Wednesday, November 2, 2016

LINE #1: I'm Not in Heaven

I mentioned in the last blog, that one of my goals was to bring healing to the bereaved. Just in the last 10 months, I’ve attended two dozen funerals. One weekend I attended three. I have watched the many reactions of the bereaved closest to the deceased. Some blankly sat and stared, as though in a quandary; some quietly shed mournful tears of pain and loss; and still others had wild displays of grief, which included standing up, clutching the casket of the deceased and loudly prophesying of future events. The latter one tore at my heart strings. I know that each of us has thoughts concerning the deceased: where will they go? Can I talk with them? How will they fair? And, if there was no saving relationship with the Creator God, will we ever see them again? All of these are legitimate concerns; consequently, this is the first analysis of the poem I just published concerning death. Prayerfully, these 23 analyses will bring hope, healing and consolation to those who read. I believe this poem gives solid Biblical answers, to the aforementioned questions

Line 1:  “I am not in heaven, I am just asleep; and I urge you to worship at Jesus’ feet.” 

This poem opens with the answer, to what I believe is the number one question: “Did my loved one go straight to heaven, when he/she died?”  I hear that question, so very often. I hear it preached from pulpits and I’ve read it in books that as soon as one dies, one goes straight to heaven. One does not pass “Go” one does not “Collect $200”, rather one has a straight shot to the throne room of God and the bosom of Abraham. It doesn’t matter if one’s life was good or bad, one gets the pass. And, especially, if one was a “good” person, one will definitely, make the cut.  I’ve often listened to people, who are bereaved, and they refer to their loved one as being in “heaven”.  It breaks my heart.

Next, the line points out the true condition of the person as: “just being asleep”. When that person died, the only thing he/she did was “go to sleep.” That is the only transition that was made. All other transitions, done with the corpse, are done by someone else.

Then the last half of the line extends an invitation for the reader, to become a follower of Jesus Christ: THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.

Now, let us read and analyze the corroborating scripture, which shows that this is correct biblical teaching.  St. John 11:11-14

11 These things said he [Jesus]: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

One of Jesus’ best friends, Lazarus, had taken ill. His sisters, Mary and Martha had sent for Jesus, who was in the next town, to come and heal him. Jesus did not, immediately, respond to the call. He intentionally waited, until after Lazarus was dead, before going to see about him. Was it because Jesus didn’t care? No! If you read further in the chapter, it will tell you that Lazarus’ death was “for the glory of God”. Jesus needed to display His power over death and the grave, so that the people would believe that He was the Son of God or virtually God, Himself, living in their midst.

So, when Jesus did decide to go and see about Lazarus, He shared His thoughts with His disciples: “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” In other words, let us go and awaken Lazarus, for he has fallen asleep; but only I can awaken him.

His disciples are clueless! They really think that Lazarus is sleeping normally and thus is receiving the healing influences that sleeping brings the sick body.  However, Jesus knew whereof He had spoken and later broke down in the conversation and explained the truth to them. “Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.” How much clearer could Jesus get? He just came right out and said that Lazarus was “dead-dead”. The kind of dead that we all have experienced, when a loved one dies; however, He would go and awaken him out of his sleep. HE WOULD GO AND AWAKEN HIM!

I hope that is clear friend! Jesus, Himself, said that death was merely a sleep; however, it is a sleep from which only the Life-giver, himself can awaken the individual.

Stay with me through the following lines of this poem. I trust that it will become more and more clear, where a person goes when he/she dies; the true state of the dead; and in consequence of that, our need to become Jesus’ disciple.  Until tomorrow, think over these things.
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All Scriptures are taken from the KJV – King James Version Bible

Notice: This is copyrighted material and is intended for the sole use of this author. No part of this material may be reproduced in written, digital form, without the written consent of its originator.

Published on this Blog – 11/2/2016

More: The Death Poem