A Time To Be Born and a Time To Die, #3

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And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. (Mark 5:39)

Let us think for a moment about the attitude with which every man and woman, boy and girl, who is serving Christ should face physical death. Christ Himself is our Example, as we study His prayer in John, Chapter 17. If we are a fleshly believer, if we view the great purposes of our life on earth as eating, working, sleeping, playing, and reproducing, then physical death is, of course, a tragedy. We no longer are able to eat, work, sleep, play, or reproduce. Our "life" has come to an end. Our loved ones will mourn in anguish over us. Medical science will attempt to restore the beating of our heart.

The ultimate evil has befallen us: we have died!

We can, if we wish, fearfully clutch our pitiful existence on this dark planet. We can battle our way along through the valley of the shadow of death, filled with dread that either we or one of our loved ones will be called home to the Presence of the Lord.

It is not wise for us to grasp in desperation our present evil existence to the point that God has to tear us away from it, or deal with us until we are willing to let go of some person dear to us whom Christ is ready to bring to a higher plane of living.

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 it is time for that person (whether elder or child) to come home.

Heaven is a land of beautiful residences and parks (the visionaries inform us), the place where God, Jesus, the elect angels, and our loved ones rejoice continually. Are we afraid to send a husband, wife, son, daughter, father, mother, or good friend to Paradise?

There is an altogether different viewpoint of life and death that Jesus is portraying in this chapter of John. It is the concept 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 period of testing is over. The darkness has been driven from our personality. 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 us to lay down his cross and go to be with Him in glory.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members [all the days of my life] were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalms 139:16)

The one thought that mars our joy is the grief our homecoming will bring to our loved ones on the earth. We shall find later on in Chapter 17 that Jesus was concerned about those disciples whom He had kept so diligently and now had to leave for a season.

We must realize that if we stay past our appointed time, the plan of God for our loved ones, their unique destinies, will be hindered. We must trust the Lord Jesus that He will keep through His own name those beloved family members so no harm will befall them.

While we were on earth the Lord enabled us to protect and provide for our family. It was always the Lord who provided the watchful care, not us. Can we doubt that His watchful care will continue now that our family has a greater need than before? Would it be like Him whose name is Faithful to abandon our family when we die?

Therefore we can walk onward hand in hand with our Lord Jesus having confidence that if we obey His will, our loved ones will be brought to maturity according to the loving plan of the Father for them. Also, their every need will be supplied.

To be continued.