Tuesday, November 17, 2015

To Die is Gain

“Death is gain because death means more of Christ, and he’s better than anything this life can give us.” - John Piper

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." - Philippians 1:21

 1. Our spirits will be made perfect (Hebrews 12:22–23).
There will be no more sin in us. We will be done with the inner war and the heartrending disappointments of offending the Lord who loved us and gave himself for us.

    But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and the church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the just which have been made perfect.

2. We will be relieved of the pain of this world (Luke 16:24–25).
The joy of the resurrection will not yet be ours, but the joy of freedom from pain will be. Jesus tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man to show the great reversal that is coming.

    [The rich man] cried out and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.”

3. We will be given profound rest in our soul (Revelation 6:9–11).
There will be a serenity beneath the eye and care of God that surpasses anything we have known here on the softest summer evening by the most peaceful lake at our most happy moments.

    I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer.”

4. We will experience a deep at-homeness (2 Corinthians 5:8).
The whole human race is homesick for God, without knowing it. When we go home to Christ there will be a contentment beyond any sense of security and peace we have ever known.

    We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

5. We will be with Christ (Philippians 1:21–23).

Christ is a more wonderful person than anyone on earth. He is wiser, stronger, and kinder than anyone you enjoy spending time with. He is endlessly interesting. He knows exactly what to do and what to say at every moment to make his guests as glad as they can possibly be. He overflows in love and with infinite insight into how to use that love to make his loved ones feel loved. Therefore Paul said…

    For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I am to live in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.




Credit to Pastor John
Wesley notes: To me to live is Christ - To know, to love, to follow Christ, is my life, my glory, my joy.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The dead will rise

    “Your dead will live. My corpses will rise up. Awake and shout joyfully!”—Isaiah 26:19.

    “Many of those asleep in the dust of the earth will wake up.”—Daniel 12:2.

    “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.”—John 5:28, 29.

The Bible compares death to sleep more than fifty times. After death we are asleep, we are unconscious; we are not aware of the passing of time or of what is going on around us. That is what death is like as well. The Bible says, “for the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing… their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, NKJV, see also Psalm 146:4; 115:17). 6 Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.



If a man dies, can he live again?

But while we appreciate a good night’s rest, who wants to go to sleep forever? What hope do we have that the dead who lie asleep in the grave will return to life—as Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter did?
The patriarch Job raised that very question when he felt near to death. “If a man dies, can he live again?” he asked.Job 14:14.
Addressing Almighty God, Job answered his own question, saying: “You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the work of your hands.” (Job 14:15) Job felt sure that Jehovah longed for the day when He would resurrect His faithful servant. Was that mere wishful thinking on Job’s part? Not at all.
The resurrections performed by Jesus offered clear proof that God gave Jesus power over death. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus now possesses “the keys of death.” (Revelation 1:18) So Jesus will unlock the gates of the grave, just as he ordered that the stone of Lazarus’ tomb be rolled away.
The Bible repeats this resurrection promise time and again. An angel assured the prophet Daniel: “You will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days.” (Daniel 12:13) Jesus told the Sadducees, Jewish leaders who denied the resurrection promise: “You are mistaken, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:23, 29) The apostle Paul said: “I have hope toward God . . . that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”Acts 24:15.


When will the dead arise?

When will this resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous occur? The angel told righteous Daniel that he would rise up “at the end of the days.” Martha likewise believed that her brother, Lazarus, would “rise in the resurrection on the last day.”John 11:24.
The Bible connects this “last day” with Christ’s Kingdom rule. Paul wrote: “For he [Christ] must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing.” (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26) This is a powerful reason why we should pray for God’s Kingdom to come and for God’s will to be done on the earth. *
As Job well knew, God’s will is to resurrect the dead. When that day arrives, death will truly be brought to nothing. And never again will anyone wonder, ‘Does death end it all?’

credit: jw.org

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Death is nothing but sleep - Jesus

“If I have you by the hand, death is nothing but sleep.” -Jesus

Lazarus, one of Jesus’ close friends, unexpectedly became seriously ill and died.

When Jesus first heard the news, he told his disciples that Lazarus was asleep and that he intended to awaken him. (John 11:11) But Jesus’ disciples did not grasp his meaning, so Jesus told them plainly: “Lazarus has died.”—John 11:14.

Jesus had performed at least two resurrections previously. On one occasion he raised a young girl from the dead—the daughter of Jairus. Right before Jesus resurrected her, he also described her as being asleep.—Luke 8:52.

Notice that regarding the death of both Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter, Jesus compared death to sleep. That is a fitting comparison. Why? Sleep is an unconscious state and suitably conveys the idea of rest from pain and suffering. (Ecclesiastes 9:5; see the accompanying box,  “Death Is Like a Deep Sleep.”) Jesus’ early disciples clearly understood the true condition of the dead. “To the followers of Jesus death was a sleep, and the grave  a resting-place . . . for those who had died in the faith,” * states the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.

It comforts us to know that the dead are asleep in the grave and are not suffering. Death thereby loses its mystery and no longer needs to cause us dread.



KOIMAO (Sleep in death) 

1Th 4:13
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.

1Th 4:13
OU [not] THELO [I would] DE [but] HUMAS [have you] AGNOEO [to be ignorant] ADELPHOS [bretheren] PERI [concerning] HO [the] KOIMAO [them which are asleep] HINA [that] ME [not] LUPEO [ye sorrow] KATHOS [as] KAI [even] HO [the] LOIPOI [others] HO [the] ME [no] ECHO [which have] ELPIS [elpis].

According to Paul the apostle, those who died in Jesus are all asleep [KOIMAO in Greek] 
κοιμάω
koimaō
Thayer Definition:
1) to cause to sleep, put to sleep
2) metaphorically
2a) to still, calm, quiet
2b) to fall asleep, to sleep
2c) to die

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NEKROS (Death)

Mat 8:22
But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Mat 8:22
HO [the] DE [but] IESOUS [Jesus] EPO [said] AUTOS [unto him] AKOLOUTHEO [follow] MOI [Me] KAI [and] APHIEMI [let] HO [the] NEKROS [dead] THAPTO [bury] HO [the] HEAUTOU [their] NEKROS [dead].

Those who have faith in Jesus will never experience NEKROS, but instead a KOIMAO. Because for the Lord, the death itself is the same like a deep sleep.

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The Bible compares death to sleep more than fifty times. After death we are asleep, we are unconscious; we are not aware of the passing of time or of what is going on around us.
  • “Give light to my eyes, so that I may not fall asleep in death.”Psalm 13:3.
  • “‘Lazarus our friend has fallen asleep, but I am traveling there to awaken him.’ The disciples then said to him: ‘Lord, if he is sleeping, he will get well.’ Jesus, however, had spoken about his death.”John 11:11-13.
  • “David, on the one hand, rendered service to God in his own generation [and] fell asleep in death.”Acts 13:36.
  • “Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death.”1 Corinthians 15:20.
“We do not want you to be ignorant about those who are sleeping in death, so that you may not sorrow as the rest do who have no hope.”—1 Thessalonians 4:13.

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.e 15Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,* will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.f 16For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.g 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together* with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore, console one another with these words. 




When the time comes, we will be caught up again together (latin: rapiemur) in eternity with the Lords, with our closed one.
So there's no reason for us to dwell in sadness for so long because there's hope in Jesus!
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" -1Cor 15:55

"Don’t allow any sadness to dwell in your soul, for sadness prevents the Holy Spirit from acting freely." ~Padre Pio

Monday, November 9, 2015

Death won't do us part, Eternal life

The night he died... I had a lot of questions permeating in my mind.
One of my question was "could we meet again?"
Retorical as it is, but I believe that death won't do us part.

Death won't do us part

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, -John 11:25

For so long, philosophers and writers have been trying their best to compile a variety of important arguments concerning life after death. But they haven't managed to console wounded heart or comforts those who's restless and perplexed.

But Jesus would always be able to satisfy us! He won't offer any philosophical argument. He won't try to prove that eternity is plausible. He did declared it, He said what he knew and answered with the glory of heaven, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. There's two aspect of resurrection: one's body will be resurrected, and  one's spirit will live in heaven.

What does this mean for Christian who is mourning the death of a loved ones?
Death won't cut our bond of love, for love itself lies within spirits, not in the body.
Imagine it this way, our loved one is on their long... long journey
but their mind could traverse this great distance, as if it's only just an inch from us.
and their love would engulf us, just like they're right beside us.

Are you currently mourning the loss of a loved one?
Jesus promised that one day we would be reunited again when He send our precious one back to us.

--------------------------



Death is not the end of life. Jesus conquered and defeated sin for us by his death and burial, and with our faith to Him, "We wouldn't be dead forever" (John 11:25-26); "We have eternal life!" (John 3:16); "We have our place in heaven" (John 14:1-6), "We will achieve resurrected body" (1 Chorintian 15:51,52). And, "For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." (1Thessalonians 4:14); 
So there would be a reunion full of glory, for all of us, for those who we loved, and for those who stay with the Lord!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Difference: death of a loved one

Many people, who have helped me coping up (thank you), often told me this,
"I felt the same way when my parents die" or "when my grandfather die"

Well, I solely think that the death of a loved one, a spouse, is absolutely different from the death of family members. Well yes I do consider Willy as a part of my family but it's different. At some point in our lives, we will eventually lose someone very close to us, just by then you will understand. Spouse, and family members... losing them, yes both shares pain, grief, and we'd be bereaved, but in a different way.

So there's no point in comparing it. Thing is that we lost someone, someone we have given love to and received love from has died. And we are bereft.

Willy has become part of me. I'm mourning, inside and out. When he died, right beside me, part of me died too with him. I saw him, I was constantly at his side. I saw everything, from the very beginning, even before everything started.

When my grandfather, Lauw Kim Yao, passed away
I tried so hard not to cry because  I was afraid I'd make my already sad grandma become even sadder.
my grandma, though, is a strong person and she didn't cry in front of us as well.
I asked her, "how could you be so strong?"
and then she told me that my grandfather, had finished his job in this world, he had done well.

one week before he passed away, my grandfather wrote this:

"What came before God will return to God"

I wonder if he knew he'll return to God by then? like it's the time? Because Willy did something similar to me.

But you see,  I eventually cried during cremation, as of course, I was sad! He's my grandfather and I do love him as well. But now that I recall everything... it's totally different. All piece of me was still there. I lost my grandfather but not piece of me. My grandpa is my grandpa, not me. Like my mother is my mother, and my father is my father.

But Willy is part of me, I have this one dream, my first dream, that I want to have my own family, a warm one. So that I tried so hard to make Willy a good person, a prepared man who'd be ready for a family. Though in the progress I could be too harsh at times, oh Lord I hope Willy will forgive me for that... All in all, with his passing, it's like one of my dream is being taken away with him.

Though, slowly but sure I see the light coming.
This one happy Angel has always been with me
and I know I'm not really alone, I'm with my Father.
Crux sancta sit mihi lux!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

For God so loved the world...

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
-John 3:16

Death can be comforting and sweet and precious or it can thrust upon us all the agonies and sulphurous burnings of an endless hell. And we—each of us individually—make the choice as to which it shall be.

If we are to place death in its proper perspective in the eternal scheme of things, we must first learn the purposes of life. We must know whence we came, Whose we are, and why He placed us here. Only then can we envision whither we shall yet go in the providences of Him who made us.

And may I say that this life never was intended to be easy. It is a probationary estate in which we are tested physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually. We are subject to disease and decay. We are attacked by cancer, leprosy, and contagious diseases. We suffer pain and sorrow and afflictions. Disasters strike; floods sweep away our homes; famines destroy our food; plagues and wars fill our graves with dead bodies and our broken homes with sorrow.

We are called upon to choose between the revealed word of God and the soul-destroying postulates of the theoretical sciences. Temptations, the lusts of the flesh, evils of every sort all these are part of the plan, and must be faced by every person privileged to undergo the experiences of mortality.

The testing processes of mortality are for all men, saints and sinners alike. Sometimes the tests and trials of those who have received the gospel far exceed any imposed upon worldly people. Abraham was called upon to sacrifice his only son. Lehi and his family left their lands and wealth to live in a wilderness. Saints in all ages have been commanded to lay all that they have upon the altar, sometimes even their very lives.

As to the individual trials and problems that befall any of us, all we need say is that in the wisdom of Him who knows all things, and who does all the things well, all of us are given the particular and specific tests that we need in our personal situations. It is to us, His saints, that the Lord speaks when He says: “I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy.

“For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me.”

Now, what of death? of the passing of loved ones? of our life beyond the grave?

Our scriptures say: “Death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator.” (2 Ne. 9:6.) Where the true Saints are concerned there is no sorrow in death except that which attends a temporary separation from loved ones. Birth and death are both essential steps in the unfolding drama of eternity.

And yes, it's only temporary. It's only in a blink of an eye. Thus I don't need to further question to why is this like this, to when will I meet you. Because I'll live my life to the fullest for the Lord. For my purpose here is as a vessel of God. For what sweet is sweet and let the fruit be tasted by everyone in bitterness.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
-John 12:24

It's not in vain. Truly, it is not. I've tasted the fruit. And if that I am a branch, Lord, let me stay with you so that so that this little branch of Yours would bear so much fruit. Lord I've seen the light, the purpose. Christi crux est mea lux, et lux in aeternum. Amen


Special thanks to Mr. Bruce R. McConkie 
Photo taken by Windra (Willy's former team mate)

Blessed are the dead who died in the Lord

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
-Revelation 14:13

But those who die in the Lord will live;
    their bodies will rise again!
Those who sleep in the earth
    will rise up and sing for joy!
For your life-giving light will fall like dew
    on your people in the place of the dead!

-Isaiah 26:19

We shall be raised from mortality to immortality, from corruption to incorruption. We shall come forth from the grave in physical perfection. Not a hair of the head shall be lost, and God shall wipe away all tears.

We rejoice in life. We rejoice in death. We have no desires except to do the will of Him whose we are and to dwell with Him in His kingdom at the appointed time

But sometimes the Lord’s people are hounded and persecuted. Sometimes He deliberately lets His faithful saints linger and suffer, in both body and spirit, to prove them in all things, and to see if they will abide in His covenant, even unto death, that they may be found worthy of eternal life. If such be the lot of any of us, so be it.

But come what may, anything that befalls us here in mortality is but for a small moment, and if we are true and faithful God will eventually exalt us on high. All our losses and sufferings will be made up to us in the resurrection.


And So,
You, who have died in the Lord's name
stay with him until the very end of your physical life.
despite of your excruciating pain, you stay with the Lord.
I'm so glad for your faith to Him, and to Him alone.
For He is the our saviour, our shield, and the only light. 

---------------

Now, we do not seek death, though it is part of the merciful plan of the great Creator. Rather, we
rejoice in life, and desire to live as long as we can be of service to our fellowmen.

There are many things they will do and must do, even beyond the grave, to merit the fulness of the Father’s kingdom in that final glorious day when the great King shall say unto them, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34.)

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There is no equivocation, no doubt, no uncertainty in our minds. Those who have been true and faithful in this life will not fall by the wayside in the life to come. If they keep their covenants here and now and depart this life firm and true in the testimony of our blessed Lord, they shall come forth with an inheritance of eternal life.
We do not mean to say that those who die in the Lord, and who are true and faithful in this life, must be perfect in all things when they go into the next sphere of existence. There was only one perfect man—the Lord Jesus whose Father was God.

So that's why, Don't worry. You are not a failure, you are still growing, it's okay to make mistakes every now and then, just as long as you're not deliberately making it. Your past is something that you can't fix, yes you can't, but you surely can do something for your future. And I really am glad that you WANT to fix your future. You're willing to do it I know.  Like how you tried so hard to stop smoking cigarettes, how you tried so hard to hit a good score in college, how you finally stopped going to cybercafe, and how you start to go to church.... I'm so glad. Late is not the thing! You HAVE tried and you've done well.

When we gain sure testimonies of the truth and divinity of the Lord’s work, when we keep the commandments, when we overcome the world, when we put first in our lives the things of God’s kingdom: when we do all these things, and then depart this life—though we have not yet become perfect—we shall nonetheless gain eternal life in our Father’s kingdom; and eventually we shall be perfect as God their Father and Christ His Son are perfect.

sketch
Little Willy - by Kim


Vita mutatur, non tollitur 
it will stay the same for us....
et fides vestra
vivat crescat floreat
in medio ventris mei!


For if we live, we live to the the lord, and if we die, we die to the lord.
So whether we live or whether we die, WE ARE THE LORD'S!
-Romans 14:8

in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritui Sancti. Amen.