Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY DEC. 2, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he had heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.’ The nobleman said to Him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your son lives.’ So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.”

“And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, ‘Your son lives!’ Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.’ So the father knew that it was the same hour in which Jesus said to him, ‘Your son lives.’ And he himself believed, and his whole household. This again is the second sign Jesus did when He came out of Judea into Galilee.” John 4.46-54

Something To Consider:
Jesus said to the nobleman, “Your son lives.” The one you have lovingly brought into this world lives. The one you have cherished and cared for all these years lives. And yet, many sons and daughters have died instead of being allowed to live, even after concerned and caring mothers and fathers have implored God in prayer to touch and heal their loved ones.

Later in John chapter 8, Jesus will declare in verse 51; “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word he [or she] shall never see death.” Jesus followed up in the very next verse with these words, “If anyone keeps My Word he [or she] shall never taste death.” The key here according to Jesus is the keeping, obeying, or observing all the words of Jesus, which would include all of the Word of God.

The apostle Paul addressing the assurance of the resurrection from the dead for true enduring to the end believers in Jesus, proclaimed in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, beginning in verse 1; “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent [our body], is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house [a new body] not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation [dwelling] which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked [ashamed]. For we who are in this tent [temporary physical body] groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.”

Paul continued in verse 5 of 2 Corinthians chapter 5, by further stating, “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee [earnest down payment of our promised salvation]. So we [enduring to the end saints] are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body [in death] and to be present with the Lord.” We are to learn these difficult lessons of a lifetime if we are to point others and ourselves to the hope and promise of eternal life, even in the midst of death.

Something Else To Consider:
One man, one head of a household heard these words, “Your son lives.” He then believed and his whole household also believed. His entire household, his immediate family members, possibly his extended family, and his servants who were of his household, all came to faith in Christ and believed. Now the whole household spiritually lives eternally because one father heard the words of Jesus and believed. This is not the only instance recorded in the New Testament of a whole family coming to faith in Christ because one person was in the place of hearing the life giving and life changing words of Jesus. Faith truly comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

Let us for a moment look at the other perspective of, “Your son lives.” And yet, many sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and so on, do die! The fact is that death is undeniable, all die. Hebrews 9.27 reminds us, “And it is appointed for men [women, and young people of all ages] to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Scripture does not deny the truth that all do die, but those who die in Christ, those who die believing in Jesus while keeping His Word, die forgiven of their sins and are granted eternal life and salvation. And isn’t that exactly what we are looking forward to as true believers in Jesus?

Yes, this nobleman’s son lived, but he eventually at his divinely appointed time died. The important lesson to learn is that the nobleman, his son, his family, his servants, his whole household believed. Therefore death, for this household was a closing of earthly eyes to this world of sometimes cruelty and corruption and an opening of incorruptible eyes to all the many splendors of eternal life. Can we say the same concerning our household, our extended family, and those closest to us? And if not why not?

We shall all experience the death of these earthly bodies that Paul called tents unless we experience the end time gathering of the saints, also referred to as the elect by Jesus and Paul. Therefore, there is only two ways to leave this earth, through the portal of death, or by way of being gathered together at the divinely appointed end time! Death therefore is a part of life. But death to the present tense believer in Jesus, the enduring to the end sinner saved by grace, is merely an exit from this short and sometimes difficult life into eternal life and into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ forever!

Something More To Consider:
According to Jesus, the person who keeps, obeys, and observes all the words and teachings of Jesus shall not see and shall not taste death! For to be absent from this body for the believer is to be present with the Lord. And for those who are alive at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, he or she will in a moment of time, in the twinkling of an eye according to the apostle Paul, we shall be caught up to forever be with the Lord.

But it is the timing of that gathering of all true dead and alive believers in Jesus that is critical to our understanding. If we are clinging to a pre-tribulation rapture false teaching we will be taken totally by surprise when certain end time events take place and we find ourselves still here upon planet earth during the tribulation.

According to Jesus in Matthew 24.29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days [after certain other end time events] the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then [not before the tribulation] the sign of the Son of Man [Jesus] will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes [whole households] will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man [Jesus] coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He [Jesus] will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they [the angels] will gather together His elect [true enduring to the end believers in Jesus] from the four winds [four corners of the earth], from one end of heaven to the other [those who have died believing in Jesus].”

A Few Final Words:
What will be the end result in our case and in our family? Has our believing in Jesus made any difference in the lives of our immediate family, our extended family, our co-workers, and the on looking world of unbelievers? The apostle Paul acknowledged in 2 Corinthians 2.9, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man [woman or young person] the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But the key is, “…which God has prepared for those who love Him.” In other words, do we love God the Father? Do we love Jesus His Son? According to Jesus, if we love Him, we will keep His Word. If we love Jesus, we will eagerly be waiting for His second coming. If we truly love the Lord, we will be attempting to observe all things that Jesus taught. Is this true of us, and if not, why not?

Death is feared by most and takes many totally by complete surprise. Therefore, faith filled leaders and leaders in training with 20/20 foresight, prepare themselves and others well in advance of their exit from planet earth. Are you prepared for your departure from this planet in death or by way of Jesus’ second coming? When He comes, will we see death? Will we taste death or will we simply close our eyes in this life and open them again in eternity? These are extremely important questions to consider!

Our Father in heaven, open the eyes, ears, and hearts of our households to the words of Jesus that we might believe and receive new life. In Him Always, Amen!

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