“But I would not have you to be ignorant (unaware) brethren, concerning them which are asleep (have passed away) that we sorrow NOT, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, EVEN SO THEM ALSO WHICH SLEEP (have died) IN JESUS WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM.
For this we say unto you BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, that they which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep (the living will NOT make it to heaven before the dead in Christ).
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.
THEN WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS, TO MEET CHRIST IN THE AIR;
AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD. WHEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
No sorrow on earth can rival the agony that the death of a loved one.
Since the fall of Adam which brought the curse of death upon all mankind, it has been our worst fear and greatest enemy.
Psalm 23:4: ” Yea, though I walk THROUGH the shadow of the valley of death….”
This earth, this life, this place IS the valley of the shadow of death.
Death ever looming, its shadow trying to obstruct us from the light, ever stalking, ever to be feared, though God does not want that.
Death at any age is tragedy.
Losing a mother or father at eighty years old is just as a devastating loss as it is for the person who lost a parent that had been in the prime of life.
We love our parents, we are formed from them and taught by them, and even people who have had “bad” parents still suffer the hurt at the loss of that parent because the parent/child bond is inseverable.
Just as many parents have stated during troubling times with their grown children, “You ALWAYS love your children.”
And in turn people stating that even though their parents were not good parents “They are still (my) parents” ( I put that in quotes because I am using examples, I am NOT referring to my own parents, whom I love dearly).
So the loss is tragic no matter the age, for us it is much harder to see children lose a parent but still, even a sixty year old losing a Mom or Dad IS still at that moment a child in their grief.
A loss of a sibling comes with its own agony, as I understand very well.
A brother or sister is a friend, a playmate, a companion, a person you can laugh with, be scared, with, and most of all be yourself with, they are made of you and you are made of them, same blood, same DNA, a competitiveness that will sometimes fight one another but a love and bond that would fight someone else over them, and once you have lost them, everything thing your life had been up to that loss will never be the same.
I had been planning on doing this several weeks ago but hadn’t quite made it, So today as I write this it is my brother’s sixth anniversary with Jesus and you can read that story at the link below.
I wrote it not only as a memorial and to deal with my own pain but I felt like my family’s story could help someone else get through times of absolute heartache, and trying to hold onto God in faith as we were having to let go of him.
When I think of grief and think of how much others have suffered through loss, I always think of the story the slaughter of the male babies when Herod had sent his soldiers out in an attempt to kill Jesus as a baby.
Herod ordered the slaughter of EVERY male child under the age of two and here is the scripture that sums it up:
Matthew 2:17,18: “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy (Jeremiah) the prophet, saying,
IN RAMA WAS THERE A VOICE HEARD, LAMENTATION,(wails of sorrow and mourning) AND WEEPING, AND GREAT MOURNING,
RACHEL (symbolic of the entire city) WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN, AND WOULD NOT BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT.”
I can not even fathom the horror of that loss and that verse that she would not be comforted means she could not. I still can not bear that story because I can not imagine the slaughter of all these babies or the anguish that these mothers suffered.
And again, your child is your child and as we do view it much worse to lose a little child, still to another that has lost her son in his prime it is just as devastating because again, to her that child will always be her child.
We believe and have faith and we struggle with how and why, when we suffer loss and I will absolutely admit that more than once I reminded the Lord that I loved my brother just as much as Mary and Martha loved Lazarus.
But the resurrection of Lazarus was to show the glory of God and God spared my brother’s life when he coded and allowed him more time to be saved and accept salvation.
And imagine Mary as she watched her son beaten beyond recognition, bloody, hurting, and staggering under the weight of that cross, and being there when they nailed him to that cross and having heard the screams of the people, “Crucify him” and THIS was HER BABY.
Thirty three years old and even God, but for Mary at that cross, THIS WAS HER BABY and it fulfilled the prophecy that she had been given, Luke 2:35: “(Yea, a sword shall PIERCE thy own soul also) ..”
And as that spear pierced through his side into his heart, the piercing of her soul would have been unbearable had all of heaven itself not strengthened her.
Death does pierce our souls and the are no words that will ever take that hurt away but there is comfort through the Word of God.
You must also be careful of this world, there are those who prey on the bereaved. Proclaiming themselves as “mediums” and “psychics” and for fee and the risk of one’s soul if trapped by their deception.
They pretend to speak to loved ones and some through WITCHCRAFT and divination (read Acts:16:16-19 for ONE example, there are many others) they offer to “communicate” with the deceased, but this is a lie.
It is lie from satan and they are communicating with demonic forces and they can tell you all that you WANT to hear but it is not true and it is not from God.
Others worry and seek an alternative way to heaven, seeking comfort about the eternal fate of that loved one whose salvation they are unsure of, seeking hope, hope from a hopeless source.
Touching that subject I want to say this, find your peace in Jesus Christ and this does require you to be saved.
I want to be careful how I say this, because when God calls we must answer and I never want to encourage anyone to wait until they are on their deathbed to ask for forgiveness.
BUT I personally believe that unless a person has just absolutely turned on God and been turned from God, that in those last moments of life, He does give them a final opportunity to accept him, because He is very merciful and as the Bible says “it is NOT his will that ANY should perish” but they are required to accept him but I do believe He asks, and “Whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”
And of course the classic, the thief on the cross, TO DAY, that VERY day in paradise with the Lord and Jesus saved him then and there and this man did not have time to do anything other than ask for forgiveness and as we know as Jesus promised him, that he IS with Jesus FOREVER,
So what I want to do is give some verses that I hope will be of comfort and blessed assurance, because death is a part of life and it will never be any easier but it IS NOT forever. It IS NOT the end and I will start it with my favorite,
2 Corinthians 5:8:” We ARE confident, I say, and willing rather TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY, AND TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD.”
And as the Lord was telling what happened when Lazarus died:
Luke 16:22: “And it came to pass, that , that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man died, and was buried.”
One died and was carried by the very angels of heaven and the other died and was simply buried later to open his eyes in hell. But that is not what this one is about but I couldn’t leave that alone because of false teachings that the grave is hell.
Psalm 116:15: “PRECIOUS in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
Jesus takes the pain out of the crossing and He takes control over the grave and it has no more power and those who have died in Him, do LIVE and will LIVE FOREVER.
1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
Jesus said, Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” Which takes us to:
Revelation 21:4: “And God shall wipe away ALL tears from their eyes, and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN; for the former things are passed away.”
And let’s take a look at one more that Solomon had written, he had been so blessed, then he fell off the boat by worshipping false God’s with his pagan wives, but then HE RETURNED to God and held the most inspired of the wisdom he had been given from God.
As he reflected on his life and the years he had wasted and all the years he could not bring back, as he knew death would someday come because it comes to us all. Not because God doesn’t love us, God loves us very much, but God knows the number of our days on this earth before we even arrive here.
This IS not our home, This IS NOT the end.
This IS only for a little while and then we will LIVE again.
All this is about death, it is poetic and it is deep, it is beautifully written and it has what we all need, HOPE.
Ecclesiastes 12: 1-7: “Remember now thy Creator, in thy days of thy youth ( think about God while you are young), while the evil days come not, NOR the years draw nigh (aging sets in), when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be NOT darkened, NOR the clouds return after the rain.
In the days when the keeper of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look out of the windows be darkened.
And the doors shall shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and DESIRE (will to do anything) SHALL FAIL; BECAUSE MAN GOETH TO HIS LONG (eternal) HOME, AND THE MOURNERS GO ABOUT THE STREETS;
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. (Descriptive of different ages and seasons people die) THEN SHALL THE DUST RETURN TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS: AND THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT.”
Death comes at many times, many seasons, and in many ways BUT we all suffer the effects the same but we have eternal hope in knowing this that even though those that are gone on can not come, we can go be with them.
King David had fathered a baby with Bathsheba, and he had fasted and prayed WHILE the baby was still alive, and this was backward to what people did in those days and when asked why, this is his answer, PLEASE think about what he is saying:
2 Samuel 12:22,23: ” And he said, WHILE THE CHILD WAS YET ALIVE, I FASTED AND WEPT; for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
But now he is dead, wherefore (why) should I fast? CAN I BRING HIM BACK AGAIN? I SHALL GO TO HIM, BUT HE SHALL NOT COME BACK TO ME.”
David knew that he would certainly be with his child.
And that is what we must remember and even if you do not know the state of your loved one’s soul when they passed, please, again don’t let the enemy lie to you.
God is a merciful and just God and you don’t even think anything else. Keep your eyes on heaven and on the hope eternal as our starting scripture stated, the souls which are with Jesus will be reunited with resurrected glorified bodies (and yes, he can make them again if needed) and together with those alive, gathered from earth, will meet in the air and it will be FOR EVER.
Please have peace and comfort in that and as you seek God, He will give you peace and He will give you comfort, and often He gives us answers and THESE are the words, HIS WORD that we will find that comfort in.
Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2017 REVISITED 09/19/2021
Thanks for reading Φλογιζω! For posts dealing with a multitude of subjects please check out the side menu on desktop or on a mobile device, please click any post title and once it opens scroll to bottom of screen for links to other options. If you have been encouraged please considering sharing post via any option below. God Bless you! Rev. Nina Brown Johnson