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Category Archives: death

Several Quotes from R.C. Sproul (d. 2017) on DEATH

The Pittsburgh native attended Westminster College for its football program—not its Presbyterian affiliation. But he ended up coming to faith early in his college career through the team’s captain. He shared his testimony with CT in 2002, saying:

[The football captain] quoted Ecclesiastes 11:3: “Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie.” I just feel certain I’m the only person in church history that was converted by that verse. God just took that verse and struck my soul with it. I saw myself as a log that was rotting in the woods. And I was going nowhere.  When I left that guy’s table I went up to my room. And into my room by myself, in the dark, and got on my knees and cried out to God to forgive me.

The author of Chosen By God, The Holiness of God, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, and many other books, Sproul wrote about passing away for Tabletalk magazine in 2011, exploring the gain for a believer to die and be with Christ.

“When we close our eyes in death, we do not cease to be alive; rather, we experience a continuation of personal consciousness. No person is more conscious, more aware, and more alert than when he passes through the veil from this world into the next,” he wrote, six years before passing away in a suburban Orlando hospital.

“Far from falling asleep, we are awakened to glory in all of its significance. For the believer, death does not have the last word. Death has surrendered to the conquering power of the One who was resurrected as the firstborn of many brethren.”

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2018 in death

 

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The Grim Reaper — and Appliances?!?!? (a great commercial)

I think the following commercial is well-done (although there seems to be a lot of online complaints about this company). I cracked up at the line “but I do spin class” (which my wife Linda does)! Your comments?

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2018 in death

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 12

Why doesn’t the Lord always answer our prayers the way we want Him to? Could it be that He is wiser and His plans, often unseen and misunderstood by us, are far more critical than our relief or the resolution of our trial?

There is no doubt that Jesus purposely allowed His friend Lazarus to die. He did not come to His friend’s aid when He was summoned nor did He speak or think his friend’s healing into existence. He let him die.

When He arrived in Bethany, there was no doubt that Lazarus was dead. He had been in the tomb for four days. Let’s look over our section of this story one more time …

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Sometimes our greatest struggle with the Lord is not with what He does but with what He doesn’t do. And Martha doesn’t understand why Jesus wouldn’t drop everything and sprint the two miles to Bethany to rescue His friend.

Martha’s heart was stuck in the now. And Jesus seems to direct her attention to “the resurrection at the last day” (v. 24). But Martha did not realize she was speaking to “the resurrection and the life” (v. 25)! Rather than being a future event, the resurrection and the life is a Person, the Lord Jesus!

Far more is involved here than one man’s death. We read that Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (vv. 25-27).

Belief in Jesus is more vital than escape from physical death.  And the Lord who has the power over physical death sometimes uses the fact of physical death to save one from eternal death.  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2017 in death

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 10

In our next section, we learn a lot from the metrics of the situation. Let’s look at our passage . . .

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

We learn that Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem. So distance was not a problem. Jesus was not geographically prevented from walking to His friend’s bed of sickness and intervening. Walking two miles would take less than half an hour.  Rushing or running to the scene would have taken much less!

We also learn about time. When He arrived, Jesus learned that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days! Four days. Four days of mourning. Four days of thinking, “If only the Lord had come . . .”

The sisters loved their brother and don’t understand why Jesus did not rush to their aid. Martha goes out to meet the Lord and says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (v. 21).

She was certain that Jesus’ physical presence would have averted this tragedy, this ultimate disaster humans experience — death. She was right — and she was wrong. (to be continued)

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2017 in death

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 9

A friend has died. A beloved friend has been allowed to die by the Lord of glory. Now He decides it is time to go and “wake him up.” Let’s look at these verses one more time …

6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Emotionally, this passage is rich, for we see what made Jesus “glad.” He says to His disciples, “for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” (v. 15). At whatever cost to us, and at whatever cost to Him, Jesus makes decisions that are intended to lead us into a deeper faith. (Later we will see Jesus’ sadness shown as He stands at Lazarus’ tomb).

The disciple Thomas (not the betrayer) instructs the other disciples about this suicide mission: “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (v. 16). It seems obvious what Thomas thought would happen. Maybe Lazarus will get resurrected, but Jesus and His followers will get executed!  But life, not death, is on Jesus’ agenda today, as the disciples will soon see.  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in death

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 49)

Psalm 49

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 6.29.36 AM

Hear this, all you peoples;
    listen, all who live in this world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb;
    with the harp I will expound my riddle:

Why should I fear when evil days come,
    when wicked deceivers surround me—
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of their great riches?
No one can redeem the life of another
    or give to God a ransom for them—
the ransom for a life is costly,
    no payment is ever enough—
so that they should live on forever
    and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,
    that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
    leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever,
    their dwellings for endless generations,
    though they had named lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
    they are like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
    and of their followers, who approve their sayings.
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
    death will be their shepherd
    (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
    far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
    he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
    when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
    their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
    and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
    who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
    are like the beasts that perish.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2016 in death

 

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Fascinating Commercial: Dumb Ways to Die!

I can think of an even dumber way to die — without Jesus!

The late writer Robertson Davies once said, “O God, don’t let me die stupid!”

Jesus said “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins!” (John 8).

Your thoughts?

 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in death

 

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A THEOLOGY OF RISK (Part 3)

Several years ago I was enjoying a semester’s sabbatical, a time the university gave me to do research and ministry, with no teaching responsibilities.  I had a number of writing projects I was working on, as well as an increasingly long “honey-do” list from my wife Linda.

I remember that morning as clear as a bell.  Linda woke up at about 5 am and went into the sunroom to have her devotions.  I got up at 5:30 am to do the same.  “Honey, have you seen my CIU laptop?”, I asked her.  “No, didn’t you leave it in the living room last night?”, she replied.  I looked in the living room and my stomach fell.  “Where’s MY laptop?”, Linda asked.  She then came into the kitchen and immediately saw that her pocketbook had been ransacked and all her credit cards were missing.  We also noticed that a small digital camera had vanished from our living room coffee table.  “We’ve been robbed!”, I said.

Between 11 pm that last night and 5 am that early morning, thieves came in our back patio door which we had left unlocked for friends a few days previous.  They had stolen both our laptops, Linda’s credit cards, and that small camera.  They were only 10 feet away from our open bedroom door.  Linda is a light sleeper and didn’t wake up.  I’m glad I didn’t wake up, because I would have probably stumbled out of bed, confronted the thieves, and gotten myself — and maybe my wife — killed!   The police never found the home invaders; we never got our stuff back.  I guess they considered it “worth the risk” to enter a home where they knew the couple was sleeping.

People take risks all the time.  There are foolish risks (like living your life without a faith relationship with Jesus Christ), but there are also godly risks (like giving one’s life for another).  We read in the book of Acts that the early Christians were “Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 15:26).

In our comfort-addicted, risk-averse culture, are we “hazarding” our lives for the sake of the Good News about Jesus Christ?  As pastor Steve Brown says, “When I witness, I’m afraid of what people will think of me, and of what people will think of Jesus.  But mostly I’m afraid of what people will think of me.”

My student (whose paper I hope to publish on this blog shortly) directed our attention to the music video by Tim McGraw entitled “Live Like You Were Dyin’.”  Please take the time to watch that video and comment on our topic.

Questions:

1.  Are you and I in any way, shape, or fashion “hazarding” our lives for the sake of the gospel? Why or why not?

2.  What should you do differently today if you bought into the idea of living a risky life for Jesus Christ?

 
 

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