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We Must Take Care Not to Mislead

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If there is one thing that really makes me indignant it is when adults feel the need to share what “they” believe instead of what God’s Word says when a child asks a valid question. They need the truth, especially as they get older. I was instructed many years ago as a Sunday School teacher of what God’s Word tells us about taking care not to mislead these young ones in Matthew 18:6 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Yes, I take very seriously how I answer children’s questions. If I am not sure of an answer, I let them know I’m not sure, and I sit down with them and with God’s Word as we pray and seek His direction. I want them to know how to find answers for themselves.

Not long ago a youth very close to me asked me the question, “When our pets die, do they go to Heaven?” Now, no matter how much I wanted to tell him yes because that’s what we all want to believe, I felt that he trusted me to give him the truth. So I showed him what the Bible says about the spirits of humans and animals at the time of death: Death is the departure of the spirit from the body in humans and animals. Ecclesiastes 3:21 tells us “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” I used to think that my beloved pets went to Heaven when they died; as children need to believe, I guess. I even read as far as I could in a book a Christian wrote once on the subject. It did not take me long to see that the author had taken a lot of verses out of context to try and prove his point.

That author also neglected the truth that animals do not have souls. Death is also the departure of the soul from a human. There are two invisible beings inside of us: a spirit and a soul. When Jesus died on the Cross, His spirit went to Heaven (Luke 23:46), and His soul went into hell, or the heart of the earth, “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” (Acts 2:27, 31) Jesus went to get the Saints who had passed before Him, from Abraham’s bosom. The spirit and soul are distinctly different and both leave the body at death: 1 Kings 17:21-22, ” And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.” Animals do not have souls, only humans do. Animals have spirits. Animals also do not have the reasoning power in their brains to know about being a sinner and needing and accepting The Saviour is the only way to Heaven as humans do. Although there will be animals in Heaven, they will not be our dearly departed pets.

Later, this young man came back to me after visiting another adult in his life who said she did not agree with what I had told him. I asked him if she showed him in God’s Word where it says animals go to Heaven, or why she believes they do? He said, “No, she just said she did not agree with you.” I sensed his hurt and disappointment because she is someone he looks up to also, and I felt angry that this person, because of her ill feelings and envies toward me, would so nonchalantly let those feelings come across to an innocent child. Children are so very perceptive of these things, and it can be quite damaging to them. It’s just like when a couple gets divorced and the judge tells them not to demean each other in front of the children. What typically ends up happening is the children will grow to dislike or even hate the person who does this.

Since I would never speak ill of this person to this child, I prayed in my spirit for the Lord to help me lovingly reiterate what and why I had told him my answer to his question in the first place. I asked him if he wanted to pray with me that the Lord will show her the truth, because he was so concerned. We talked about how we can all have pre-conceived ideas about things and not know that we are wrong according to God’s Word, until someone shows us the truth. We also talked about how it is okay for people to disagree, but not to try and force our beliefs. I do not believe that this subject is a huge deal that needs debating or arguing about. Being wrong about this will not keep someone from going to Heaven. At God’s direction, we are to share God’s truth and leave it in His hands. I am still praying that the Lord will speak to that person and convict her of how she influences these young ones.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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Doctrine of Death – Part 3

IV. Why Do Some Good Christians Die Young?

Like the Bible promises, the average life-span in America today is about 70 or 80 years of age. The Bible says: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalms 90:10)

Cover of "To Every Thing There Is A Seaso...There is a time to be born and a time to die: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2) Yet it seems that some times a good Christian dies well before the normal life expectancy. Why might this be?

A. Martyrdom – Millions of God’s people have been killed for the faith. Men and women, adults and children. Here are some examples:

1. Abel – “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” (Genesis 4:8)

2. Zechariah – ” And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 24:20-21); “From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.” (Luke 11:51)

3. John the Baptist – “And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,” (Mark 6:27)

4. Stephen – “Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. (Acts 7:57-58)

5. James – ” And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” (Acts 12:2)

Also remember – God watched His own Son die at the age of 33.

B. To save them from them evil to come – “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” (Isaiah 57:1-2) God knows the future. We do not. Some times, to save someone fro something evil, God – in His love – relocated them to Heaven. This great act of love on God’s part is often hard to understand for humans looking at the situation from this side. I have seen instances where innocent babies were born to sick, addicted, abusive parents and were murdered by them or taken by SIDS. I believe that God rescues those babies from a horrendous life of pain and heartache, that He knew they would not be strong enough to endure.

C. To be closer to God – “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:22-24). It appears that the birth of his son, Methuselah, caused Enoch to draw close to God. The birth of a child often “jolts” an adults from lethargy into reality. Enoch was about 65 years old when his son was born. This caused Enoch to grow close to God and walk with Him for the next 300 years.

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:5-6) Enoch had a testimony! He pleased God and God took him. Enoch did not die, but he is an example to us that God sometimes takes younger people to Himself. Death is not a penalty for the one walking righteously. It is a reward!

English: Jesus ascending to heaven

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21); “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” (Philippians 1:23) “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8); “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalms 116:15)

Most people in Enoch’s day lived to be 900 years old. Enoch was translated to Heaven at the age of 365. He only lived about 40% of his life. That would be like a man today living to the age of 30. Missionary David Brainerd only lived to be 29, but his life still influences missionaries today, 200 years later. The closer to God on earth, the closer to God in Heaven. Sometimes God loves fellowship with someone so much that the only way it can be closer is for God to take that person to Heaven. Such is the example of Enoch.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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