Featured

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.

Listen now on the following platforms:
iTunes | SoundCloud | Stitcher | iHeartRadio
Overcast | Google Play | Spotify | TuneIn

Introducing the Young to the Old (Preparing for the Inevitable #80)

Welcome to Episode #80 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 12:7: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

The featured quote for this episode is from George Swinnock. He said, “A godly man is free from the sting, but not from the stroke, from the curse, but not from the cross of death.”

Our topic for today is titled “Introducing the Young to the Old” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

Joyce found it natural to put aside some personal goals in order to care for her parents; it came as a result of her upbringing. She was introduced to the elderly and even the dying from a young age. She grew up with a blind elderly aunt sharing her bedroom. Personally I’ve learned to be intentional with my own children about creating opportunities for them to interact with the elderly. Going to dinner at great-grandma’s assisted living home is a wonderful opportunity to introduce them to a group of elderly residents. We eat dinner, and great-grandma’s friends stop by to say hello. Afterward we all sit outside and watch the kids play in puddles. Something beautiful happens when the old and young interact, though there is nothing particularly special about a single visit or dinner. It is in these casual interactions that our children can learn to value the elderly, treasure time with them, and learn practical ways to care for them as they age and face death.

Our family has taken this another step, and when choosing a church, we’ve sought out an intergenerational congregation. It’s certainly tempting to go to a church that attracts mostly people our age. Such churches are an easy fit—lots of people our age to befriend and lots of programs for kids our children’s age. Yet an intergenerational congregation allows our children exposure to the whole continuum of life. Together as a community of faith, we bless infants, celebrate marriages and mourn deaths. If our children never attend a funeral until they are in middle age, have we really equipped them to deal with death’s realities? If we are to change how our culture and the church view death and the dying, we must first start at home.

Family Relationships

Despite her evident care and respect for the elderly, on two occasions Joyce Tompkins had reasonable excuses to be unable to care for her parents. When her father had a stroke, she had just graduated from college and was ready to pursue a new career. By the time her mother became ill, Joyce lived hundreds of miles away and was in graduate school. The expense of commuting home every week and paying tuition must have been a significant burden. Yet she placed a priority on caring for her family and taking up the responsibility that Joyce’s parents had taught her was hers. “You never know when you’re going to need a drink of water,” she says.

Often in our culture, it is necessary to move away from family in order to pursue a career. Whether a company moves its offices, a local industry closes or educational opportunities are elsewhere, we are a mobile people. While we move from place to place, we also must recognize the duties that are still ours.

While Joyce’s commitment to caring for her mother didn’t mean that she stopped her studies, it did mean hopping on a plane every week. Cultivating close family relationships means recognizing and accepting the extra work that will be required of us when we live far away. For others, it may mean taking extra vacation time to maintain relationships with family or care for relatives. Whether we live down the street or across the country from our loved ones, we must be willing and prepared to assist them when they need our care.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will look at “Support Systems” 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.”

Living in Light of Death (Preparing for the Inevitable #79)

Welcome to Episode #79 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 39:4: “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.”

The featured quote for this episode is from George MacDonald. He said, “Many a life has been injured by the constant expectation of death. It is life we have to do with, not death. The best preparation for the night is to work diligently while the day lasts. The best preparation for death is life.”

Our topic for today is titled “Living in Light of Death” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

Joyce Tompkins was just four years old when her great-aunt came to live with the family. “She was blind,” Joyce told me, “and I ended up staying in a room with her and reading the Bible to her.” Sharing a bedroom with a sixty-year-old woman was a wonderful opportunity, as Joyce remembers. Over the next fourteen years, Joyce and her aunt shared that bedroom. It was a family value–to care for all in need. “On both sides of our family,” Joyce explains, “we have people who cared about other people. It was just a matter of that’s what they did; they helped people.”

Those early experiences of caring, even in small ways, for elderly family members were invaluable when her own parents needed to be cared for. “When my father would say, ‘Help people because you never know who might have to give you a drink of water,’ he had no idea he was going to have a stroke and be paralyzed on one side.”

After high school, Joyce started working but eventually decided to enroll in college. She didn’t enjoy her job and wanted something different. But just when her work experience and college degree could have launched her in a new direction, Joyce’s father had a stroke. “He was diabetic,” she says, “and two years before his stroke he had a heart attack.” Now, at seventy-four, he couldn’t get himself a glass of water.

He had served in three wars, World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and he ended his service without a wound. In the hospital, after decades of caring for his family and serving his country, Joyce was shocked by the doctor’s assumption that her father would go to a nursing home. “One of the first things that came out of the doctor’s mouth,” Joyce says, was “we have a list of nursing homes we can take him to.” The family would care for him, she told the doctor, just as he had cared for others.

Three years later, while Joyce was helping to care for her father, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the aid of professional nurses and community support during the day, Joyce was able to care for both her parents for the next two years, until her father died.

As her mother recovered and became able to care for herself and her father passed away, Joyce moved from Kansas City to Chicago to study theology. Finally, Joyce thought, she would transition to a career she loved. Six months later, her mother’s health suddenly declined. Her sister then moved in to care for their mother, and Joyce began commuting between Chicago and Kansas City. She took classes half the week, and took care of her mother the other half.

It wasn’t an easy decision to begin such a grueling schedule. But her sister, who worked nights, needed a break. I need to do what I need to do, Joyce told herself. “If it meant me leaving school, then that’s what was going to happen, because Mom actually voiced the fact that she did not want to go into a nursing home.” Joyce told her mother that we never know what may become necessary, but that if the family could take care of her, they would.

From when her father first had a stroke till her mother’s eventual death from breast cancer, Joyce spent a decade caring for her parents, and her experiences led her to help others who were caring for their own family. Through it all, Joyce sees God’s hand.

When I look back at what God’s done in my life, I will always say that I’m grateful for that window of time. I don’t know what his whole purpose was for me being here, but if he used the first years of my life to prepare me for those ten years and if he would have said to me the next day I’m ready for you to go, I would have been okay. If that’s what you had me here for was to walk with them through their deaths, that in itself would be great.

When she graduates from her program, Joyce says, “I want to work with senior citizens. They need something to do,” she says, and it’s simple for the church to provide that. “They have a wealth of knowledge,” Tompkins says, and she sees an opportunity to direct those gifts into the life of the church.

Her experience with her parents has shown Joyce that “there is a great need for people to come in and show compassion.” She says, “I’ve been in the hospital many a time in the emergency room with my parents, and I’ll see an elderly person in the bed in the emergency room and then there’s that feeble husband or wife with them, no one else.” What happens when a spouse dies, Tompkins asks. “What about that person who doesn’t have a support system? Who helps them? Maybe all their friends are gone now.” If Tompkins is available, she says, at least they know someone will be there.

Like many women caring for elderly parents, Joyce’s life has been formed by death. She made significant sacrifices in her time, career and personal relationships to care for both of her parents. Yet she’s found meaning in that work, so much so that she plans to continue it as God’s calling for the next part of her life.

Death ought to form how we live our lives because the qualities that define a good life are those that make up a good death. When we allow ourselves to be confronted by death, it is not easy. It’s tough to recognize that our lives on this earth will end, and it can be hard to realize that much of what we pursue in life has little ultimate meaning. In response we may deploy a range of methods to avoid being confronted by death. We zealously seek medical treatment to forestall the inevitable or we simply maintain lives that are too busy to be interrupted by a trip to the nursing home. Whatever method we pursue, avoiding death often means refusing to recognize what is valuable in our own lives. We can work against this tendency in a number of ways.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will look at “Introducing the Young to the Old” 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.”

Eternal Presence, Part 2 (Preparing for the Inevitable #78)

Welcome to Episode #78 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 Romans 14:8: “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “The best moment of a Christian’s life is his last one, because it is the one that is nearest heaven. And then it is that he begins to strike the keynote of the song which he shall sing to all eternity.”

Our topic for today is titled “Eternal Presence, Part 2” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

Christians challenge the modern idea that death is a solitary event. Those who are a part of the body of Christ are never separated. Theologian Therese Lysaught writes,

Christians do not die alone. Rather, death within the Christian tradition is an experience of ongoing, communal presence. Again and again in these rites, a world in which the living remember, accompany, and care for the dead is concretely rendered. Through a continuous set of rites and practices, the church maintains a constant and unbroken presence to those who are dying beyond the point of their burial.

Though churches these days are likely to run into building codes that prevent them from tearing into the drywall to bury members, some churches have found alternative ways of caring for their “sleeping” members. One I visited had a garden outside the building and a marble wall rising beside the church. Walking through the garden, church members could see the names, carved into the wall, carved into the wall, where the cremated ashes of church members remained. Some had names, but no dates. The future occupant had yet to be called to join her deceased brothers and sisters. These columbaria, a place where the ashes of the dead are stored, offer strangers a sense of the continuity of the faith and a reminder of our own destination. It is a visible reminder of the culture of resurrection.

The columbaria also offers church members basic help as they grieve. They have the opportunity to prepare for the place where their bodies will await the second coming and the resurrection of the dead. And they allow loved ones to visit the resting places of their beloved any day of the week, but at least every Sunday.

Such reminders offer an occasion to remember who we are as part of a far larger body of Christians that extends two thousand years. As much as science, medicine and a rapidly changing society have altered things and imposed new challenges and difficult questions, life and death are still the same. People who “are up-to-date on their forgiveness,” as Friesen says, who have not accumulated baggage to burden them at the end of life, these people tend to die well. People who have loved God and are at peace with him and their neighbors don’t need last minute instructions on dying well. The church, by teaching and living out the values of a life lived with a view to the resurrection, expresses a culture of resurrection. Such a culture cares for its elderly and their caregivers. It also teaches young and old to live and die well.

As medicine allows us to live longer while ill, even terminally ill, we have more time to make these preparations. We have time to offer forgiveness and tell others “I’m sorry.” We have time to turn to God and devote ourselves more fully to him. Yet, while a medical diagnosis may provide more urgency and less time to reconcile with others, the basic actions of offering apologies and turning to God are no different near death than at any other time in life.

We prepare for death and we see the Christian life in practice by providing a means for the dying to continue their presence in the church. Not only does it offer an opportunity for the dying and elderly to continue to fulfill the ministry to which God has called them, but the rest of the congregation sees life lived and ended with hope and faithfulness.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will begin looking at “Living in Light of Death” 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.”

Eternal Presence, Part 1 (Preparing for the Inevitable #77)

Welcome to Episode #77 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 Thessalonians 4:13-14: “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. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Matthew Henry. He said, “Tears are a tribute to our deceased friends. When the body is sown, it must be watered. But we must not sorrow as those that have no hope; for we have a good hope through grace both concerning them and concerning ourselves.”

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

Finally, the church builds a culture of resurrection when it fosters a sense of the universal body of Christ, across geography and through time. Those who have died are still present with us as members of the body of Christ. Death has not severed that spiritual relationship. All is not over at our final breath, neither for the dead nor those still alive. The dead, of course, go on to a greater and fuller life with God. Those still alive, however, are not entirely severed from the great body of Christians no longer walking the earth, though our churches have largely forgotten our brothers and sisters “asleep in Christ.”

Old church buildings and those Christian communities that maintain their centuries-old traditions provide a stark contrast with modern churches in how they remember–even live among–their dead brothers and sisters. Until the nineteenth century, church buildings were often graveyards, with walls and floors holding the bones of those who worshiped in ages past. Walking into such a church today may seem creepy or morbid at first, but from a spiritual perspective these gatherings of the faithful are alive with the prayers, the history, the culture, the faith of generations.

The converted Orthodox poet Scott Cairns writes of his discovery of the Orthodox attitude toward the dead, which more closely resembles that of Christians from nearly any era but the modern. “For starters,” he says, “the dead are unlikely to be spoken of as dead. They are asleep. Since the resurrection, Christian people do not die per se. They fall asleep. They are said to have fallen asleep in the Lord.”

Cairns was at first disturbed by the Orthodox practice of burying without embalming, out of respect for the integrity of the body. Orthodox funeral services include open caskets with the dead body in full view. “I was initially startled,” he says, “then strangely moved.” While our culture hides from death, Cairns’s congregation was comfortable, unafraid, and welcoming. “Throughout the liturgy that followed, family and friends continued to worship by [the deceased’s] side. Children and adults both turned to him throughout the service, as if to see if he was comfortable, attending to him as if he were still present.”

Comparing this loving and respectful attitude to the death of his own father, Cairns writes, “We missed out on most of this.” After a two-day struggle in which his father struggled just to breathe, the ordeal finally ended. “We wept, of course, but we had little in our experience to help us attend as fully to his body… as might have or as, perhaps, we should have.”

And the Orthodox maintain their reverent attitude toward the dead long after anyone alive remembers who they are. In the monasteries of Mount Athos, Cairns writes of basements full of bones, and of monks who proudly call them “my brothers.” Indeed they are. The living Christians and the dead are still of one body, still of one hope.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “Eternal Presence” 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.”

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.”