Our Friend Sleepeth

September 4, 2015. This morning another one of God’s saints was given his final promotion, to Heaven. I had the privilege to meet Pastor Bill Barrow just a couple of months ago. His health had been declining and it had become clear to everyone at the church he was the under-shepherd for that it was time to seek out the next man God would have to lead them. My name was given to their search committee as a possible replacement. While it was my joy and privilege to go preach for them the Lord was not leading me to formally seek the position there.

Pastor Bill was a gracious and wonderful man of God. It was a blessing for me and my family to get to meet him. I will continue to pray for both of his family’s, his personal family and his church family, this is a rough time.  It is rough because of the loss that they are feeling but not for Pastor Bill.  His health is now perfect, he is in paradise (Luke 16:22), and with his Savior Jesus Christ (Luke 23:44).

When I first received word I was sad but then got to thinking about how much better off he is now. As my thoughts swung back and forth on the issue I released that I was trying to continue to be sad because of his death but as a child of the Living God there is nothing to be sad about. No longer is he suffering in this life, no longer does he work with a body that has gotten old and worn out, and the smile he carried on his face is not eternal. Yes, he is just sleeping physically. Spiritually he is more alive than ever before.

Out attention is now to go to those left behind, they need us.Those who have Jesus in their hearts, while they may miss their loved one have the blessed peace that truly as the Bible says in Psalms 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Because of this they can have some peace.  For those who are saved they can have peace as well because one day they will be reunited with Pastor Bill.

Those who don’t know Jesus as their personal savior will find this awkward. How can people be happy at the passing of a loved one? Jesus makes all the difference. Because he truly is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

Do you know Jesus as your savoir? IF you died right this moment could you say with 100% certainty that you would go to Heaven? Anything less than 100% is 100% for sure you would go to Hell when you die.

The Bible tells us that “it is appointed unto men once to die” Hebrews 9:27.

That there is no one outside of Jesus Christ who is not a sinner, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. And that our sin receives wages “For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23a. That does not mean physical death such as what Pastor Bill has just gone through. This means eternal death in Hell.  Our sins earn us that.

The Bible also tells us this though “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6. In other words we, the ungodly, didn’t have it in ourselves to get out of going to Hell nor would we ever. Jesus stepped in and paid for all our sins when He died on the cross. He freely gave His life to give us the chance to be saved. You see Romans 6:23b says this “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Gifts are free to the one who receives them, the catch is that you must accept the gift or you will never receive it.

Here is how you receive this free gift of Salvation: Accept the FACT that you are a sinner and deserve to go to Hell. Accept the FACT that Jesus died to save you and that He wants to save you no matter how bad you are, where you are, or who you are. Believe that He will save you if you ask Him to do it. Then ASK Him to do it.

Romans 10:13 says this “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Where it says “whosoever” you can place your name.  Will you ask Jesus to save you now?  You are not guaranteed to live to see tomorrow.  Please don’t wait thinking you can get right later, you might not.

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