Passage of the Day: 1st Corinthian 15: 29 … Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
My Journal for Today: The fact of Christ’s resurrection – and it is a fact! – and the hope that is connected thereunto, becomes a powerful witness that often opens hearts/minds to be able to really hear the reality of the gospel and receive Christ in faith as Lord and Savior.
It has been said that a funeral is one of the best venues to share the truth of the gospel, highlighting Christ’s resurrection, because unbelievers, who are present, become focused on the realized finality of death. A non-Christian at a funeral can see death right in front of their eyes; and hearing the gospel preached in that context can open hearts which have theretofore been blocked from grasping what Christ had done on the cross for these lost ones. And if one can recognize their own sinfulness and their own mortality … and if they can see the hope presented by Christ’s resurrection, the witness of Christ from the cross, or from believers who will join Jesus in death to live forever, this becomes a powerful hope that can defeat the image seen in the finality of physical death, giving hope through the reality of the resurrection and the truth of God’s grace in salvation.
John MacArthur in his devotional for this date in Strength for Today, having seen many come to salvation at the death of believing loved ones, gives testimony to the power of the resurrection in the context of physical death or the mortality of our human condition. That was my prayer for my “lost” sister at the memorial service for our Dad a few years ago. At that service I read portions of a letter written to me by Dad when he was 72 years old. He had come to a place where he could see the need for receiving God’s saving grace and praying to receive Christ as his Savior. At his funeral I told of our mother receiving Christ just six hours before she died. Both of them, late in their lives, came to realize that their hope for eternity could only rest in Jesus Christ, Who would bring them to their home in heaven. I’d like to be able to say that this witness influenced my sister to receive Christ; however, to this date I see no evidence of that.
Knowing that is a great comfort to me … that I will be with our parents in heaven. But at the same time, it is frustrating to see my sister still resisting this truth. So, as I write this, I still diligently pray that my sister can come to that place that our parents did before their physical deaths and be able to ask for the saving grace that is only offered by the resurrection of Christ. I also pray, as I write this, that any who read this, who have not done so, will recognize this grace and will receive Christ as your Savior and Lord.
If you’ve been resisting this, like I was as a non-believer almost three decades ago, it’s time to pray and confess. Pray and tell God that you are a sinner who needs a Savior; and ask Jesus to save you. Thank Him for dying for your sins; and ask Him to be the Lord of your life. Believing that and proclaiming it openly and honestly to another is all that it takes for you to spend eternity in heaven with the One Who was raised from the dead to bring you there. [see John 3: 16 and Romans 10: 9 – 13]
My Prayer Today: Your resurrection is our eternal hope, Lord! Amen