(Friends: during this series, the messages may frequently be longer than usual due to the subject matter. Thanks for your patience, and I think you will find the considerations interesting, and hopefully, helpful in our walk with the Lord. Glen)
Part 28 – “How Well We Lived”
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ concern ourselves not with the quantity of our earthly lifespan, but with its quality.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
The atoning death and victorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus provided both confirmation and fulfillment of His seemingly enigmatic pronouncement concerning those who trust Him:
“Whosoever liveth and believeth on Me shall never die” (John 11:26).
Upon receiving Christ’s salvation by faith, the spirits of born again believers spring to life through the entrance of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This innermost essence of our personhood will never die, even as the Apostle Paul taught that Christians are as eternally alive as is our Lord:
“Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:9-11).
Through the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, a timeless Heavenly Father births timeless sons and daughters. As is the case with God, there is no “When?” in our redeemed spirits. Therein, we progress toward change, and ultimate glorification. However, we do not face the prospect of death. Thus, we are delivered from fear regarding our worst enemy.
Somewhere in this moment, believers are breathing their last earthly breath. While we pray for the comfort of loved ones left behind, do we for even a moment mourn the passage of the Christian into the direct presence of God? “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” declared the Apostle Paul (II Corinthians 5:8). Indeed, the most beautiful mansion of earth becomes a squalid hovel in our perspective when compared with the glory of Heaven, and even more, of Heaven’s sublime King. As a dear friend once told Frances, when hearing of her father’s passing: “I understand your dad moved to a better neighborhood!”
No “When?” in God, and no “When?” in the Christ-quickened spirits of born again believers – such blessed truth provides the basis of fearlessness regarding our passage from this present life. Moreover, our Lord delivers us from the focus on long earthly life that distracts from the far more important issue of a godly earthly life. Very soon for all of us, it will not matter how long we lived on the earth. But it will greatly matter how well we lived. Remembering and affirming the truth of our timelessness in Christ enables us to seek the quality of life whereby we truly live both now and forevermore.
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
(I Corinthians 15:54-55)