“Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies.
So the living should take this to heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:2 NLT
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…”
Hebrews 9:2 [Note: No room for Purgatory in that verse!]
I pray this week you have had that extended quiet time “in” His presence.
For 73 years, the name of our Las Vegas airport was McCarran International (10th busiest airport in the world by ACI). It was named for U.S. Senator, Patrick McCarran from Nevada. 10 months ago the name of our airport was changed to Harry Reid International. John Chrysostom’s quote above will soon be fulfilled…… most everyone will forget who Patrick McCarran was. Who knows, in another 73 years our airport may be renamed again and people will forget who Harry Reid was!
This past Tuesday was my 6th funeral in less than 4 weeks! I’m praying that God will give me a reprieve for a while. These funerals have been difficult to say the least. In all 6, I knew the deceased and family members quite well. Having lived in Las Vegas since 1962 and being a life insurance agent for 43 years, you become quite close to many people. Some are very dear friends. I have reflected on numerous things these past few weeks as you can imagine. The most vivid and terrifying thought: Where are these folks right now? In only one of the six funerals did a daughter share with me after the funeral that her dad had written in his Bible the date he received Jesus as his Lord and Savior….. praise God! I could tell she really didn’t understand what exactly that meant. I told her this was Good News indeed….. with eternal implications. Some of us in the Friday group are memorizing verses. The current one is:
“You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
The image at the left are 4 of the 6 funerals I attended. I did have several solid conversations at the funeral receptions, but during the funeral of one, after a few family members spoke, they asked if anyone would like to share a few comments. Three people spoke about some funny experiences with the deceased (Harry) and then the daughter asked if there was anyone else. Even though I didn’t know the daughter, she was looking at me and reluctantly I went up with a nudge from the Holy Spirit. Since no one had mentioned God, I briefly shared my visit about 5 weeks prior to his death. Harry was a veterinarian, a full Colonel in the USAF, Ret. and totally non-religious. God played no part in his life. The conversation at his bedside was more detailed, including Romans 10:9, but unfortunately he didn’t want to pray at that time. At the funeral I mentioned my conversation with Harry and our discussion concerning Pascal’s Wager, hoping that someone might look it up later (in the future, I don’t think I’m going to use Pascal’s Wager anymore……. See below). What I find interesting, and this has happened to me before, after the funeral and people were mingling, only one couple came up and said how grateful they were for the comments, because they were “born again” believers. So the question is this: “How many born again believers are in the crowd at these non-Christian funerals?” This too gave me great pause. You hear all the wonderful temporal good works while alive, but what about Jesus? Remember, only two things pass into eternity: (1) God’s Word and (2) People. The remainder burns up……..
Jesus said: “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Rev 22:12) Meaning what he had done in the Name of Jesus…..
I have great respect for Blaise Pascal, a 17th Century French Mathematician. Here is one of my favorite quotes by Pascal:
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
I started using Pascal’s Wager when I was involved many years ago at a large megachurch. I hadn’t revisited it until this week. I’m not going to use it in sharing the Gospel anymore, because it’s no better than just saying the Sinner’s Prayer or inviting Jesus into your heart. 80-90% fall away that go through this method. In other words, they weren’t saved in the first place. Receiving Christ will cost you big time…. You have to die to self! Click Here: It Will Cost You Everything Also, we must clearly understand Romans 1:16…
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…..”
When sharing the Gospel, it is the “power” of God. It is alive and people are either going to be drawn to it or reject it. We don’t have to get clever in our presentation. Just ask questions, offer a Gospel Tract and read it with them if the moment allows, i.e., (Steps To Peace With God). If you would like to read a very good explanation of Pascal’s Wager, Click Here
In His service until He comes,
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Thank you men!
Please take some time reflecting on the two devotionals below.
True or False? 1] God Will Judge Us? T/F 2] God’s Commands Are Irrational? T/F
It is imperative that we live and define our lives through the lens of the Bible…..
Check-Mated by God & Believing What You Want – Day 294/295 Red Book
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
This is such a great article by Ray Ortlund. Another one to pass to a friend. I have also attached the PDF
Friend, You Can Be Ready to Die
I love where he says:
A blood-bought sinner has just stepped on Satan’s neck and leapt up into eternal happiness, by God’s grace and for His glory.
Parable of the Fishless Fishermen
Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry.
Week after week, month after month, and year after year these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. year after year they carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing is always to be a primary task of fishermen.
Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. Further they said, “The fishing industry exists by fishing as fire exists by burning.” They loved slogans such as “Fishing is the task of every fisherman,” and “Every fisherman is a fisher,” and “A fisherman’s outpost for every fisherman’s club.” They sponsored special meetings called “Fishermen’s Campaigns” and “The Month for Fishermen to Fish.” They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing to promote fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing such as the new fishing equipment, fish calls, and whether any new bait was discovered.
These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn’t do, however – they didn’t fish. In addition to meeting regularly, they organized a board to send out fishermen to other places where there were many fish. All the fishermen seemed to agree that what is needed is a board which could challenge fishermen to be faithful in fishing. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in faraway streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived.
Also the board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the staff and committee members did not fish.
Large, elaborate, and expensive training centers were built whose original and primary purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Over the years courses were offered on the needs of fish, the nature of fish, where to find fish, the psychological reactions of fish, and how to approach and feed fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology. But the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing. Year after year, after tedious training, many were graduated and given fishing licenses. They were sent to do full-time fishing, some to distant waters that were filled with fish.
Some spent much study and travel to learn the history of fishing and to see faraway places where the founding fathers did great fishing in the centuries past. They lauded the faithful fishermen of years before who handed down the idea of fishing.
Further the fishermen built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. Presses were kept busy day and night to produce materials solely devoted to fishing methods, equipment, and programs to arrange and to encourage meetings to talk about fishing. A speakers’ bureau was also provided to schedule special speakers on the subject of fishing.
Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded. They were commissioned and sent to fish. But like fishermen back home they never fished. Like the fishermen back home they engaged in all kinds of other occupations. They built power plants to pump water for fish and tractors to plow new waterways. They made all kinds of equipment to travel here and there to look at fish hatcheries. Some also said they wanted to be part of the fishing party, but they felt called to furnish fishing equipment. Others felt their job was to relate to the fish in a good way so the fish would know the difference between good and bad fishermen. Others felt that simply letting the fish know they were nice, land-loving neighbors and how loving and kind they were was enough.
After one stirring meeting on “The Necessity for Fishing,” one young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported he had caught two outstanding fish. He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the big meetings possible to tell how he did it. So he quit his fishing in order to have time to tell about the experience to the other fishermen. He was also placed on the Fishermen’s General Board as a person having considerable experience.
Now it’s true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen’s clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished. They wondered about those who felt it was of little use to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men?”
Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who didn’t catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person a fisherman if, year after year, he never catches a fish?
Men: Last month I included this message. We have only one life to live, please bookmark it and listen to it when you have the time……….. This is a very good explanation on God’s justice and could be helpful to anyone who struggles with that concept. (The wrath of God for sinners). Please forward to a friend…… or after he listens to it, a “former friend” 🙂
Justice & Grace …. By R.C Sproul
Podcast Link (26 minutes)
or ….. Listen on the Renewing Your Mind website
The Valley of Vision – Need of Grace
YouTube (Only 2+ minutes)
“……. O that all my distresses and apprehensions might prove but CHRIST’S school
To make me fit for greater service by teaching me the great lesson of humility.”
Does Rick Warren exhibit a spirit of humility in this presentation?
YouTube (7 minutes)
10/19/22 – SBC seminary passes resolution affirming pastoral roles should be limited to men: ChristianPost.com/news