“…those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” (1 Th. 4:14 NASB)
How are we to react when one of our loved ones dies in the Lord? Some Christians fall apart emotionally.
Others, while sorrowful, are able to bear up heroically. It depends on how deep our roots are in God and
how fully we appropriate the great truths of our faith.
First of all, we should view the death from the Savior’s standpoint. It is an answer to His prayer in John 17:
24, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold
my glory…” When our loved ones go to be with Him, He sees of the travail of His soul and is satisfied (Isa.
53:11). “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psa. 116:15).
Then we should appreciate what it means to the one who has died. He has been ushered in to see the King
in His beauty. He is forever free from sin, sickness, suffering and sorrow. He has been taken away from
the evil to come (Isa. 57:1). “Nothing compares with the homegoing of a saint of God…to go home, to
leave these old clods of clay, to be loosed from the bondage of the material-welcomed by the innumerable
company of angels.” Bishop Ryle wrote, “The very moment that believers die, they are in paradise. Their
battle is fought. Their strife is over. They have passed through that gloomy valley we must one day tread.
They have gone over that dark river we must one day cross. They have drunk that last bitter cup which sin
has mingled for man. They have reached that place where sorrow and sighing are no more. Surely we
should not wish them back again! We should not weep for them but for ourselves.” Faith appropriates this
truth and is enabled to stand firm like a tree planted by rivers of water.
For us the death of a loved one always involves sadness. But we sorrow not as others who have no hope
(1 Th. 4:13). We know that our loved one is with Christ, which is far better. We know that the separation is
only for a little while. Then we will be reunited on the hillsides of Immanuel’s land, and will know each other
under better circumstances than we have ever known down here. We look forward to the Lord’s coming
when the dead in Christ shall rise first, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Th. 4:16, 17). This hope
makes all the difference.
And so the consolations of God are not too small for us (Job 15:11). Our sorrow is mingled with joy, and
our sense of loss is more than compensated by the promise of eternal blessing.
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Grace Bible Chapel of Springfield, Illinois
|JUNE 2, 2013
|JUNE 9, 2013
|JUNE 16, 2013
|JUNE 23, 2013
|JUNE 30, 2013
We join believers around the world in mourning
the passing of our friend William MacDonald, who
gave much appreciated help in the early days of
Grace Bible Chapel. (Below is a meditation
written, by Mr. MacDonald.)
Philip Dossett will be the Speaker at our 11 A.M.
Family Bible Hour on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Phil and
his wife Anne are the parents of four grown children.
Their son Mark and his wife Karen served as
missionaries in Vienna, Austria for many years. Phil
serves as an elder and Sunday school teacher of one
of our adult elective classes. He and Anne have
fellowshipped at Grace Bible Chapel since the mid