For those who trust in the Risen Savior, death to this world is just a way to open a door into eternal paradise. When one believes and has faith in God’s one true Son, farewell to this world is a welcome sweet sorrow. Although we will have to wait, that wait will be but a twinkling of an eye. 1 Corinthians 15:52-54, “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” For Jesus Christ paid the ransom for our sin, paving the way to our salvation. No matter how far short of the glory of God we fall, by faith, our Father will still welcome us into His kingdom. So, in that twinkling of an eye, when all are raised in that glorious day of judgment, we will be raised to new life, new bodies, and a new world, living in peace and harmony, eternally with our Lord and Savior.
My father in law passed away to this life this week and was born to new life with Jesus on August 23rd after a long struggle with diabetes. This is not a time for sorrow or mourning, but joy. Because Fred was right with his Lord and Savior. He believed in God’s one true Son. He believed that Jesus took all of his sins and willingly accepted the punishment that he deserved, so that when he leaves this life, he will be welcomed into his Father’s eternal kingdom. John 3:16-21, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
Fred lived a full life out in the light, as a child of God. Although his struggles with diabetes robbed him of his legs and eventually caused his life on earth to end at age 82, we can truly say that he is in a better place, free from the pain and suffering of this life. My wife said he is now dancing with Jesus, since he will be made whole again in God’s eternal kingdom. This is the promise made to all who choose to believe in the Resurrected Christ. And yes, even though God offers His grace to all and Jesus died to save all of God’s children, we must have faith. Even though many “mainstream” churches, such as the ELCA, tacitly accept that grace is offered without the condition of faith, Christ own words reveal that such a teaching is in obvious error. Without the need for faith, Jesus’ death becomes meaningless. Galatians 3:24-27, “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
God’s grace is there for all of His children. Believe in Him who God sent to save the world and paradise awaits at the end of this life. For this world is only a short audition for the true life, eternal life with our Father. To truly believe is to truly love our Lord and Savior. To truly love our Lord and Savior means to please Him in all we do and to give Him all the glory. To truly please Him means denying ourselves and giving ourselves to Him, obeying all of His teachings. It is not What Would Jesus Do, it is What Would Jesus Want Me To Do! Live for the Lord and proclaim His glory in everything you do. Do not pass up any opportunity that the Lord places before you to do His will and to show His love through you. Thanks be to God who gave us life and offers us salvation!