A man will, often times, not budge in the midst of the fight when battling on the defense of the truth,
but is easily swayed by the sincere and meaningful error coming from a friend.
That comment wowed me. How many times have I sat at coffee with a friend or close relative and found myself, scared, worried or just plain in error? The other day my son came home from school and told me his teacher’s father died and went to heaven. I sat shocked. My son is four-years-old. How was I going to make 1 Thessalonians 4 come alive for him?
“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep (have died), that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep (are dead) in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent(proceed or go before) them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (When the trump sounds) 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
I have had people I know pass away. It can be the most heartbreaking thing on earth. Death is not our friend. Anyone who has gone through the death of a close friend or relative knows how painful this is. But to believe we go straight to heaven when we die would be even more painful. Couldn’t we just do the deed ourselves, when we miss them so much, and join them? Isn’t that suicide? Isn’t that wrong? YES and a hundred times yes. If anyone should have died and gone straight to heaven it should have been Jesus Christ, but he was in the grave three days before God raised him from the dead. If we are all headed straight to heaven then why does Jesus Christ need to come back at all? What is the use for our resurrection? WHY then is Jesus Christ the first of many brethren? The Word of God would fall to pieces in inaccuracy if we are all up and off to heaven right after we die. I hear that statement all the time though. It comes like this.
“My friend so & so, went home to be with the Lord.”
“___ is in heaven right now, and he/she is having the time of their life.”
“God needed him/her home.”
“It was God’s will that they die, we don’t understand His mysterious ways.”
(All the parenthesis and bold marks are my insertions.)
“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:” 1 Corinthians 15:12-13
“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:” vs. 14-16
“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits (first one to be raised) of them that slept (died).” vs. 17-20
“But every man in his own order (responsibility to believe this truth): Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he (Jesus Christ) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” vs. 23-26
If there is no resurrection of the dead in Christ, why are we doing all this? If they are up and out of here then Jesus lied when he said, in John 14
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3
Jesus Christ could not have lied because he always did the will of his Father. I do not have relatives sitting in heaven smoking cigars and waiting for me to die and join them. My relatives that all died, are dead. Anyone who says contrary is not believing the Word of Truth, but the word of error. Error is propagated by devil spirits and the god of this world, satan. So, who do we believe?
Where is the comfort in believing that my relatives are up there watching me, judging me right or wrong? No. God is the highest judge and He loved me so much that He raised His son from the clenching grasp of the grave just to show me that He would do the same for me.
So when my son tells me something so innocently what should I do? Do I allow his tender sincerity to put sway in my day? Or do I stand strong on the Word of Truth?
What would you do?
God Bless You Today!!