“He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.”
Isaiah 25:8 NKJV
“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
Revelation 1:18 NKJV
“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
Revelation 20:14 NKJV
Death is a constant, as constant as the passing of the day, the changing of the weather, as constant as birth.
I like to know what is happening in our world. As I have been blessed with much time, I often spend it searching through media for stories from far flung places. What I have learned is that death is pervasive and inescapable.
I watch stories on the ongoing wrath of the pandemic in the world, and its current hot spot in India, as funeral pyres fill parking lots.
I heard about the people in Israel who were crushed when people fell, causing a cascade of human bodies. I have found that God has given me a raw, bleeding heart, one that mourns with those who mourn, and weeps with those who weep. It is easy for me to struggle, internalizing the grief, wondering if death will ever cease.
The Scripture I read as I prepared the meme for my church, reminded me that there is coming a day when death will be wiped out, done away with, and all tears wiped away. That truth sustains me each day, as I have had many losses in recent years, with my family of five, dwindling down to two.
Death came into the world with the sin of one man, and has been defeated by One God/Man, who came into the world to die for the sins of many.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 NKJV
“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”
Romans 5:18 NKJV
Because of Jesus, I know that death will one day be defeated, that one day I will see those who have gone on before me in the faith. I praise the Lord for such a great gift and blessed hope afforded to those who believe. These days that we live are perilous, and death is more proximate that it has ever been.
I watched a documentary on life and death in Chicago, of life’s fragility in certain parts of that city, and the lack of concern shown by city leaders and authorities. Many people were interviewed, each had lost a loved one. There were so many connections, as many of those lost, were known to others who had been murdered. I witnessed community grief as death touched so many.
The whole world has been shown that life is truly a vapor, quickly dissipated by the wind.
It has all given me pause to consider what I can do to more effectively share the Gospel. All the death happening in our world is a reminder to me that opportunities are as fleeting as life itself. We are in a race against time as eternity is calling and death beckons, seeking to draw as many as possible before it too will die, cast into the lake of fire.
Brothers and sisters, let us be bold today, quick to go out and share the Gospel, to tell people of Jesus Christ who went to the cross, died as a penal substitution for us on the cross. He died that we might live, He rose again, that we might live forever with Him.
Pray for the Lord to provide you with opportunties. If they don’t come, go out and create those opportunities. My pastor, Shawn Barr, is heading to the Farmer’s market this morning to preach to the people there buying produce and goodies. Just as they have their pick of the harvest, I am praying that there be a harvest of souls as Shawn plants seeds.
Let us be bold, my people, as death has no dominion. Let us proceed into life as if we truly believe that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 NKJV
““O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?””
I Corinthians 15:55 NKJV
Someday soon, there will be no more goodbyes. We will mourn no more, and never again miss those we have lost to death. Until then we are relentlessly homesick.
You’re in a better place,
I’ve heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times
I’ve rejoiced for you
But the reason why I’m broken,
the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you
I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now
-Bart Millard, MercyMe
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