SHORT BIBLE LESSON - DEATH
Funerals are sober reminders of our own mortality. They have a way of quietly bring us face to face with the fact that one day we will die. Death is a patient and perpetual enemy that reduces all our arguments about life down to one truth: one day, we will die. But, for the Christian, this death is simply a step to the fullness of life in the presence of the Lord Jesus in Whom we have placed all of our hopes and confidence. We know that death is not the end and so at funerals, especially of those of believers, we have a future hope that we see our loved ones again. We are comforted by this and the pain is made more bearable.
But what about the non-Christian? For them, death will be an awakening. Right now, they are not aware that death's present sleep is allowing them to have a false sense of security. One day, for them, death will awaken and claim them and when it does, they too will awaken to the harsh reality that there is a pure and holy God who requires purity in His presence, a purity that they do not possess. For now, the lost fight against God by not submitting to Him. They are fleeing the truth of God's love and God's Son. But the sting of death will abruptly awaken them. Then they will see the spiritual reality and realize that they have lived a false dream without God all the while not worrying about what the future will bring. They will weep on that day when they no longer sleep.
The sleep now holds the lost, who walk
In dream of hope and foolish thought.
They wait the day of awakening,
By death, execution, the great happening.
They lived a dream, of hope, less God.
They lived and knew His history.
That day they'll see and so they'll weep,
That day when no longer they sleep.
Death is not the most pleasant subject. But it is an important one because death is the result of sin in the world and sin and death are all around us. Sin brought death. "The sting of death is sin..." (1 Cor. 15:56).
If you are not a believer in the true Jesus (God in flesh, John 1:1,14; risen from the dead, John 2:19-21), then you are now dead in your trespasses in sins (Eph. 2:1). The only way to escape the righteous judgment of God upon you is to receive Jesus (John 1:12), to call upon His name (Rom. 10:9-10), and to trust in Him alone for the forgiveness of your sins so that you might be made right before God (Rom. 5:1).
If you are a believer, then you already know what it means to be forgiven and to have the hope of the future resurrection in Christ. We look forward, with hope and joy, to that day when death will free us from our bonds of flesh so that we might forever dwell with the Lord. We are not asleep. We are alive and well in Christ and when He returns, or the rapture happens, or our bodies fail us, we will live with Him forever and ever.
To God be the glory.
I've finally received back the first prints of the new notebooks. I only have 1100 pages (gulp) to go through, edit, paginate, etc. It is a lot of work, but by God's grace, I'll get through it, soon.
I have recently released a new section on CARM dealing with Open Theism which is the teaching that God does not know all things, that people's free wills are paramount in God's concern, and that the very nature of the future is that it is non-existent and that God cannot know it. This is a dangerous teaching. Please check it out at www.carm.org/open.htm.
I am in the market for a projector that hooks up to laptops so that I can do presentations in Sunday School, seminars, churches, etc. If you know of a good one or know of a way for me to get a discount on one, please let me know. Also, since I do not have enough money to get one (approx. $2,000 - $2,500), I will ask for donations to get one once I have found the right one. If the Lord provides this way, great. If not, that is great, too.
Iraq or bust. I have been invited to go to Northern Iraq in Sept. of 2003 to participate in a conference of Christian churches. It is aimed at equipping the Christians there. It does not look like I will be able to go since my work coverage conflicts with the dates, but please pray that the Lord would open the door at the right time for me to go.
The burden to go full time is growing stronger and stronger in my heart. I am praying about this, talking to people about it, and contemplating ways to raise the funds to do this, including going to churches and present Power Point presentations (hence, a need for a projector), in order to raise the support. The goal is not to simply "get full time." The goal is to get full time, get a staff, and produce videos, tapes, and teaching manuals on apologetics that can be disturbed all over the world in various languages. I am very serious about it. This needs to be done since the cults are invading the areas where the Christians are breaking ground and stealing the sheep. Also, Islam is growing rapidly and we need good material that can be distributed. We also need to train and equip people in churches as defenders of the faith who can then, in turn, teach others to be powerful witnesses for Jesus. We have the resources here in America to fund CARM and a staff. So, please pray for this and please support CARM in any way you can to share in the impact it can have on people's lives.
If you want to volunteer to help CARM out you can contact us at [email protected]. You can also check out our help wanted page at http://www.carm.org/index/helpwanted.htm. If you have an idea that isn't listed, please let us know anyway. Diane will get back to you.
VERSE OF THE WEEK.
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me," (NASB).
If you think CARM is a worthwhile ministry, please seriously consider supporting it financially and prayerfully. The goal is to contribute to that which expands the kingdom of God. If you want to help CARM move towards full time status, please consider giving to this non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible. http://www.carm.org/goods/donations.htm.
Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet.
Equipping the church to defend the faith in a post modern world.