Tuesday, May 26, 2015

False Advertising Specialist - He Has Names



The King of False Advertising
Barbara Henderson

What a friend we have in Jesus.  Christians through the ages could give wonderful testimonies to why Jesus is the best friend available.  They would be right!  Jesus is the best friend anyone could ever have.  Do you know the hymn ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’?  The lyrics are wonderful.  ‘What a friend we have in Jesus – all our sins and griefs to bear’.  If you are in need of an instant pick-me-up I suggest you listen to this song and then apply the words to your current situation.  Jesus is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt-BowzYzLw

As time goes by there are so many things for which believers can thank Jesus.  But, the best thing is that Jesus tells the truth.  He never lies.  You can trust Him.  His word is good.  In the words of Jesus we can find the peace that passes understanding.  We can rest in the storm, even when it seems like we are facing a full scale hurricane with only a 99 cent rain poncho to keep us dry.  In addition to Jesus being the actual truth and telling the truth Christians also come to appreciate fellow Christians and others who tell the truth.  Just tell the truth.  Don’t sugar coat it.  Don’t make it better than it is.  Don’t make it worse than it is.  I want the unvarnished truth.  Now, I do admit that I prefer the truth stated in a way that is pleasant as possible, but I still want the truth.  Does anything hurt worse than finding out you have been deceived by someone that you trusted?

There are laws requiring truth in advertising.  Advertisers are supposed to only tell the truth about their product.  They aren’t required to tell the whole truth.  They aren’t required to show average results.  Alcohol commercials just show young people acting like they are having a good time.  They don’t show people who have been drunk for years.  People can be pulled into the grab all the gusto you can by drinking beer.  They can also lose everything they have or wanted to have when they become alcoholics. There are diet pills that may make someone thin.  There are money making schemes that promise wealth without much work or just a little seed money.  There are web sites that promise to find your ‘soul mate’ – whatever that is supposed to be.  Regardless of how any of that stuff is advertised I can guarantee that the truth of the matter is that those who believe the advertising will wind up disappointed.  Trust in Jesus and you will not be disappointed in Him.  Yes, you will face disappointments in your life, but Jesus Himself will not disappoint you.  He will be with you to the very end of your life.  He will take you to heaven when you die.  He will take you through the front gate of heaven.  You will be adopted by God Himself.  You will be a joint heir with Jesus.  You will rule and reign with Christ.  That is the truth. 

On the other hand…..
There is the king of false advertising.  His name is the devil, that old dragon, Lucifer, Satan, the deceiver, the destroyer, and any other bad name you can think of.  What an enemy we have in Satan.  Without the Lord Jesus Christ we would have no way of even recognizing him, much less defeating him!

The dragon really is the king of false advertising.  His focus is to distort the truth that there are two very clear cut choices regarding eternal destiny.  There is the narrow way through Jesus Christ.  There is the broad-way that leads to destruction.  That’s it.  There are two choices.  All choices besides the narrow way equal choosing the broad-way.

Never underestimate the devil’s abilities.  He is only one being.  He is limited in what he can actually do.  However, he is still extremely powerful.  Furthermore he has a massive army of followers at his disposal.  It is entirely true that his fate is sealed.  He will be utterly and totally eternally defeated.  However, he is not going quietly to his doom.  He is deceiving and hurting as many people as possible on his way down.  Obviously, given his end, the devil is not going to be honest about where he is going or where his followers are going.  He uses all sorts of smoke and mirrors to disguise the entrance to hell.  He offers more ways to hell than we can actually count.  It is sort of like the tentacles of a giant squid.  Once a tentacle gets its suckers attached to its prey it winds up in the belly of the beast. 

I am sure you can list a number of false ways.
: New Age, good works, Wiccan, Hindu, Tao, Any eastern mystical religion, humanism, reincarnation, and blah blah blah.    They are all the same old tired stuff.  They all lead to the same old place of eternal torment.  You know, at least Islam has a sort of uniqueness about it in that it admits people who go to the kingdom of Allah are going to a place where murderers are exalted.  That seems like a dead give away that it isn’t a place anyone would actually want to go, but that doesn’t seem to bother its followers does it?  We are definitely at a point in time where people can do what is right in their own eyes and expect the rest of the world to accept their way as perfectly fine

Perhaps even more chilling than people rejecting Jesus are people redefining Jesus.  If you want Jesus then the devil will give you Jesus.  He simply won’t be the actual Jesus.  He will be an imposter without power or authority.  Even Jesus said there would be many who claimed to do works in His name that were workers of sin.  Even God’s children can be deceived temporarily sometimes.  The way to avoid falling into Satan’s trap is to really know who Jesus is, and then refuse to compromise.  So, who is Jesus?  And who is Lucifer?

Jesus is the Son of God.  Jesus Christ is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.  He is fully God and fully man.  He is the ONLY begotten Son of God.  He has adopted siblings. 
Lucifer/Satan is a mighty being created by God.  He is not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient. 

Do you believe half a truth is a lie?  In some cases the answer is yes.  In the case of Jesus Christ we often hear half the truth.  Jesus loves you.  That in itself is very wonderful and comforting.  It is also only half the story.  Because of His great love for us – while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  Now if ‘love’ was all there was to it there would have been no reason for Christ to die.  The king of false advertising wants the truth to stop right there because it is the rest of the truth that actually brings people to repentance.  The rest of the story is that God in His righteousness requires that we become righteous as well.  Knowing that we are incapable of doing that on our own Jesus died to make a way for His righteousness to be given to us.  Accepting the righteousness of Jesus requires that the individual does more than simply acknowledge ‘Jesus loves me’.  It requires repentance of our sins.  It requires turning from our sins.  It requires surrendering our will to the will of Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us clearly that our works will not save us.  Salvation is through Christ alone.  However, evidence of our salvation is provided through our obedience to the instructions for living written down for us in the Bible.  A truly saved person takes obedience to the rules of Jesus Christ very seriously.  It is entirely true that if Jesus allowed unrighteous unrepentant people into his perfect home His home would no longer be perfect.  A poor comparison would be someone who lives in an extreme mansion with two dozen domestic employees finding a disease infested stray dog and taking it home without stopping at the vet first to get it cleaned up.  Pretty soon there would be fleas and other disgusting stuff all over the once spotless home.

Another false advertising claim made about Jesus is ‘Jesus wants me to be happy’.  Boy is that one wrong!  Jesus wants you to be obedient.  There is joy in obedience.  There can be happiness.  But, the goal is not happiness.  The goal is pleasing God, which of course does bring joy. 

‘We can become gods’ is one of Satan’s best lies.  It appeals to very worst in us.  Truthfully, through Jesus Christ we can become better than we are in this life, but we are not destined to become a god.  If we change the definition of ‘god’ from omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent to something like ‘at least slightly improved’ then some people might make it.  Seriously, Jesus is God because that is who He is.  His nature is utterly continually perfect.  Any honest fool can see that they just don’t have what it takes to become a god, unless the term ‘god’ is reduced to something meaningless.  I see people today who think they are gods.  Yet, with every passing day they become older, uglier, and frailer.  They try to make up for the obvious by thinking that their minds are more enlightened than others which somehow ‘proves’ they are really gods.

Since Jesus says He is the only way into heaven then it is smart to believe that Jesus is the only way into heaven.  It is either not smart OR intentionally deceptive to preach many ways to heaven.  It is a very simple truth that the one way to heaven made by Jesus Christ is not only adequate but also perfectly wonderful.  If Jesus had made 100 ways to heaven everyone would still take the way through Jesus Christ.  As I have mentioned many times in the past through Jesus Christ sinners are given a first class invitation to heaven.  They are invited in through the front gate of heaven. They have an audience with the God of creation.  They are adopted by God.  They are made joint heirs with Jesus.  They rule and reign with Christ.  There is no better way into heaven possible.  Why would God go to the time and expense of making a second way to heaven for which there is obviously no need. 

Jesus Christ is the head of the Christian church.  He has representatives who shepherd his flock, but Christ alone is head of the church.  Don’t fall into rituals and traditions that elevate a man to the so-called position of head of the church.

There is no Christianity without the real Jesus Christ.   The real Jesus is not a spirt brother to Lucifer.  The real Jesus does not need Mary as a co-redeemer.  The real Jesus does not need our good works to complete His work on the cross. 

The king of false advertising wants nothing more than to deceive people into following one of his ways to his eternal home.  As much as the devil works at getting people to reject Jesus, many people will ultimately reject Jesus without help from the devil.  This will be apparent during the thousand year reign of Christ on earth.  The devil and his followers will be chained up during this time and not allowed to tempt people.  Still, some people will fall away from the truth.  So, while we do have to watch out for the devil, we also have to watch out for our own sin nature.  Even without the devil we are prone to sin.  That is why it is so important that we follow Jesus closely.  The details do matter.  Take His love seriously.  But also take His righteousness seriously.  There is no way into heaven except through Jesus. 

Jesus Paid it All

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Refrain
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
Refrain
And now complete in Him
My robe His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.
Refrain
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.
Refrain
When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.
Refrain
And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down
All down at Jesus’ feet.
Refrain

More wonderful hymns!

Rejoice in the Lord

When We All Get to Heaven

Standing on the Promises of Christ My King

To God be the Glory – Great Things He Hath Done

There is Power in the Blood – the wonder working blood of the Lamb



 


Monday, May 18, 2015

New Life in Heaven Begins When This Life Ends For Believers in Jesus Christ



In the Beginning He Died
Barbara Henderson

How can loving someone bring so much joy and so much pain?  The love is a gift from God.  I am not talking about romantic love, although that is also a gift from God.  I am talking about love that inspires someone to lay down their own life for others.  I don’t mean literally physically die, although that has happened.  I mean give up what you want for the good of those that you love.  Or, do more than is required of you because you love those who are in need.  Loving someone makes a connection that isn’t daunted by time or space.  The love remains.  But part of love is loneliness.  You can’t be with the ones you love all the time.  You can’t provide for their every need.  You can’t stay in a cheerful humor as long as they are in the line of your sight.  A part of loving others is admitting that love causes stress. 

Possibly the most overwhelming pain caused by love comes when someone you love dies.  If they die suddenly and unexpectedly a time of unparalleled grief smothers you.  If they die of a lingering illness grief smothers you just the same, but it is sort of spread over time.  When it is an older person who has lived a long and satisfying life it is still very hard.  When it is a younger person who seems to have so much left to do, it seems impossible. 

For Christians, there is sure knowledge of a reunion in heaven with our loved ones.  That is comforting, but it doesn’t stop the pain that comes with the loss of a loved one.  We don’t sorrow as those who have no hope of a reunion, but Christians still mourn the loss of loved ones.  Really we are mourning for ourselves.  We are left to face a lonely future without someone we wanted to keep with us.  Hopefully, when there is a loss, we don’t waste any time being angry at God.  We should just be thankful that God has our loved one in a place that is not only safe but also wonderful.  If there is anger let it pass away from you.  We can direct it toward the devil.  The entire death fiasco was brought about when he beguiled Eve.  But, the Bible tells us to let the anger, bitterness, and wrath pass away from us.  How much more so if we are foolish enough to direct anger at God Himself?

I tell you the truth: the dead Christian is just far away.  It seems like a million miles or more.  There is no communication what so ever.  Even trying to communicate is sin.  It is forbidden. Suffice it to say that we will know our family and loved ones in heaven.  I don’t know what we will look like.  I don’t know what we will be like.  But we will know each other.  It is even a greater truth that the person who has ‘died’ is actually living in heaven.  What we are really adjusting to is the distance between the living and the dead.  I have heard it said that death is just a part of life, to which I say ‘baloney’.  God made the world perfect with no death.  THAT is the reality.  The next reality was that sin entered in.  Death came along with sin.  So, while death happens all the time, it will never be ‘normal’ or ‘just part of life’.

My illness this past year has caused me to look at death more closely than ever before.  There was a time when I thought I was not going to stay in this body much longer.  I did not want to go, but the thought of no more pain was so compelling that if I had had a choice at one point I would have just gone straight to heaven.  I couldn’t have helped myself.  Death for me at that time would have been a way out of a great deal of pain and a body that was growing weaker by the day.  My main prayers through my cancer were for my husband and family.  I would much rather be the one who is sick than to watch someone else going through it.  Besides, I know the loneliness that comes from the loss of a loved one.  I wasn’t going to be the one who had to face that! 

A dear friend of mine has been a widow for nearly ten years now.  Watching her and her children go through the loss of their loved one was as much grief as I have had to bear.  My friend told me that her husband (a preacher) often told people wondering how someone was getting through a loss that, ‘God don’t give you dying grace on un-dying days’. (Baptist preachers use bad grammar when they want to ‘emphasize a point’) That means that we can’t understand how we will get through the loss of a loved one until we have to go through it.  Actually, even then we don’t understand everything that went on.  It seems like we would just die from grief sometimes, or that at least the world would stop and mourn with us for a while.  Instead, nothing really changes except our own lives and the lives of those closest to us.  Everything else seems to go on just the same.  So, how people get through the loss of loved one is really a mystery.  God just takes us through the grief.  There is no other answer.

But, I do wonder what it is like when we pass from this life into the next.  In this world we are born and we die.  When we die Christians go to heaven where their eternal life begins.  Non-believers go to hell where their eternal torment begins.  There is that moment when one reality changes into another and permanent reality.  That moment when we slip into eternity is sort of a big question mark.  When I didn’t know what was going to happen with the cancer I wondered what it would be like to die.  I guess the main thing I wondered was if it was going to hurt.  I was already in a lot of pain, and I really did not want more pain to go with what was already going on in my frail body. 

I began to think about that moment when this life would be changed for the new beginning. Heaven is under construction I suppose because Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us.  Sometimes when I pray I say, ‘So Jesus, how is the building project coming along?’  I am hoping I will get a bell ringing in my head saying something like, ‘I’m almost finished.  I will be back for all my children shortly.’  However, the closest I have come to getting an answer is what seems like a little voice in my head saying, ‘Nun’ya – meaning none of your business.’ Seriously, I can’t imagine what God is preparing for us in all this time since He made so much in six days.  When we get to heaven we will begin life in a wonderful place.  We can be certain of that.  It will be new since Jesus is working on preparing it now.

I do not want to slide down into the valley of ‘trying to prove something by experience and feelings’.  However, I don’t think it is doing that to mention that through the ages there have been many witnesses to Christians dying who may have seen a glimpse of something or someone from beyond this life.  This isn’t scriptural.  This does not prove anything.  It is just something that has been reported. We don’t have to have anything like this because we have a more sure testimony to the heaven of Jesus Christ.  We have the written word of God.  Never the less, there is sometimes a glimpse of something beyond when someone dies.  No, I don’t mean we should all go lurking around the death beds of Christians trying to see a glimpse of eternity.  It is just something that occasionally happens. I was not there for the death of either of my grandfathers.  My dad was there both times.  Both grandfathers were professing Christians.  One was coughing out his last breath when – according to my dad – he smiled the most beautiful smile.  Then he was gone.  The other grandfather, also a professing Christian died without anything out of the ordinary.  Dad said that death is most certainly not something anyone would seek to be around. Just do whatever your duty may be.  Don’t look for something out of the ordinary.  I know at the end of their lives my father in law and my dad both seemed to be seeing people who had been in heaven a long time.  Were they really there?  I don’t know.  Whether their family was waiting for them the instant they died or a few minutes later in heaven doesn’t really matter.

Personally, during the darkest part of my cancer treatment it did seem like I saw my dad a few times.  It seemed very normal and not like it was something amazing.  At one point I almost followed him somewhere – I have no idea where – but something stopped me.  I was in a lot of pain so I don’t really know what was real and what wasn’t real.  I didn’t do narcotic pain medicine, so I don’t think it was anything to do with prescription drugs.  It was just something that seemed to be going on.  It seemed so natural to see dad.  Life after death for Christians is actually when life begins.  And what a life it will be!  Our eternal life will be filled with joy.  We won’t be separated from loved ones ever again.  We won’t know sorrow.  We won’t know any emotional or physical pain.  We won’t know disappointment anymore. We shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 

My conclusion after facing a year of cancer treatment is this.  Dying – as in the actual dying - is not going to be that hard for the one dying.  I think it will be sort of like walking from one room to another room.  Except – the new room will be eternally neat and clean with dinner always ready.  The difficult part of dying is for those who are still alive.  They have to face the separation that comes with death.  All anyone can do is cling to Jesus.  Jesus is the one who will take us through the illness if we are the one who is sick.  Jesus is the One who will take us to heaven when we actually do die.  Jesus is the One who will take us through the grief if we are the one who loses a loved one to death.  Jesus is the One who will take us through whatever trials befall us as we run our race.  The long and short of it is something like ‘fear God and keep the commandments; OR, cling to Jesus.  Cling to Him when you are getting up, when you are lying down, when you are walking, when you are sitting, and so on.  Cling to Jesus all the time.

I love the line from the old hymn that says, ‘There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar.’  I think of the beautiful days I have seen in this life.  The overwhelming beauty of God’s creation is not something to take lightly.  But, heaven is fairer than the most beautiful of days we have ever seen on this earth.  Heaven is a very real place.  Heaven is filled with very real people who once lived on earth but now live in heaven.  They are doing very real things, although we don’t know exactly what they are doing, but it is definitely something wonderful and fulfilling.  The dead in Christ have entered into the joy of the Lord.  Until then we cling to Jesus and look forward to what the Lord is preparing for those that love Him.  Death is the beginning for them that love God.

In the Sweet Bye and Bye


New Life in heaven



In the Beginning He Died
Barbara Henderson

How can loving someone bring so much joy and so much pain?  The love is a gift from God.  I am not talking about romantic love, although that is also a gift from God.  I am talking about love that inspires someone to lay down their own life for others.  I don’t mean literally physically die, although that has happened.  I mean give up what you want for the good of those that you love.  Or, do more than is required of you because you love those who are in need.  Loving someone makes a connection that isn’t daunted by time or space.  The love remains.  But part of love is loneliness.  You can’t be with the ones you love all the time.  You can’t provide for their every need.  You can’t stay in a cheerful humor as long as they are in the line of your sight.  A part of loving others is admitting that love causes stress. 

Possibly the most overwhelming pain caused by love comes when someone you love dies.  If they die suddenly and unexpectedly a time of unparalleled grief smothers you.  If they die of a lingering illness grief smothers you just the same, but it is sort of spread over time.  When it is an older person who has lived a long and satisfying life it is still very hard.  When it is a younger person who seems to have so much left to do, it seems impossible. 

For Christians, there is sure knowledge of a reunion in heaven with our loved ones.  That is comforting, but it doesn’t stop the pain that comes with the loss of a loved one.  We don’t sorrow as those who have no hope of a reunion, but Christians still mourn the loss of loved ones.  Really we are mourning for ourselves.  We are left to face a lonely future without someone we wanted to keep with us.  Hopefully, when there is a loss, we don’t waste any time being angry at God.  We should just be thankful that God has our loved one in a place that is not only safe but also wonderful.  If there is anger let it pass away from you.  We can direct it toward the devil.  The entire death fiasco was brought about when he beguiled Eve.  But, the Bible tells us to let the anger, bitterness, and wrath pass away from us.  How much more so if we are foolish enough to direct anger at God Himself?

I tell you the truth: the dead Christian is just far away.  It seems like a million miles or more.  There is no communication what so ever.  Even trying to communicate is sin.  It is forbidden. Suffice it to say that we will know our family and loved ones in heaven.  I don’t know what we will look like.  I don’t know what we will be like.  But we will know each other.  It is even a greater truth that the person who has ‘died’ is actually living in heaven.  What we are really adjusting to is the distance between the living and the dead.  I have heard it said that death is just a part of life, to which I say ‘baloney’.  God made the world perfect with no death.  THAT is the reality.  The next reality was that sin entered in.  Death came along with sin.  So, while death happens all the time, it will never be ‘normal’ or ‘just part of life’.

My illness this past year has caused me to look at death more closely than ever before.  There was a time when I thought I was not going to stay in this body much longer.  I did not want to go, but the thought of no more pain was so compelling that if I had had a choice at one point I would have just gone straight to heaven.  I couldn’t have helped myself.  Death for me at that time would have been a way out of a great deal of pain and a body that was growing weaker by the day.  My main prayers through my cancer were for my husband and family.  I would much rather be the one who is sick than to watch someone else going through it.  Besides, I know the loneliness that comes from the loss of a loved one.  I wasn’t going to be the one who had to face that! 

A dear friend of mine has been a widow for nearly ten years now.  Watching her and her children go through the loss of their loved one was as much grief as I have had to bear.  My friend told me that her husband (a preacher) often told people wondering how someone was getting through a loss that, ‘God don’t give you dying grace on un-dying days’. (Baptist preachers use bad grammar when they want to ‘emphasize a point’) That means that we can’t understand how we will get through the loss of a loved one until we have to go through it.  Actually, even then we don’t understand everything that went on.  It seems like we would just die from grief sometimes, or that at least the world would stop and mourn with us for a while.  Instead, nothing really changes except our own lives and the lives of those closest to us.  Everything else seems to go on just the same.  So, how people get through the loss of loved one is really a mystery.  God just takes us through the grief.  There is no other answer.

But, I do wonder what it is like when we pass from this life into the next.  In this world we are born and we die.  When we die Christians go to heaven where their eternal life begins.  Non-believers go to hell where their eternal torment begins.  There is that moment when one reality changes into another and permanent reality.  That moment when we slip into eternity is sort of a big question mark.  When I didn’t know what was going to happen with the cancer I wondered what it would be like to die.  I guess the main thing I wondered was if it was going to hurt.  I was already in a lot of pain, and I really did not want more pain to go with what was already going on in my frail body. 

I began to think about that moment when this life would be changed for the new beginning. Heaven is under construction I suppose because Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us.  Sometimes when I pray I say, ‘So Jesus, how is the building project coming along?’  I am hoping I will get a bell ringing in my head saying something like, ‘I’m almost finished.  I will be back for all my children shortly.’  However, the closest I have come to getting an answer is what seems like a little voice in my head saying, ‘Nun’ya – meaning none of your business.’ Seriously, I can’t imagine what God is preparing for us in all this time since He made so much in six days.  When we get to heaven we will begin life in a wonderful place.  We can be certain of that.  It will be new since Jesus is working on preparing it now.

I do not want to slide down into the valley of ‘trying to prove something by experience and feelings’.  However, I don’t think it is doing that to mention that through the ages there have been many witnesses to Christians dying who may have seen a glimpse of something or someone from beyond this life.  This isn’t scriptural.  This does not prove anything.  It is just something that has been reported. We don’t have to have anything like this because we have a more sure testimony to the heaven of Jesus Christ.  We have the written word of God.  Never the less, there is sometimes a glimpse of something beyond when someone dies.  No, I don’t mean we should all go lurking around the death beds of Christians trying to see a glimpse of eternity.  It is just something that occasionally happens. I was not there for the death of either of my grandfathers.  My dad was there both times.  Both grandfathers were professing Christians.  One was coughing out his last breath when – according to my dad – he smiled the most beautiful smile.  Then he was gone.  The other grandfather, also a professing Christian died without anything out of the ordinary.  Dad said that death is most certainly not something anyone would seek to be around. Just do whatever your duty may be.  Don’t look for something out of the ordinary.  I know at the end of their lives my father in law and my dad both seemed to be seeing people who had been in heaven a long time.  Were they really there?  I don’t know.  Whether their family was waiting for them the instant they died or a few minutes later in heaven doesn’t really matter.

Personally, during the darkest part of my cancer treatment it did seem like I saw my dad a few times.  It seemed very normal and not like it was something amazing.  At one point I almost followed him somewhere – I have no idea where – but something stopped me.  I was in a lot of pain so I don’t really know what was real and what wasn’t real.  I didn’t do narcotic pain medicine, so I don’t think it was anything to do with prescription drugs.  It was just something that seemed to be going on.  It seemed so natural to see dad.  Life after death for Christians is actually when life begins.  And what a life it will be!  Our eternal life will be filled with joy.  We won’t be separated from loved ones ever again.  We won’t know sorrow.  We won’t know any emotional or physical pain.  We won’t know disappointment anymore. We shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 

My conclusion after facing a year of cancer treatment is this.  Dying – as in the actual dying - is not going to be that hard for the one dying.  I think it will be sort of like walking from one room to another room.  Except – the new room will be eternally neat and clean with dinner always ready.  The difficult part of dying is for those who are still alive.  They have to face the separation that comes with death.  All anyone can do is cling to Jesus.  Jesus is the one who will take us through the illness if we are the one who is sick.  Jesus is the One who will take us to heaven when we actually do die.  Jesus is the One who will take us through the grief if we are the one who loses a loved one to death.  Jesus is the One who will take us through whatever trials befall us as we run our race.  The long and short of it is something like ‘fear God and keep the commandments; OR, cling to Jesus.  Cling to Him when you are getting up, when you are lying down, when you are walking, when you are sitting, and so on.  Cling to Jesus all the time.

I love the line from the old hymn that says, ‘There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar.’  I think of the beautiful days I have seen in this life.  The overwhelming beauty of God’s creation is not something to take lightly.  But, heaven is fairer than the most beautiful of days we have ever seen on this earth.  Heaven is a very real place.  Heaven is filled with very real people who once lived on earth but now live in heaven.  They are doing very real things, although we don’t know exactly what they are doing, but it is definitely something wonderful and fulfilling.  The dead in Christ have entered into the joy of the Lord.  Until then we cling to Jesus and look forward to what the Lord is preparing for those that love Him.  Death is the beginning for them that love God.

In the Sweet Bye and Bye