How to Die! (Part 4)
We have been looking at the subject of death for the past several weeks. In this column I want you to just be blessed with the great writings of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Be blessed and enjoy the following in Jesus Name.
I want to add the following devotions by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I could not say it as well as he. So please read the following.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London's famed New Park Street Church. The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000'”all in the days before electronic amplification. In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed Metropolitan Tabernacle also known as 'Spurgeon's Tabernacle.
Charles Spurgeon is my favorite historical preacher. I even had the honor and pleasure of preaching in that church and pulpit in 1972.
Spurgeon wrote what is now known as 'Morning and Evening' devotions. My wife Denise reads these every day. You can read these daily devotions on the Internet at:
The following will help you with instruction and inspiration and the Word of God to deal with death as well as to live life to the fullest.
BUT FOR THE MOMENT. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:17
You cannot place too high a value on health. If you are healthy, you are infinitely more blessed, regardless of possessions, than one who is sick. If I have health, if my bones are strong, if my muscles are well toned, if I scarcely know an ache or pain, then let me not glory in my strength, which could fail in a moment. A few short weeks may reduce the strongest to a skeleton. If today you are strong, do not glory in your strength. The Lord “does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy' (Psalms 147:10-11).
If you are healthy, say, '“Oh, that You would bless me indeed' (1 Chronicles 4: 10). Give me a healthy soul, and heal my spiritual diseases. Jehovah Rophi, come and purge the leprosy that nature has placed in my heart and make me healthy in the heavenly sense. Bless my health, that I may properly use it in Your service and for Your glory. Otherwise, though blessed with health, I may not be blessed at all.'
Some of you are poor, and weary days and long nights are yours. There is much about you to be pitied. I pray that you will be blessed. I can sympathize with a sister who said, “I had such nearness to God when I was sick, such full assurance and joy, that I regret I have now lost it. I could almost wish to be ill again, if I might have a renewal of God's fellowship.'
Often I gratefully look back to my sick bed. I am certain that I grew greatly in grace on my bed of pain. Frequently, pain is healthier than joy.
Whenever we suffer weakness, pain, or anguish, may His divine presence be so real that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory' (2 Corinthians 4:17).
ETERNAL GLORY 2 CORINTHIANS 4:17
Within a short time, you and I shall face death. The Lord Himself will come, and thus we shall be with the Lord.
Anticipate the triumphant hour when your head, which often aches with weariness, “will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away' (1 Peter 5:4). Think of the time when your hands, worn with toil, will grasp the palm branch (Revelation 7:9) and your weary feet will stand on the se of glass (Revelation 15:2). Then, our only occupation will be to glorify Him who has brought us up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set our feet upon a rock and established our steps (Psalms 40:2). All of this is prepared for us, for we are the specified heirs. We are ordained to it by a decree that neither death nor hell can change.
Then the trials of this life will be known as a “light affliction, which is but for a moment' and as having worked “for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory' (2 Corinthians 4:17). God has prepared an inconceivable heritage that the mind cannot imagine. Thus, it cannot be expressed.
OUR EARTHLY HOUSE. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:1
This poor body of ours, which at times is so full of aches and pains, will one day be taken away to make room for a more glorious one. This one is getting worn-out; some parts of it have already fallen away. It is like a very old lath and plaster building, which cannot last much longer and seldom stands to the end of the ninety-nine year lease. It soon crumbles and, by-and-by with all of us, the old house will fall to pieces and be done with.
Shall we than worry? Shall our soul cry concerning the body, “alas my sister! Alas my brother'? No! “He takes away the first that He may establish the second' (Heb. 10:9). As we have carried the image of the earthly in this body of humiliation, we will, in the second condition of this body, carry the image of the heavenly. “The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body' (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
“He takes away the first that He may establish the second.' And what a glorious second that will be! Our resurrection body will know no pain, no weariness, no weakness, no sign of disease, no sin, and no possibility of corruption or death.
Well may we sing:
O glorious hour! O blessed abode'
Since this poor body will be made like the glorious body of Christ Jesus our Savior, let the first body go, without a murmur or a sigh.
WELL PLEASED 2 CORINTHIANS 5:8
The time is coming when we will die unless the Lord descends from heaven with a shout (1 Thessalonians 4:16). “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me' (Psalms 23:4).
Death is delicious to God's people because Jesus is near. Through death we escape death. It is not death to die. When Jesus meets His saints, the iron gate is passed through, for in a moment the believers close their eyes on earth and open them in glory. Beloved, you should not fear death. Christ is with His people on their bed of weakness and even in their descent to the grave. This has been a great joy to many departing saints.
Attended by a believing physician, a dying saint was whispering, so the physician placed his ear against the dying man's lips and heard these words again and again, “Present with the Lord, present with the Lord, present with the Lord' (2 Corinthians 5:8). When heart and flesh were failing, the departing one knew that God was the strength of his life and portion.
“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the boy and to be present with the Lord' (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Death may my soul divide
From this abode of clay;
But love shall keep me near Thy Side
Through all the gloomy way.
PRESENT WITH THE LORD. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:8
A shadow fell across my road, but I passed through it. I hardly realized it was there. Why? I had my eyes fixed on a strong light beyond, and I did not notice the distressing dark shadow.
So much can believes rejoice in the presence of their Lord and Master that they do not notice death's dark shadow. They can rest so sweetly in Jesus' embrace that when they pass from one world into another it is like going from England to Scotland; it is all one kingdom, and one sun shines in both lands. Railway travelers often ask, “When do we pass from England to Scotland?' There is no jerk in the train's movements and no broad boundary. You merely glide from one into the other and hardly know where the boundary lies. The believer's eternal life glides from grace to glory without a break.
We grow steadily from blade to ear and from earl to full corn. We will know when we arrive, but the passage may be so rapid that we will not see it. Earth to heaven may seem the greatest of journeys, but it ends in the twinkling g of an eye. We shall pass death with no more than a glance. We shall go through the Jordan as if it were dry land. We will scarcely know that we have passed a river.
Our body is left behind, and we are a disembodied spirit, but we will not see death. All the life we need in our soul is supplied by being one with Jesus. Meanwhile, our spirit is
expecting that at the trumpet of the resurrection our body will be reunited with our soul
(1 Thessalonians 4:16). “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the boy and to be present with the Lord' (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt