Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
GRADUATION TO GLORY!
Go to a funeral. Listen to the preacher talk about heaven. He makes it sound so wonderful. He says death brings the reunion of loved ones, the end of all toil and the struggle to survive in a hostile world. He paints a picture of solid comfort with no fear or distress of any kind. He even backs it up with God's Word:
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain, for these first things will have passed away" (Rev. 21:4).
Doesn't that sound fantastic? Take away pain, sorrow, and death and what's left to terrorize anyone? At least that's what many Christians think. Some even feel their wasted lives will somehow blossom into fruitfulness once they are ushered into Jesus' presence. And even though they haven't paid much attention to Him on earth, they feel He will be the center of their lives in heaven.
The apostle Paul doesn’t limit himself to that happy view of death. If death really ushers in the bliss and joy so many expect, wouldn't that make death the believer's last FRIEND? But Paul squarely, in the middle of his resurrection passage, calls death the Christian's LAST ENEMY. "The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (1 Cor. 15:26). Certainly, there is more to it.
What does the apostle see in death that would make him call it the last enemy? Death is the last enemy of the Christian because it closes the believer's last chance to get ready for heaven. When death summons, we're all through laying up treasure for ourselves in heaven. That's critical, for the Lord made it clear the only treasure we'll have in heaven is that which we lay up for ourselves (Matt. 6:20). When you add the fact that we can't make one more change into the likeness of Jesus, death does become a frightening enemy.
NO CHANGES IN HEAVEN
Let’s say you’re in heaven and want to become more forgiving. How would you go about it? You have to be hurt in order to forgive. But who’s going to hurt you in heaven where there is no hurt? Suppose you want to become more long-suffering. How can anyone develop that grace without suffering a long time? There’s no suffering in heaven. The same is true for becoming more patient, resisting evil, or any of the qualities the Lord seeks to develop in us. There is simply no way to acquire the fruit of the Spirit in heaven. The conditions for making us more like Jesus just DO NOT EXIST there. Eternal things do not change. That’s why God says, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal.3:6).
Death puts an end to all spiritual growth. We enter heaven just as we are at the point of death and NEVER CHANGE after that. I mean no more changes in our person! God never changes and neither will we once we step outside of TIME. Only on earth can we change.
SEE WHAT THIS MEANS?
You've heard the phrase "Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last." Those words summarize what I've been saying. If we want treasure in heaven, we must get busy and earn it NOW. No one is going to do this for us, certainly not Jesus. We have to do it for ourselves. It will be too late for that when death strikes. If being BROKE is painful in this life, you can be sure it won't be any less painful in heaven.
God looks for changes in us. CHANGE is the most important word in our Christian vocabulary. Our talk should be sweeter today than it was yesterday. We should pay our bills better, be kinder in speaking of others, be careful with our spouses, serve our employers more faithfully, raise our children more diligently, and display more peace in anxiety situations. We should even drive our cars better. Those are reasonable expectations. If we don't change now while there is time, WE'LL ENTER HEAVEN JUST AS WE ARE AT THE POINT OF DEATH AND NEVER CHANGE!
Once the body dies the man inside is released. Since his life is totally independent of the body's life, he continues to exist in the spirit realm. The man and his body are two separate creatures. The person doesn’t die. Jesus demonstrated this truth:
"But it is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who ABOLISHED DEATH and brought life and IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).
We knew nothing of immortality until Jesus showed that death to the body has NO EFFECT on the person. He went through the death experience and returned in the same body to prove it. This was to show believers they need not fear the death process. He proved that one's PERSON is totally unharmed and continues to live, even though his body dies.
The body has its own life. The soul (person) has its own life. The two are totally INDEPENDENT of each other. It's because the SOUL is the image of God, and therefore spirit. It continues to live after the body dies (in heaven or hell). Consequently, not the slightest harm occurs to the soul. Death merely releases the Christian from his body ("earth-suit"), that he might operate in the presence of the Lord.
HOW TO MEET DEATH
I've seen plenty of death. During my years as a chaplain at Los Angeles County General Hospital, I observed many departures at close range. I've held people's hands as they left the body and flashed to their spiritual destinations. I've seen Christian death and heathen death so often that I can affirm there is only one way to die—IN HIS ARMS!
Some deaths are accidental and/or sudden. Most are gradual. You can take advantage of that fact and watch the process as it occurs. We only "go around once" and if we want to qualify for a nice place near Jesus, we must invest our time wisely. None of us knows when our last enemy will catch up with us. The Boy Scout motto, "BE PREPARED," definitely applies to us as believers.
CONSEQUENCES ARE PERMANENT
Christians will not all be equal in heaven. The place we give Jesus in this life determines the place He gives us in the next life. In Jesus' kingdom, there will be all kinds of jobs equivalent to cabinet officers, ambassadors, and department heads, down to day laborers. When death calls us into God's presence, we'll appear before His judgment seat (2 Cor. 5:10). According to our earthly record, He will assign us our future jobs. If you want a good job with Jesus, you'll have to EARN IT.
"Get rich quick" schemes abound today, but Jesus invites us to become RICH toward God. It’s not a scam, but a legitimate offer. It’s my job to help my brethren get ready for their entrance into eternity. I am called to help you become rich toward God and qualify for a high position in Jesus' kingdom. You can't afford to be "ashamed before Him at His coming" (1 John 2:28). Put these truths to work in your life and you'll be ready for your . . .
GRADUATION TO GLORY!
C. S. Lovett
(EDITED BY MARJORIE LOVETT)
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
(Matt. 25:21 NIV).
SINCE YOU ASKED!!
Question: "Dad died of cancer four months ago and my sister can’t let go. She said to me, ‘I know dad is dead, but shouldn’t we be praying for him?’ I know some people believe strongly in praying for the dead. Dad wasn’t a godly man, but maybe our prayers might help. How should I answer her?"
Answer: Tell her the Bible says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," in Hebrews 9:27. There is nothing in between death and the judgment. Even if your dad were a born-again believer, the same would be true. That’s the way God has set up the human program. People can pray and pray and pray but nothing could make God change His program.
We receive the gift of eternal life in this life. The moment we put our trust in Jesus, this gift is ours. Once we leave this life, the gift is no longer available. We only go around once and if your dad chose to ignore the gift while it was available to him, there are no second chances after death. It might be best to make sure your sister doesn’t miss her great opportunity to have eternal life. You might show her John 3:36 and ask her if she has or wants eternal life.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).
EVER WONDER WHY JESUS CAN’T RETURN NOW?
It is because His work of building His church isn’t finished. And He can’t return until the last Christian who is listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life is born again and safe in the family of God.
The most important question to those Christians who want to be REAL disciples is HOW is Jesus building His church? Jesus is seated at the right hand of God in heaven. He is working through those Christians who are willing to put Christ first in their lives—even ahead of families, job, pleasures, etc.
Therefore, we are a ministry of helps. We want Christians to be prepared at Christ’s appearing. May you be blessed by our monthly newsletter and the information that it provides you.
Are you prepared? THE PREPARED LIFE book is a valuable resource for you and your family that can help you be prepared to deal with today's problems and end-times events. This book is available on Amazon.com and sells for $13.99 and is also available in Kindle form for $9.99. Click HERE for more information. Dr. Lovett’s best-selling book DEALING WITH THE DEVIL has been updated and revised for today’s readers. This is the 2018 edition and is available on Amazon.com and sells for $14.99. Click HERE for more information. You may check with your bookstore to see if they can order it for you.
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