Welcome to Episode #61 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 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
The featured quote for this episode is from Erwin Lutzer. He said, “Often we say that Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true, of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here.”
Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 1” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.
In 2004, at a regular staff meeting at Christianity Today, we learned that Fred Smith, a leading figure behind a number of Christian ministries, including that of Christianity Today, was in the hospital and likely to die within days. It was a situation we encountered frequently. The evangelical awakening after World War II had produced a number of men and women who started or significantly increased the scope of parachurch ministries, such as Campus Crusade, World Vision, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and a number of others. Fifty years later those evangelical entrepreneurs were elderly and many were dying.
The son of a pastor, Smith became a businessman during the Great Depression. He was president of a division of Genesco, at the time the largest apparel company in the world. But having grown up in a family dedicated to full-time Christian work, Smith was able to apply his unique sense of business efficiency and operations to ministries that were high on passion and motivation but low on thoughtful and strategic use of their resources. His insights were keen and poignant, usually cutting to the heart of an issue, yet full of humor. In addition to running Genesco operations, Smith served on the boards of Youth for Christ, Christianity Today and other organizations.
As Fred Smith got older, he retired from business and became less involved in actively overseeing Christian ministries. Rather than spending his sunset years on the golf course or on Caribbean cruises, Smith entered a new stage of kingdom service. He expanded the one-on-one mentoring that had characterized his professional life. He mentored a number of leaders, providing a sounding board for ideas and spiritual guidance for leaders who needed an unbiased peer. It was a ministry Smith had always performed, but mentoring took on new significance in his final years. Rather than seeking rest and comfort during his golden years, Smith focused even more on the mission he set for himself in his twenties. He even broadened this personal ministry by launching a website and forming an online community of those who were eager to learn from him. It was quite an accomplishment for a ninety-year-old man.
Smith’s late-life ministry followed the pattern he had established from an early age. At twenty-eight, Smith thought of what he would want said about him on his tombstone. “He stretched others,” Smith decided would be the motto of his life. So, into his nineties, and as his kidneys began to fail, Smith would host regular conference calls on the days he would be required to spend most of his time hooked up to dialysis machines.
As I wrote Smith’s obituary, assuming we would need to publish it soon, I became fascinated by Smith’s story and his common sense wisdom. I checked his “Breakfast with Fred” website regularly both to read Smith’s posts and Smith’s family’s updates on his health.
Surprising many, little by little, Smith returned to health. At more than ninety years old and after a lifetime of service to people and the church, Smith wasn’t finished. Eventually, he resumed his mentoring phone calls and webposts, and Smith lived for another three years. During that time, with the help of his daughter, he also wrote a book, Breakfast with Fred, published just as he died.
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.”