I’m so glad for born again! I’m so glad to live with great expectation! I’m so glad for God’s great mercy! I’m so glad Jesus was raised from the dead that we might have eternal life as well! I’m so glad!
Last night, my sister called because her father-in-law, John Whitaker, had just passed away. I asked how everyone was doing and she said it was amazingly peaceful in the house. He died at home, so they were still waiting for the body to be taken. But her mother-in-law and her husband and his siblings were all doing just fine. And my sister said to me, “It is so different when a Believer dies. We know he is not in pain anymore, we know he is with God, and we know we will see him again.” How could these truths produce anything but an amazingly peaceful, hopeful atmosphere even during the saddest of days for a family. God is wonderful.
Pastor Chuck of Calvary Chapel also died last night and Pastor Greg Laurie posted this verse about it this morning.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
This is the result for life of a Believer... Even in death there is hope and fulfillment. Only God can do that. Only His Great Reward is what brings peace to the dying and the loved ones they leave behind.
2 Corinthians 5:1-9 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. 6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.
The life of the Believer is torn. We love being with our families, but we long to be with Jesus very much. (Philippians 1:21-23) Likewise, with death, we miss our dear ones so much, but can’t help but celebrate the fact that THEY ARE WITH JESUS!
We are sad when one’s earthly tent is taken down. But we also rejoice because of this Great Expectation for all who Believe in Jesus - we will join them! We are confident that our heavenly home and eternal bodies, made for us by God himself, await us. And there is wonderful comfort in that!
Thank you for John’s life touching so many people, showing them godliness, integrity, and hard work. Thank you for his son he discipled and raised to be the perfect husband for my sister. Thank you for their family and for their support and encouragement over the years. And I pray for their memories to be happy ones and for the comfort of Your Great Reward to continue to embrace them all today. I thank you for the models in my life who’ve fought the good fight and finished the race. And I thank you, most of all, for the fact that we will see them again. I love you and pray in your Son’s name, amen.