elderly saints

When the Five B’s Be Gone!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:20,21 KJV).

Beloved, bid bye-bye to the baldness, bifocals, bridgework, bulges, and bunions!

As a young man in my late 20s, I see people around me entering their senior years. Their bodies are slower and have a few more aches today than they did yesterday. Hearing, taste, smell, handling, seeing, and memory have become slightly more suppressed. This is Adam’s fault. God had nothing to do with it. The people suffering the effects of sin did not cause the curse of sin to enter our world, and yet they hurt. Someone thus argues, “Oh, God is so ‘unfair!’ He makes us suffer because of something Adam did long before we were even alive!”

Second Corinthians chapter 4 reminds: “[16] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. [17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; [18] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Chapter 5 then talks about glorified bodies in heaven.

Today’s Scripture tells us that our bodies in heaven will be fashioned like unto Jesus Christ’s glorious body. That body was resurrected, never die again. To this very day, it has never grown sick or slowed down. Yes, right now in heaven, there is a Man who sits at the Father’s right hand—a Man whose body is 20 centuries old and yet has not aged one bit! As we did not do evil and yet suffered because of Adam, so we did not do good and yet benefited because of Christ Jesus. Those glorified bodies, never slowing or breaking down, will enable us to function forever for our Saviour’s glory in heaven’s splendor! 🙂

Young and Old(er) Men

Monday, May 11, 2015

“The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head” (Proverbs 20:29 KJV).

Young or old(er), today’s Scripture says we both have something of which to be proud.

As a young man, I realize that I cannot speak as an old(er) one. All I can say about advancing in years is what I have witnessed in the lives of others. With the passage of time, there is an increasing disconnect between the inner man and the outer man. As we age, what our inner man wants to do is often not what our outward man is even capable of doing. While our physical bodies grow slower and frailer as the decades pass, our soul and spirit still want to behave as we did in our younger decades. Such an oddity is captured by the phrase, “the young at heart.”

Today’s Scripture says that a young man has one chief reason to boast—his strength. Generally, his bones have more calcium than an old man’s, so a young man’s bones are heavier and stronger. Also, the young man’s muscles have not deteriorated yet. The older man, however, has a chief reason to boast too—his grey head. His hairs are not receiving melanin to the extent that a young man’s hairs are, so his hairs have greyed and eventually they will turn completely white.

With age comes wisdom. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31). A grey-haired (older) Christian is someone who has not only had experience in life in general, but who has had experience in God’s life (true life). That is the “beauty of old men.”

The young Christian man will not be able to boast forever—if the Lord tarries, reality assures us that his body will become old. Likewise, the old(er) Christian man will not boast forever—when the Lord comes, reality assures us that his body will become brand new! So, in the Lord’s grand design, it will all level off eventually. We just need to literally “give it some time….” 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is the difference between a minister, a pastor, and an evangelist?

Twenty-Six

Thursday, August 7, 2014

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

By God’s grace, I celebrate my birthday today!

In this sin-cursed world, life is ever so fragile—it can be gone in an instant. In this sin-cursed world, life is ever so brief—it will be gone in an instant. With every passing year, I recall an aged Christian’s words to me some years ago: “Life goes by even quicker when you reach my age!” (Our older readers probably heartily agree with her.) Whether young or old(er), every Christian needs to be mindful that this earthly life is just one grain of sand compared to the “beach” of eternity future. This truly sobering thought will certainly cleanse our minds of the limited, deceptive, polluted “here-and-now” attitude.

As a dear brother and friend in the ministry often says, “All the healing claims aside, the death rate is still one a piece!” Thankfully, there is life beyond this earthly one, but we can enjoy that eternal life today. By simple faith alone in Jesus Christ’s death, bloodshed, burial, and resurrection, we can approach God the Father, and have Him deal with our sins in full forever. In Christ, we can enjoy the very life of God Himself right now. We can enjoy fellowship with Him right now when we take His written and preserved Word, the King James Bible, and study and believe it rightly divided. His Word will cause us to look beyond these things that are seen to see (by faith; Hebrews 11:1) the things that are not seen, not the temporal things of this world but the eternal things of the next (2 Corinthians 4:18).

As today’s Scripture affirms, with each passing year, our outer man grows older, weaker, and slower, but with each passing year, our inward man—provided that we daily study and believe God’s Word rightly divided—is growing stronger and stronger in God’s grace. Beloved, may we never take this earthly life for granted, and we who are in Jesus Christ, may we never take our eternal life for granted either! 🙂

A Family Reunion in Heaven

Saturday, June 7, 2014

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17,18 KJV).

Will we recognize our loved ones in heaven? (Indeed!)

Besides us dying in our sins and going to hell, or our relatives and friends dying in their sins and going to hell, the worst pain associated with living in this sin-cursed world is relatives and friends dying in Jesus Christ and going to heaven.

We Christians anticipate the day when we will be reunited with loved ones who have died in Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture): commonly called “the Rapture,” from the Latin word translated “caught up” in today’s Scripture, when Jesus Christ will return to earth to receive unto Himself all members of the Church the Body of Christ, living and deceased (see verses 13-18). Moreover, the question often arises, “Will we be able to recognize our loved ones?” After all, we have not seen some of them in many years or decades. (They are enjoying such fellowship with Jesus Christ and each other they do not know how long it has actually been!)

The following Scriptures cause us to believe that we will certainly recognize our loved ones in heaven:

  • Firstly, on the Mount of Transfiguration, Apostles Peter, James, and John recognized Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:4; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:33)—Moses and Elijah lived several centuries earlier!
  • Secondly, the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:19,20: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul implied that he would recognize the Thessalonians when the Lord returned to take us to heaven.
  • Thirdly, Jesus Christ’s resurrected body looked just as it did before He died (John 20:19-29).

We have every reason to believe that, in heaven, we will look basically the same way as we do now (minus physical imperfections, effects of aging, et cetera). What a day that will be! 🙂

Aging Grace-fully

Friday, November 30, 2012

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

As the aging process degrades our physical bodies, let us allow God’s grace to “renew” our minds.

I just heard people share their anxiety about their aging physical bodies. They loathe their gray hairs, sagging skin, and wrinkles, and do whatever they can to “look younger.” They are not focusing on the things of eternal importance, for they probably never have trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. All they think about is the here and now, failing to understand that there is more to life than this physical dimension.

In one recent year, Americans spent $10 billion (!) on cosmetic surgeries. These efforts to slow down and even reverse aging and its effects are futile. Death and elderliness will still come. Beloved, no matter what we do to these physical bodies, they will still age, and short of the Lord’s coming, they will die. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). These are “vile bodies” affected by sin, and thus they must die (Philippians 3:21). They cannot enter heaven.

Thankfully, one day (the rapture), these physical bodies will be redeemed from death (Romans 8:23): we Christians will receive new bodies “eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5). As a dear brother in Christ always states, “In heaven, there will be no [from head to toe] baldness, bifocals, bridgework, bulges, and bunions!” Yes, we have those here, but be not depressed. We will not be here in this sin-cursed world forever. We are not bound forever in these limited (and weakening) bodies.

Today’s Scripture shows us that this physical body—the “outward man”—will ultimately die, and give way to a new glorified body. What we need to focus on is the “inward man,” our soul and spirit. We will leave these physical bodies behind, but we will take with us our spiritual bodies. When we daily study and believe the King James Bible rightly divided, it will “renew” and strengthen our souls, the bodies that count for eternity. And thus, we will age “grace-fully.” 🙂

Can God Really Use Me? (Yes!)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (1 Corinthians 1:26 KJV).

Today’s Scripture affirms that God will oftentimes use for His purposes those people we would never expect Him to utilize.

The LORD appears to Moses and informs him that He will use him to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses replies, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10).

Centuries later, the Midianites are persecuting Israel, so God informs Gideon that He will use him to deliver Israel. Gideon argues, “Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judges 6:15).

Centuries later, the Philistine giant Goliath is taunting Israel, but her armies are no match for him. Little David, a lowly shepherd boy, nevertheless has faith that the LORD will give him the strength to slay Goliath, which he does using one rock and a sling (1 Samuel 17:50).

Centuries later, God sends the prophet Jeremiah to warn apostate Israel, but Jeremiah refutes, “Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child” (1:6).

When the Lord Jesus Christ needed apostles to convert Israel, He chose four fisherman, brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, and brothers James and John (Mark 1:16-20). Peter and John are later referred to as “unlearned and ignorant men” (Acts 4:13).

The Apostle Paul carried out his ministry with infirmities/sicknesses/weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Galatians 4:13).

If you, dear Christian, doubt that the Lord can use you because of your disabilities, social status, weaknesses, age, or education, just remember Moses’ speech impediment, Gideon’s poverty, David and Jeremiah’s juvenility, Peter and John’s ignorance, and Paul’s infirmities. God used them—people who did not seem like much—for His glory. What made the difference was not their strengths, but the Almighty God who worked in and through them. “That no flesh should glory in [God’s] presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29). 🙂

A Departing Saint and an Incoming Saint

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:26,27 KJV).

Saints, rejoice with us! One saint is going home to be with the Lord, and another just trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour!

Mrs. “B.,” a family friend, trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour about 40 years ago. She was a great Christian mother and wife. For the past five years, she has endured Alzheimer’s disease. Within the last few weeks, her health has rapidly deteriorated, and as of the last few days, she is less alert, and is sleeping more. She is nearing home, drifting away from this world, and inching closer to the heavenly abode which marks the end of the Christian’s earthly life. The Lord has not forgotten her, and He will usher her home in His own time: therein we shall rejoice!

Ms. “K.,” someone with whom I just spoke on the phone, has trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. She is only a few minutes old in the Lord, but how she is just as much a member of the Church the Body of Christ as Mrs. “B.” Welcome to the family of God, Ms. “K.” You have new life in Christ! Therein we shall rejoice!

As today’s Scripture indicates, we mourn that Mrs. “B.” is unable to bid us a (temporal) farewell, and that she will not understand when we bid her a (temporal) farewell. How we mourn that she is suffering, but are comforted in the fact that she is not fully mentally aware of that suffering. If only she could remember, for her “to be absent from the body, [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Though she cannot comprehend that verse anymore, we rejoice on her behalf, for she is nearing heaven’s glory.

In summation, we rejoice that, one day, Ms. “K.” and Mrs. “B.” will meet each other in eternity, two saints whose earthly lives briefly overlapped…. 🙂