When the Roll is Called Up Yonder #4

Saturday, April 11, 2015

“To die is gain…. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:21,23cd KJV).

The chorus of James Milton Black’s classic 1893 hymn “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” highlights today’s Scripture.

“When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.”

Religion’s “sin of presumption” forbids anyone from claiming or believing in assurance of immediately going to heaven upon physical death. Theologians argue, “No sinful person can enter heaven without first being cleansed.” Hence, a purgatorial state is speculated to exist: the “faithful” soul, post-death and pre-heaven, is allegedly tormented to atone for any un-paid sins (sounds like hellfire to me!). Dear friends, purgatory belittles—and ignores—the efficacy of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Jesus paid for a Christian’s sins in full (Romans 4:1-8; Colossians 2:13), so why would the Christian have un-paid sins? Friends, religion never makes sense (frankly, purgatory does not make sense because it is a money-making gimmick).

Saint Paul undoubtedly knew where he was going upon death. He was not going to sleep in a grave, not going to “die like a dog and pass into non-existence,” and not going to suffer “purgatorial cleansing.” Paul affirmed, We are confident [fully assured!!!!], I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8; cf. today’s Scripture). He had such confidence because Jesus Christ was reliable, faithful. Had Paul been relying on his works, he could not be confident. Yea, to rely on faulty works is sure to introduce doubt! Beloved, the payment for sin is Jesus Christ’s suffering at Calvary, not our temporary suffering in purgatory!

Brethren, whether the Lord happens to call our name in physical death, or calls our name while we are living at the time of the Rapture, up we will go to Heaven to meet our Saviour and be with Him forever. We will be there in Heaven because, at Calvary, He paid the “airfare!” Let us keep looking up for our flight! 🙂