What A Day That Will Be!
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:2-4)
THE BIGGEST DISTTORTION WE HAVE IN VIEWING THIS LIFE is the assumption that it is long and that the earth is the main place to be. A timely Christian song says: “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in the world, anymore.” Before we were born, we had never existed. But, after we are conceived, we shall never cease to exist. That distinguishes us from all other forms of life.
A MAN WAS WALKING DOWN A SIDEWALK and encountered a 12-year-old boy sitting on the curb. The man said: “Son, do you want to go to Heaven?” “No sir.” “You don’t want to go to Heaven?” “No sir!” The man was taken back and thought a few seconds. “Young man, do you mean to say that when you die you don’t want to go to Heaven?” “Oh! Yes sir! But I thought you were getting up a bus load to go this afternoon.” That about covers it.
GOD MADE US WITH A SENSE OF BELONGING to the earth as our home. It is only as we become acquainted with the Bible or attend funerals that we shift our sense of belonging. We are made to have a longing for “home.” Even dogs and birds have a sense of home and will defend their homes. Have you ever had a Blue Jay to attack you on the head? It’s called: “territorial.” We are territorial.
MY FIRST WIFE, SHIRLEY (WHO DIED IN HER SLEEP AT 49) was also having trouble with a longing for “home,” wherever it was. She came from Missouri to Chattanooga, TN to attend school, just as I had. We decided that Chattanooga was the most likely place to feel “at home.” Owning a piece of property helps one to feel “at home,” much more than renting. But the school where we felt at home was temporary. It’s gone now. Many of the school mates are in Heaven. Dr. Roberson, the founder and all the faculty are in heaven. My room mates, Bill Compton and Lindsay Terry are in Heaven.
BARBARA AND I HAVE BEEN MARRIED 32 YEARS and have lived in the same house for 31 years. It feels like home, but we know it’s temporary. The cemetery joins our property and is not far to travel when our time on earth is finished. But the grave site will not be home; it will not be a final resting place. It’s temporary.
SINCE I WAS A KID, I have enjoyed walking through cemeteries and reading names and dates and imagining what it will look like in that place when the trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) It’s a habit with me and I wonder what the cemetery adjoining our property will look like at the sound of the trumpet. When I was younger, an able preacher painted a word picture of what a cemetery might look like. It said it will look “like a plowed field!” Maybe so.
GOD HAS A WAY OF PUTTING HIS WORK ON DISPLAY and He might just make a show of His power in the graveyards of the world. He certainly won’t try to keep it a secret when Jesus comes and resurrects the bodies of the saved and unites them with their respective spirits. There won’t be any mix-ups. That is, at the resurrection, all the spirits that are reunited with their bodies, will not get mixed up and return to the wrong body. Maybe that never bothered you?
WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD, the angel rolled away the stone…not so Jesus could get out…but so people could see that He was no longer in His grave. The Bible does not say, but God may open the graves, so people can see that we are not in our graves. And perhaps to show the spectators that some of the graves are NOT opened. (Graves of the unsaved.)
WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE GRAVE, many graves in Jerusalem were opened during the earthquake when He died. When He rose from the dead, many came out of those opened graves and showed themselves alive to many. There were a million Jews in town for the Passover Feast and when they went home, I can’t imagine them keeping all of that a secret and not telling anybody, can you?
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (Matthew 27:51-53)
WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE WHEN GOD SHOWS THE UNIVERSE, what He planned from the beginning. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. (1Thessalonians 4:14-15)
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Please notice this: “them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. God will bring the spirits/souls of the dead with Him. He does not go to the graves to “wake up” those in the graves, because the souls/spirits of the dead are not in the grave, asleep. The souls/spirits of the dead are with God/Jesus when He returns to earth. Those souls/spirits will go to the body of their origin and the bodies will come out of the graves and be reunited with the soul/spirit that God/Jesus brought with Him from Heaven.
OK, ALL THESE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE have just gotten their soul/spirit/body reassembled and they’re standing beside their grave (or maybe they came out of the ocean) (or maybe their ashes have been scattered), the question remains: Where is home? That is THE question. Jesus tells us:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)
ITOLD YOU ALREADY THAT THE GRAVE PLOT seems like a temporary place, to me. It’s just a holding spot while Jesus is getting my new house finished. That’s going to be my permanent address. There may not be an email address or a telephone number. I don’t know. At least, there won’t be all the fund-raising phone calls and people wanting upgrade your credit card account.
OUR SONG FOR TODAY HIGHLIGHTS THE MINDSET OF MILLIONS OF GOD'S PEOPLE. The chorus says: What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see; And I look upon His face, the one who saved me by his grace; When He takes me by the hand, and leads me to the promised land, what a day, glorious day, that will be. https://namethathymn.com/christian-hymns/what-a-day-that-will-be-lyrics.html
IVE TOLD YOU I HAVE SEEN SOME PEOPLE MIRACULOUSLY HEALED. But I have helped put many times that number in the ground and tried to comfort those sitting under the tent beside the grave; family and friends. It never ends, a steady stream of those who have breathed their last and whose spirit has departed from their bodies. But we have a blessed hope! We are going see our saved loved ones again. What a day that will be!
TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOME-GOING OF BARBARA'S SON: Doug Cordell. He was 24, a good athlete and good in academics, one year short of college graduation. Adult-onset diabetes shut down his body in 1981 and he was gone. His body is buried in the cemetery adjoining our house. His grave is a temporary holding place until the great day. Our great-granddaughter: Riley June Clarke, 15 months old, went home May 17, 2013. She was a lively one. She’s waiting to show us around. You’ve got your own list of loved ones and friends who are waiting for you. What a day that will be!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
NOVEMBER 30, 2018 – FRIDAY
A.M Ezekiel 43-44 P.M 2Peter 2
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)
Song for Today:
What a Day That Will Be/How Beautiful Heaven Must be (7:17)
(David Ring & Gaither Group)
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If this song doesn’t light your fire, your wood is wet!