Called Home

September 17, 2019 at 11:43 AM 2 comments

As a Christian, whenever another Christian (family member or friend), goes Home to be with the Lord, it’s always bittersweet. While we rejoice in the fact that they are now with the Lord, in His Presence, and no longer having to deal with the sin nature that the Lord Himself removed from them, it is still sad for us because we continue in this world without them.

I’ve lost my father, my only sister, and my mother, in that order. There was a question as to whether or not my father was saved, but my mom spent a great deal of time with him as he lay dying in the hospital from stomach cancer. I was not present when he actually passed, but I had spent as much time with him as I could.

The day before he died, he was in a bit of a coma, though he would come in and out of it. My mother kept talking to him because generally, the last thing to go prior to death is a person’s hearing. So my mother again explained the plan of salvation and prayed with him, encouraging him to receive what the Lord had provided. She indicated that he at times, seemed coherent and even responded to her somewhat, indicating that he understood what she was telling him. Her belief at the time (and mine as well), is that he indeed did receive the salvation from our Lord prior to his death. Like the thief on the cross who was facing his own death in a matter of hours or days (and had it not been for the soldiers breaking his legs, he would have lingered for several days in agony), he received what was offered to him by Jesus Himself.

I know pastors who don’t put “much stock” in deathbed conversions, but in reality, that’s not ours to debate. It’s between the penitent and the Lord Himself and only He knows the truth of the situation. As long as people have breath, they can be saved.

But aside from these last moment conversions, there are a number of situations that are close to me (because of relatives or friends), that speak of just how some saints move from this life to eternity. It’s always interesting to hear of these things. While I realize that atheists and agnostics alike downplay the whole thing because they believe the brain can send out tons of synapses and cause people to hallucinate, etc. That can certainly happen but when you hear of or even witness a Christian speaking clearly and lucidly about what they say they are seeing or hearing at that moment, there’s a good reason to take them seriously, simply because we know what the Bible says about our moving from this life to the next and what eternity will be like for the believer (as well as for the unsaved person).

I recall in 1997, my sister’s father-in-law was literally on his deathbed, suffering from cancer. He was a Christian as were all the members of his immediate household. My sister had spent a good deal of time serving her father-in-law, as did his children and wife, trying to make him comfortable.

One day, they were gathered around him in his bedroom and while people were talking, praying and simply being with him, he suddenly looked up and announced, “They’re here for me. I have to go now.” I recall my sister telling me this and it still gives me goosebumps.

So, as he announced that, everyone of course, became very quiet and just watched and waited. The implication of what he said was that the angels were present and he could see them. They knew him by name and had come to escort him over the threshold of death to eternity (cf Luke 16:19 ff).

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. (Luke 16:22a)

In the above story about Lazarus (which is not a parable, but likely a true story related by Jesus), we note that angels carried/escorted the dead man to Abraham’s Bosom (a figurative way to describe the afterlife for the saved). Why do angels escort the saved dead? Most likely because this is Satan’s last opportunity to try to attack the Christian to keep him/her from gaining access to God’s Presence.

So my sister’s father-in-law had announced that “they” were there in the room with everyone. It seems clear that he saw them, while no one else could. This is also not unusual as we see this happening in many sections of Scripture where angelic messengers were seen by some but not others who were with them.

My sister’s father-in-law also heard them speak to him, but again, no one else in the room did. Shortly thereafter, he died, escorted to the heavenly realms. It’s what will happen to all believers whether we experience something like what my sister’s father-in-law experienced or not. We will all individually (or collectively when the Rapture occurs), be escorted to our “mansion” in the heavenly realms on day.

In another recent case, a good friend of ours experienced a similar situation with her mother. As you can see from the image, she told her story on a social network and it still sends goosebumps through me because it supports several things taught throughout Scripture.

As you read the story, the thing that comes to mind is that one day, we will all individually be “called” up to heaven. We may or may not hear a voice as this dear friend’s mother did. But when it is our time to go over that threshold of death, which leads for the Christian to life everlasting, we will ultimately see those who will escort us into our Lord’s Presence.

You know, there is so much about this life that is frail, superficial, and a waste of time. Too often, Christians get caught up in the superficiality of life here. We lose sight of the goals that God sets before us. We fail to continually live each day and/or moment for God, seeking to do His will and His will only. It’s too easy to become wrapped up in politics, social endeavors, and all the things that do not bring Him glory.

To clarify, this is not to say Christians should not vote. We have a responsibility to be good citizens of the country in which we live. But if politics or anything else looms too large in our life, pushing God out, we are doing it wrong.

The apostle James, referring back to the Psalms emphasized a truth that we need to allow to penetrate our hearts.

…yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes, (James 4:14 ESV)

Really. What is our life? Even if we live to be 100, our life is still a vapor, compared to the unending length of eternity. We are here for a little while, then our life is gone from this physical plane. It’s really over before we realize it.

Last week, two rock musicians died; Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek. Eddie Money was his own band, who at one point in life, had been a cop in New York City before turning to music. You may remember “Ticket to Paradise” or several other hits he had. Ric Ocasek was the lead singer of The Cars. Money was 70 and died from cancer. Ocasek was 75 and died from heart disease.

To me it seems like just yesterday that I heard songs from these guys that became hits, and they’re still being played today. But they are gone and all that remains are their songs. Are they in heaven or hell? That is really the only question that matters for them, not how many hits they had on the charts or how much money they earned in their lifetime.

Cory Wells, one of the lead singers of Three Dog Night (TDN) died not too long ago at the age of 74, I believe. He was quickly replaced by David Morgan so the show could go on. I watched a video of a recent TDN concert and there are only two original players left in the band from its beginnings; singer Danny Hutton and lead guitarist Michael Allsup. Everyone else has either died or moved on with other groups. But eventually, all will die.

Life is extremely short here. My wife and I were talking yesterday and I mentioned that it’s funny but as kids, we’re always looking ahead to that “marker” in life, whether it’s to turn 16 and get a license, to turn 18 and become an adult, to marry, to have children, to work some job that will provide for family or something else.

I’m 62 and my wife and I are going on 34 years of marriage. Where did the time go? It’s interesting to look back and realize how quickly time passed. In fact, I mentioned that even if I live another 20 or 30 years, it will likely go by very fast and before I know it, I’ll be 82 or 92 with death that much closer.

I really do want to spend the rest of my life doing what the Lord wants me to do. I’d love to hear at the end of it before I pass, my name being called and the veil that separates this life from the next pulled back. But whatever happens, I know that once I pass from this life to the eternal realm, that’s when I will really start living because the sin nature will be surgically removed by Physician Jesus Himself and I will never sin again. In fact, everything I do, say and think from that point will glorify the Lord.

I look forward to that day. I’m not pining for it because God has blessed my life tremendously with a wonderful wife, a home on several acres in the country, two wonderful children who have chosen their mates well and so far, one grandson. Beyond this, we attend a church where the people truly love the Lord and understand the meaning of sacrifice.

It’s too easy to get lost in all the “stuff” of life, isn’t it? It’s difficult to continually think of God, His love for us, and how He continually meets our needs. These things are often not the center of our thinking, but they should be.

Life provides many opportunities to be sidetracked and the enemy enjoys putting those distractions in our path. But our job is to focus on God, His Word and what He wants us to accomplish in this life.

The only way I know how to do that is by reading His Word daily, by meditating and memorizing His Word and to immerse myself in an attitude of prayer throughout the day. While we can and should be thinking about things that affect our lives here, God should be at the forefront of our thinking. We should take all of our concerns and cares and talk to Him about them because He cares for us.

A missionary shared her testimony at church this past Sunday and noted that the Christian’s number one job is to worship God. I couldn’t agree more. When we have the proper attitude of worship where God is concerned, all things fall into place. We should praise Him, adore Him, love Him and seek to fulfill His will for our lives. That is our number one priority.

One day, He will call us home. Are you looking forward to that?

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, eternity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: , , , , , .

This and That from Around the World Quitting Coffee

2 Comments

  • 1. Lynn  |  September 17, 2019 at 4:03 PM

    Really good stuff. Thanks for the reminders!!

    • 2. modres  |  September 17, 2019 at 4:43 PM

      Thanks. It’s always good to remind ourselves 🙂


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