|April. 4, 2004|
REGARDING MY MOTHER: I wanted to thank all of you who e-mailed me about my mother. I had asked for prayer concerning her health and this data for salvation. I received so many e-mails that were so comforting that could not answer them all. But they were very welcome and through them the Lord ministered to me. So thank you.
Now, I have peace that my mom knew the Lord and that now she is in His presence. On March 30 she passed away. I was able to spend the night in the Hospice with her before she died. I was the last one to see her conscious. Late at night she woke up asking for help. She was disoriented. I told her that I was there and after a few minutes she recognize me. She received some pain medication and then went to sleep. She never woke up again. My dad was there when she passed away.
Again, I sincerely and deeply thank all of you who wrote so many wonderful e-mails. You do not realize how valuable they were during this time and how the Lord used them to minister to me. Thank you very much.
JOB: My job situation has improved. My time at work has been extended two to three more weeks. They are training me for something else with the hopes that I will be retained. Unfortunately, we do not know what the management will ultimately decide as far as headcount goes. So, my job is not secure, but at least I have the few weeks reprieve. Please remember this and prayer if you think of it.
FULL TIME: The situation with my job has prompted my wife and I to discuss the issue of me possibly going full-time in this internet missionary endeavor known as CARM. She has a peace about me going full-time and politely has been urging me to take a step of faith. I want to, but don't feel comfortable yet stepping out in faith with slightly less than half of what we need to live on coming in through CARM.
My wife is a wonderful, supportive woman. But, perhaps her faith is greater than mine, for I am worried that if I were to take such a step, that we would falter financially and my family would suffer. CARM's income has been increasing steadily as donors, contributors, and sales of the notebooks are steadily increasing. I would love to do this full-time. As my wife says, "Matt, you are made for this." So, please pray that the Lord's will would be done and pray that I can go full-time. Also, if you feel so lead to support this ministry financially, please prayerfully consider it. If you do want to help out, please see the bottom of this newsletter.
ONLINE SCHOOL: The online school for CARM is almost ready. I am hoping to have it released next week. If you want to see a demo, please go to www.carm.org/demo/equip.htm. It will be tuition based. $50. The goal is to both educate the body of Christ as well as help provide funding for CARM going full time. At the time of its release, if you want to go through it and cannot afford it, then email me requesting a free signup and I will set you up for free, no questions asked. Remember, everything on CARM is free. Eight years of writing and 24 years of research have gone into it. So, I am hoping that people will not be upset with an online, tuition based, endeavor are Christians can go systematically through Christian teaching. It will help support CARM and move me that much closer to full time status.
CARM CONVENTION: The Next CARM convention is planned for May 22, in Redlands California at The River Christian Reformed Church. We hope to arrange a debate for Friday night and then follow up on Saturday with a full day of speakers. For more information on the conference please see, CARM Conference 2004. Pre-registration is available.
Christ: Christ is a title. It is the N.T. equivalent of the O.T. term "messiah" and means "anointed one." It is applied to Jesus as the anointed one who delivers from sin. Jesus alone is the Christ. As the Christ He has three offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. As Prophet He is the mouthpiece of God (Matt. 5:27-28) and represents God to man. As Priest He represents man to God and restores fellowship between them by offering Himself as the sacrifice that removed the sin of those saved. As King He rules over His kingdom. By virtue of Christ creating all things (John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17), He has the right to rule.
Death is like a rude visitor. It sometimes arrives unannounced. Other times, we see it coming. It does not care about our feelings. It takes no concern for the inconvenience it brings. It wants only to be served and to be answered. It takes who it wants and all we can do is sit helplessly by as it stomps through our lives making a mess of our emotions, wreaking havoc with those who are left to pick up the pieces. Death brings discomfort and inconvenience. It injures our hearts, robs us of joy, and takes from us our loved ones.
Death comes for whom it will and we cannot escape its touch. It will come for us all one day and with its grip we will be dragged from this life into the next. We will pass through the veil when death's sleep awakens and we too awaken -- on the other side. For those of us who are in Christ, when death comes we will dwell in the very presence of God and live in eternal grace. But for those who do not know Christ, their death will bring agonizing, eternal fire. These are the realities that death introduces to those who are captured by it.
Our mortality becomes all the more evident when a loved one dies. We are reminded of the failings of our own bodies when we look at the frail and empty shell of the one we have loved. We are reminded of where we are headed. We see the horizon as it approaches. Sometimes we look away. Other times we stare out into the distance wondering when and how it will come. We wait. We know it will come because we sense its work on our bodies as they slowly succumb to its touch. We ache, slow down, get sick, and endure the frame that imprisons us.
Yet, as rude as death can be, for some it is a welcome release from sickness and pain. For those who have been captured by suffering and have been forced to endure its torture, death can be a welcomed deliverance. But, of course, death is only welcome when we know that the ones we love know Christ as Savior. Even great suffering in this world is nothing compared to the eternal judgment that will fall like a hammer upon all who are not in Christ in the next world.
Death will visit us all. Where will it take you? Are you secure in Christ? Have you confessed Him as Savior and trusted in Him alone for the forgiveness of your sins? Have you gone to Him and found rest and peace in Him so that when death visits you, it will bring you to Him?
Now is the time of salvation. Death comes later.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," (Rom. 6:23).
"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection," (NASB).
If you think CARM is a worthwhile ministry, please seriously consider supporting it financially and prayerfully as we move closer to full time status. CARM is a ministry to the Internet that affects thousands of people in the real world. If you want to be a part of supporting this missionary work that please prayerfully consider donations. All donations are tax deductible. (If the buttons below did not work, please go to http://www.CARM.org/goods/donations.htm). If you do contribute, could you please email me at [email protected] and let me know? Thanks and God bless.
Rev. Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet. Equipping the church to defend the faith in a secular society.
To view past newsletters, please go to http://www.carmhim.org/newsletters_2004.htm.