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Preparing for the Inevitable

This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

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The Church and the Trajectory of Life, Part 1 (Preparing for the Inevitable Episode #75)

Welcome to Episode #75 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:7: “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

The featured quote for this episode is from C.S. Lewis. He said, “If we really believe what we say we believe — if we really think that home is elsewhere and that this life is a “wandering to find home”, why should we not look forward to the arrival. There are, aren’t there, only three things we can do about death: to desire it, to fear it, or to ignore it.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Church and the Trajectory of Life, Part 1” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

“Our church doesn’t have enough funerals,” associate pastor John Stolzfus said in his annual All Saints’ Day sermon. In his suburban Mennonite congregation, members tend to move away from the area after they retire. They move into denominational retirement communities, or they head south to warmer climates. Sometimes, older members will continue to spend their summers in the Chicago area but winter somewhere in the Sun Belt. So, in his eight years as senior pastor Todd Friesen has performed just ten funerals. Other pastors he knows, who serve at churches to which members retire, perform on average one funeral a week.

Such a lack of funerals, Todd Friesen says, are a missed opportunity for spiritual formation. A funeral, he says, is like the North Star to a sailor. By comparing his or her position in the sea to that of the North Star in the sky, a navigator knows where the ship is and how to adjust its direction to get to the destination. At a funeral, “you get these coordinates” to position yourself in life says Friesen.

Though Friesen has performed fewer funerals than other pastors, he’s done enough to know how family and friends measure the life of the deceased. The two commandments of Christ, to love God and love your neighbor, are all we talk about at funerals. “No one’s going to ask what pay grade you had at your job, and was it an associate or assistant position. Nobody cares. It’s the love of God, and it’s the love of neighbor, and the way that this person helped me to connect with God and my neighbor that is or isn’t her legacy,” he says. Of course, right now we care, but that’s why funerals are so helpful on life’s journey. In contrast, at funerals we remember and celebrate when people helped us to know God ad be neighbors.

Funerals are opportunities to measure ourselves by the same stick we’re measuring others. “He was a good dad,” we say, “and a loving husband.” Or, “She took care of the people who worked for her, and she mentored other young women in church.” When we say that about another, we also ask the same questions of ourselves.

Funerals help us to measure our days. For me, this means looking at my place in the continuum of life. Approaching middle age, my life is not full of opportunity and potential in the way it was when I was twenty-five. With children, a mortgage and a career, my life is circumscribed in ways I sometimes find frustrating. But measuring my days teaches me that I still can make audacious plans for my life. I am refocused and reoriented.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “The Church and the Trajectory of Life” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 14 (Preparing for the Inevitable Episode #74)

Welcome to Episode #74 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Isaiah 46:3-4: “Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Billy Graham. He said, “When granted many years of life, growing old in age is natural, but growing old with grace is a choice. Growing older with grace is possible for all who will set their hearts and minds on the Giver of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 14” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

In these everyday moments we educate ourselves on how to live life walking in the Spirit, communing with God. We learn its meaning, not through words but through actions. As we all grow older, these events and activities are signposts marking the passage of life; they allow us to measure where we are in relation to where we should be. If we cannot learn to die well (to live our final days reconciled with those we leave behind and anticipating our future life with God), we cannot learn to live well. Churches that are “growing younger” don’t allow their members to do what they all must: grow older.

Caregivers will find their loads lighter, and the elderly will find the challenges of growing old less burdensome when the church lives out of a culture not of youth but of resurrection. We understand that death leads to life, and we’re more willing to pick up one another’s burdens, whether providing respite care or a weekday lunch to a woman caring for an elderly parent or visiting an old man on his deathbed.

Churchwide care for the elderly and the activities we perform when death occurs are important for two basic reasons. As Christians do these things and see them done, we make small preparations, minor adjustments over time, toward a life with God. And second, Christians know what to do, how to behave, when these challenging circumstances arrive in our own lives. When we witness friends aging well or caring well for their elderly, it provides a model for us to follow. We won’t need to figure everything out for the first time when our turn comes.

Care for the elderly and dying forms a congregation in ways youth work cannot. When we provide a ride to a homebound person or regularly visit the nursing home, it helps us all to recognize life’s limits. Perhaps most of us or our loved ones will grow old before we die, and we should be prepared to meet those unique challenges. However, care for the elderly is an important spiritual discipline for everyone, because death is in all our futures. Caring for an elder will help us face death whenever it meets us and life more faithfully in every area of our lives.

When we allow ourselves to be confronted by death, our little excuses for unfaithfulness fall away. And we are prodded toward living more in view of what’s truly important. In my own life, I’m learning to take more joy in and more care to develop those things that have the most significance. My three kids, my wife, my family and my friends–the quality of these relationships will be the measure of my life. And while I worry about my career and stress about being a provider and wonder what God has called me to in this part of my life, I know that God will bring life–whether or not I can envision what that will be today–out of my concerns. And I know that God will create meaning and goodness through my relationships with my family and those he has put around me.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 13 (Preparing for the Inevitable #73)

Welcome to Episode #73 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in John 11:25-26: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

The featured quote for this episode is from Clarence W. Hall. He said, “The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence. Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. You can nail it to a cross, wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb, but it will rise!”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 13” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

A congregation that does these things will more fully embody the gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Bible we see a pattern of death bringing forth life. In Genesis after Adam and Eve fall and bring death into the world, God promised them that he would send a Savior.

The theme of death and resurrection continues. The Israelites walked through the separated waters of the Red Sea. Fleeing the Eyptian army, they walked through death and into life toward the Promised Land. Jesus said that a seed must fall into the ground and die before it bears fruit. Jesus himself died and rose again. And Paul wrote, “I die every day.”

The church embodies this reality of life following death. The Christian life is full of joy and hope not because Jesus makes us smiley with upbeat attitudes. But we enjoy an abiding hope that the God who brings life to the dead will do the same for us–not only in the last day but this one too. This deep hope pervades everything done by the congregation and individual believers. And when it is expressed in daily activities–faith that a difficult job situation will yield spiritual fruit or perseverance in the long-term care of a patient–it embodies a culture of resurrection. Churches can teach this culture and let it flourish in the care for the dying.

A culture of resurrection takes the lessons of dying well and the hope of new life in Christ and applies them throughout the life of the Christian and in the body of the church.

In the church, Christians learn about and become saturated by the gospel. The gospel, put one way, is that through the Holy Spirit we have the life of Jesus, given by the Father. This life is stronger than death, which because of our sin and separation from God would otherwise be our due. We begin expressing the life of God at our salvation and continue to do so in greater and greater faithfulness throughout eternity.

The church is where we learn what it means to be a Christian, in Sunday school and sermons and small group fellowships, where we hear the stories of the Bible and understand their meaning. However, we learn and apply those lessons best not just when we hear them taught but when we see and live them. When we worship God in our funerals and rejoice during baptisms. When we celebrate at weddings and support one another during our weaker moments. When we meet together week after week, when we care for the poor and when we introduce those unfamiliar with the life of God to its bounteous riches, we live out the culture of resurrection.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 12 (Preparing for the Inevitable Episode #72)

Welcome to Episode #72 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Leviticus 19:32: “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.”

The featured quote for this episode is from J. O. Sanders. He said, “Old age is just as important and meaningful a part of God’s perfect will as is youth. God is every bit as interested in the old as the young.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 12: Receiving the Elderly” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

The difference between the community that learns to approach death together and the community that doesn’t is striking. Dunlop, the geriatrician, recalls two patients who died just days apart. One died of a cerebral hemorrhage, and Dunlop left the patient’s room to give the man’s wife the bad news. He was gladly surprised to discover “a group of Christian friends praying for him and supporting her.” The spouse of another patient who died that week offered a disturbing contrast–what we miss without a church community. When Dunlop told the husband of one of his patients that his wife died, Dunlop says, “his first response was, ‘Now who will take care of me?'”

Ministry to the elderly and their families must not be a specialty for only some interested folks within the church. Not everyone who dies grows old. Though we may expect to live to a ripe old age, nothing guarantees it. Young people die in car accidents, while cancer or heart disease frequently strikes those who are middle aged. We all need to learn to die well, whatever age we are. Our lives will be enriched by thoughtfully and prayerfully considering our death.

That is why ministry to the elderly “must cross generational lines,” Dunlop says. “All believers should be taught the lessons of Job, the comfort of the Psalms and the promise of the resurrection before times of difficulty come. The church needs to foster deep relationships within itself that will be sustaining at the end of life.”

Serving the elderly can help us confront our own mortality, another reason why their presence in the church is important to the rest of the congregation. As they decline, the elderly may slow down physically and mentally. Their needs are various and often complicated. The old and sick may simply be difficult to watch. I remember having difficulty visiting a hospice Alzheimer’s patient during meal times. The smell of the institutional food and mixed nutritional drinks combined with very sloppy eating was often difficult for me. But my presence recognized the sacredness of this person with dementia, and it taught me not to be too confident and haughty in my own temporary health. The elderly and dying reflect our own future selves. That is perhaps the hardest task of caring for an old person, the inner undertaking of accepting our own limitations.

A congregation who does this well has a tremendous outreach opportunity. As the ranks of elderly and dying grow and the availability of family to care for them shrinks, there is a great need. Those who may have rejected the church in the past may be more open to the gospel if they’re visited in the nursing home or a church offers support for them. Their families may also be more receptive to the gospel when their loved ones are receiving loving care from strangers. Indeed, this was the model of church growth for the early church. Care for the sick and dying attracted millions into the new Christian community, and the time is ready for Christians to offer the same love and care today.

But this can only be done by Christians who are able to confront their own deaths. “As long as we think that caring means only being nice and friendly to old people,” write Henri Nouwen and Walter Gaffney, “we are apt to forget how much more important it is for us to be willing and able to be present to those we care for. And how can we be fully present to the elderly when we are hiding from our own aging?” Nouwen, who gave up an academic career at Harvard in order to care for elderly and disabled people, says we must receive the dying person we are becoming. “Only he who has recognized the relativity of his own life can bring a smile to the face of a man who feels the closeness of death.”

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 11 (Preparing for the Inevitable Episode #71)

Welcome to Episode #71 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Psalm 71:8-9: “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Sophia Loren. She said, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 11: Elderly Accomplishments, Part 2” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

Paul Brand, the missionary doctor and coauthor with Philip Yancey of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, writes of his own mother’s sense of purpose long after her mission board said it was time to retire. At age sixty-nine, her mission board said it was time to come home after years in India. And she was ready to, until she discovered another mountain range full of people who had never heard of Jesus. For the next twenty-six years, as she aged and began to die, Brand writes,

Without mission society support, she climbed those mountains, built a little wooden shack, and worked another 26 years. Because of a broken hip and creeping paralysis, she could only walk with the aid of two bamboo sticks, but on the back of an old horse she rode all over the mountains, a medicine box strapped behind her. She sought out the unwanted and unlovely, the sick, the maimed, and the blind, and brought treatment to them.

When Granny Brand died at the age of ninety-five, she left a legacy of lives touched by the gospel. The last time he saw her in India before she died, Brand remembers his mother, sitting surrounded by townnspeople as she shared with them about Jesus. “Granny’s own rheumy eyes are shining, and standing beside her I can see what she must be seeing through failing eyes: intent faces gazing with absolute trust and affection on one they have grown to love.” Indeed, God still has significant plans for our lives as we grow old and approach our deaths.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 9 (Preparing for the Inevitable #69)

Welcome to Episode #69 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Proverbs 16:31: “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Shelton Smith. He said, “Do you want a happy heart when you are old? Then get with the Lord and stay with Him. That is how it works.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 9: Following in the Steps of the Early Church, Part 2” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

Whether present or absent from the assembled body, the dying remain a vital part of the congregation, not relegated solely to the care of a nursing home chaplain. This may require reworking our ministries to accommodate elderly dying members. Small group members who once may have bid farewell to a member who enters a nursing home can decide to move their weekly meetings to the dying member’s bedside. A key leader diagnosed with a terminal illness may, instead of simply stepping down from the finance committee, be enlisted as a prayer warrior for the committee–dedicating his hours at treatments to praying for the ministry of the church. The church can encourage this kind of transition by providing a list of prayer requests along with the encouragement that the finance committee member is also being prayed for.

Second, Paul’s vision assumes intergenerational respect. Our rapidly changing society has resulted in succeeding generations who grow up in radically different circumstances. One generation’s experience may produce a fundamentally different outlook on life than a previous generation, generating conflict. Older people may be viewed as out of touch with reality or hopelessly stuck in the past. Yet Paul sees that older women and men can teach younger people what it means to live a good Christian life. If we are to relearn what it means to die, our churches must intentionally include the elderly and dying. We and our children will learn to live and die well from the faithful witness of dying believers in our midst.

This intergenerational community provides not only healthy instruction to the young but also purpose to the old. For the elderly, and for anyone facing death, “community is huge,” says Al Weir, vice president for campus and community ministries at the Christian Medical and Dental Association. “There’s no emotional healing that takes place outside of community.” People who are chronically ill, debilitated or simply elderly and frail tend to lose whatever community they may have had. This is uniquely true for the elderly, who over the years tend to lose their community and church connections. They no longer visit the VFW hall, play bridge together or even attend church. When they are dying, they often are even more secluded. It is essential that families and churches find ways for these dear saints to remain integrated in their communities.

Everyone needs to have a sense of mission and meaning. Fred Smith exemplified this when he remained connected to his mentoring community and even expanded his reach as a mentor as he became more ill and nearer to death. “A tremendous source of value just leaks out of people’s live,” Weir says, when they’re allowed to think that all they have left in life is their death. “I think God’s not through with us till he takes us home,” he says, and Christians need to put a sense of mission back into the lives of the elderly and the very ill. “If we can,” Weir says, “they have this vitality that returns and remains to the end of their days.”

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 8 (Preparing for the Inevitable Episode #68)

Welcome to Episode #68 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Psalm 71:9: “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.”

The featured quote for this episode is from C. S. Lewis. He said, “Autumn is really the best of the seasons; and I’m not sure that old age isn’t the best part of life.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 8: Following in the Steps of the Early Church, Part 1” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

Early Christians made elderly widows a specific order in the church. “The Apostolic Constitutions specifies that deaconesses are to be chosen from the widows and to be ordained with the laying on of hands.” They were both cared for by the church, as Scripture consistently commands, and they administered specific functions of the church. The apostle Paul gave direct commands in 1 Timothy as to who was qualified for this position. Those women who had lost a loved one were to teach the younger saints, among other things, about “bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble.”

These elderly Christians had spiritual responsibilities to their congregation. Paul says in Titus that older women should “teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

Retirement can provide those with the time and opportunity for spiritual pursuits that may not have been possible in busier days. Even in the face of a terminal illness, an elderly Christian like Fred Smith can admonish the saints, pray and engage in other spiritual disciplines that add value to the congregation. Dying in many cases is no longer an event in someone’s life but rather a period of time. Concentration on prayer, Bible reading, service and other spiritual disciplines prepares a person’s heart for transitioning to life in eternity, and it can be a source of spiritual strength for a congregation and for a family.

Paul’s vision here and elsewhere in his epistles is one of a community in which the younger generations benefit from the experience and wisdom of their elders. Such a community has two elements that many of ours lack. First, the elderly are integrated into the congregation. When members are actively dying and professional health care takes them away from the congregation to a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is the church that must go to them. “The best care we can give the aged is, when possible, to use their gifts,” writes Rowan Greer, “This means trying to avoid segregating the aged or at least seeking to mitigate that isolation as much as we can. We can strive to enable the aged to keep on serving, to be needed.”

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 7: A Positive Vision (Preparing for the Inevitable #67)

Welcome to Episode #67 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Psalm 71:18: “Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”

The featured quote for this episode is from D. L. Moody. He said, “Preparation for old age should begin not later than one’s teens. A life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 7: A Positive Vision” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

The Bible is full of examples of the elderly living out their faith in the fullness of their years. In the New Testament, Simeon worked in the temple, awaiting the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. His faithfulness to the work of God was rewarded when he held the infant Jesus in his arms. In that moment he sensed that his remaining time on earth was short. As he gazed at the infant Messiah, he prayed, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.”

Like Simeon, as our church members grow old and die gradually, they still have potential for significant service in the church. They are our matriarchs and patriarchs, vessels filled with life’s wisdom and examples to younger generations. Even as they are dying, like Fred Smith, they can lead, instruct, exhort, pray and witness. As we continue to weave the aging and those who are slowly dying into the life of the congregation, their participation in the body of Christ will enhance our (and their) living and guide our dying.

Before the church can directly minister with and to the dying, it must first shift its perception of older members’ contributions to the church in their later years. For many churches the first step in helping the elderly and dying live meaningfully at the end of their lives is to rethink our vision of retirement. People work hard, live frugally and, when they retire, are ready to enjoy their sunset years–the last chapter in life filled with regular rounds of golf, frequent vacations and perhaps move to a warmer climate. “In our culture this often means disengaging not only from the workplace but from the church and the community,” says gerontologist John Dunlop. This disengagement becomes particularly difficult when an elderly person is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Without roots in a community, without the regular connections at church, an elderly person who served the church faithfully in younger years may find himself without support as he is dying.

As a unique, intergenerational community, the church can offer a new kind of retirement to elderly members, a kind of retirement plan that will go with them, as they will move through their last years from health to frailty to dying. By encouraging the elderly and the dying to use their gifts for ministry in the church, the church imparts value to these later years and helps the aging to maintain a vital connection to the community–a connection they will rely on heavily when they are dying.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 6 (Preparing for the Inevitable #66)

Welcome to Episode #66 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Leviticus 19:32: “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Steve Jobs. He said, “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 6: Who’s to Blame?, Part 2” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

If our churches are not helping us to think about these things, it is, in part, because our seminarians do not train for these things. They cut their teeth in the youth group, not the nursing home. We don’t require pastors to help us die. This negligence has pushed the dying away from the church. “People who are sick don’t think about calling the pastor,” says John Dunlap, “because they have never been schooled that’s an area the pastor needs to be involved in. And the pastor’s not comfortable being involved.”

Some pastors believe it is not the job of the church to accomodate the needs of the elderly, but it is the responsibility of the elderly to fit into the church. “We want older people to grow and move” in order for the church to be attractive to young people, one bishop told Knox. He wanted the elderly “to stay young and fresh.” Perhaps that is why, in Knox’s interviews with dozens of church and seminary leaders as well as church members, no one “spoke of helping older people to face their own death.”

Nevertheless, caring for the elderly, the ill and the dying has always been a basic function of the church. Today, families are in particular need for the church to assist in that responsibility. Caregivers need the church’s help to do the things that need doing: trips to the doctor, cooking, cleaning, navigating the medical maze or simply getting a break from all these things. Beyond material assistance, the dying need to know they still matter to the church body. Particularly in a culture where dying may take two or more years to complete, this relationship needs to be intentional.

Lest we lay the burden solely at the feet of church leaders, Knox found a striking ignorance not only of how to minister to older adults but an ignorance even of how many elderly attended their churches. “Virtually no one in any church or denomination seemed to have any idea of how many older people belonged to either,” he writes. We cannot depend on pastors to take up the responsibility alone. As we look for ways to serve the church, we too must be intentional about seeking out the dying and their families, learning how to love them in this unique hour and actively caring for them in tangible ways.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

A Culture of Resurrection, Part 5 (Preparing for the Inevitable #65)

Welcome to Episode #65 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;”

The featured quote for this episode is from Craig D. Lounsbrough. He said, “In the end, if we don’t have God we don’t have anything other than an end.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 5: Who’s to Blame?, Part 1” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

If we tend to work with what we know, a brief glance at a seminary course schedule eliminates any wonder about why churches seem less attracted to caring for the dying. Classes on youth and family ministry abound. However, even where we would expect spiritual care for the dying to be taught, it is absent. Seminaries–where those who minister to the dying receive training to do so–often entirely neglect teaching spiritual care for the elderly and dying.

Ian Knox, a lawyer turned evangelist, studied church attitudes toward the elderly in Britain and noted a significant lack of clergy training for the elderly and dying. In one denomination, “there are special sessions on work with children and young people–but nothing relating to older people,” writes Knox. When Knox asked if there was training for future pastors for work with people over sixty-five, he was told there was none. The denominational seminary made one concession to the spiritual needs of the elderly and dying: a two-hour lecture about older people.

Following the health crisis of the president of a major evangelical seminary, I asked a friend, who was scheduled to interview him, to see if his views on training pastors had changed. It had changed dramatically, and only with my friend’s question did the seminary president begin to think about the lack of training those future pastors received when it came to caring for the dying. The president had never until then thought about including such training at the seminary–though after his health crises he was suddenly interested in doing so.

At another seminary, spiritual care for the dying was included only within a discussion of ethical issues related to end-of-life medical care–so that pastors could help families decide when to remove life support and navigate other treacherous waters. Even there, one professor who taught a class exclusively on end-of-life issues lamented that while students studying many different subjects, such as psychology or education, enrolled, “I’ve never had a pastoral student [in the class]. But I would love to.”

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”