Wednesday, February 15, 2023

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13,14 KJV).

Not long ago, I remembered the three-year anniversary of a dear brother and friend in Christ going to his heavenly home and finally meeting his Saviour face-to-face. By coincidence, it was three years ago this very day that I wrote a special devotional by which to remember him. We take another chance to reflect on his passing.

When I needed wise Christian counsel in dealing with personal matters (multiple doctrinal errors and betrayals), “the good doctor” was there to listen and advise during those two dark years of ministry. Actually, the Lord used him mightily to save our ministry from ruin. There are times when I could use his expertise even now, but I have since leaned on and stood on the shoulders of other Christian brothers who, despite their limited insight, have pointed me in the right direction. I could have learned much more from him, if only he had been around just a few more years. Alas, after a long period of declining health, he gave up the ghost and graduated to Heaven!

Regarding the saints who have died in Christ, we know that our separation from them is not eternal. While we mourn their absence, we are not hopeless like the unsaved world lamenting their departed loved ones. Those saints who have died in Christ will be resurrected when we are to receive our own glorified bodies, at the event we commonly call “the rapture,” or our “catching up” (see today’s Scripture and its context, verses 13-18; also, “our gathering together unto [Christ]” in 2 Thessalonians 2:1). It will be a joyful reunion, the best Bible conference ever, and we will never again part ways.

Dear saints, when we all get to Heaven one day, you will surely get to meet “Brother Charlie”—and be sure to thank the Lord, right now, for his ministry to us, that we have been enabled to serve you here for another five years.