A Time To Be Born and a Time To Die
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (I Timothy 4:6,7)
Let us think for a moment about the attitude with which every man and woman who is serving Christ should face physical death. It is unscriptural and unreasonable for someone who belongs to Christ to cringe in fear of physical death or to be unwilling to let go of a saved relative or friend when the Lord is making it clear that it is time for that person to come home.
A different viewpoint of life and death is that each of us has a specific work to accomplish. When our work has been accomplished to the Lord's satisfaction we are permitted—not forced—to walk hand in hand with Jesus out of the prison of the flesh. We have finished the work Christ has given us to perform in the valley of sin and death, the battlefield of demonic opposition, perversity, and wicked people. Our probationary period is over. It is time for our release from the prison of the flesh. Now we are ready to come home.
The death of a saint is precious in the sight of Christ. He makes no mistakes concerning the time ordained for each of His holy ones to lay down his cross and go to be with Him in Glory.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (John 17:4)
"I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."
To one of God's conquering saints, the above sentence is among the most inspiring statements of all Scripture; for this is the attitude with which Christian people should face physical death.
There are two important concepts here—concepts that bear directly on each of God's elect: one, every saint without exception has been assigned a specific task to accomplish during his or her pilgrimage on the earth; and two, it is possible to complete this task and to pass over to the other shore with the glorious satisfaction that we have accomplished our appointed task.
We cannot imagine a more marvelous hope than that of hearing the Lord Jesus tell us we have diligently and successfully completed our assigned task and now can pass over joyfully into the Presence of Christ, there to await with all saints the Day of Resurrection.
Truly, the nourishing "meat" that strengthens us to keep moving forward is to do Christ's will and to finish that part of the work of the Kingdom given us to accomplish during our lifetime on the earth.
To be continued.