
Let’s ask the Lord to help us not to waste any more of that daylight, or those hours, for the world and its fleeting garbage. Let’s have joy and happiness that all our loved ones as well as our selves are going to that Eternal World and we will enjoy that place Jesus has gone to prepare for us. (John 14:1-6, John 3:16)
God bless you all!
1 Thessalonians 4:13 -- But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Titus 1:2 -- In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Titus 3:7 -- That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Hebrews 5:9 -- And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Hebrews 9:15 -- And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
2 Corinthians 5:1 -- For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Romans 2:7 -- To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Romans 5:21 -- That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:23 -- For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Corinthians 4:17 -- For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
1 Corinthians 15:19 -- If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.