Deacon’s Letter May 2018

Dear friends,

 I would first like to thank you for your cards, kind words and prayers following the death of my mum, Jennie. It was sad seeing her decline, as she became more and more confused, which was not always obvious to non-family members to whom she appeared bright and ‘with it’. Following her fall in June last year, the physical and mental decline increased and really accelerated after Christmas. So, as sad as it was, there was a sense of relief for both her and for us when she passed away. I would like especially to thank Pastor Caroline who visited mum and persuaded her to pray and give herself to the Lord, after which she celebrated communion with her. It is a comfort to know of this.

Mum’s death has prompted me to look in the Bible to see what it has to say about death. My concordance gives me fifty five references to look up, but don’t worry I am not intending to go through them all here! But I have chosen a few to ponder over, and most are very encouraging but some others give dire warnings; I don’t have the room here but it is worth reading the verses surrounding these references (I have used The Revised English Bible):

Psalm 6:20 – “Our God is a God who saves; to the Lord God belongs all who escape from death.”

Isaiah 25:8 – “He will destroy death for ever. Then the Lord will wipe away the tears from ever face, and throughout the world remove the indignities from his people.”

Ezekiel 18:32 – “I have no desire for the death of anyone. This is the word of the Lord God.”

Ezekiel 33:11 – “Tell them: As I live, says the lord God, I have no desire for the death of the wicked. I would rather that the wicked should mend their ways and live….”

Matthew 16:28 – “Truly I tell you: there are some of those standing here who will not taste death before they have seen the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Luke 1: 79 – “…. to shine on those who live in darkness, under the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

John 5:24 – “In very truth I tell you, whoever heeds what I say and puts his trust in him who sent me has eternal life; he does not come into judgement, but has already passed from death to life.”

John 8:51 – “In very truth I tell you, if anyone obeys my teaching he will never see death.”

Romans 5:12 – “What does this imply? It was through one man that sin entered the world, and through sin death, and thus death pervaded the whole human race, inasmuch as all have sinned.”

Romans 5:14 – “death held sway from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned as Adam did, by disobeying a direct command – and Adam foreshadows the man who was to come.”

Romans 8:38/9 – “For I am convinced that there is nothing in death or life, in the realms of spirits or superhuman powers, in the world as it is or the world as it shall be, in the forces of the universe, in heights or depths – nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:21 – “For since it was a man who brought death into the world, a man also brought resurrection of the dead.”

2 Corinthians 2:16 – “… to the latter it is a deadly fume that kills, to the former a vital fragrance that brings life. Who is equal to such a calling” (Read vs. 15).

1 John 3:14 – “We know we have we have crossed over from death to life, because we love our fellow Christians. Anyone who does not love is still in the realm of death.”

Revelation 20:13/14 – “The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead in their keeping. Everyone was judged on the record of his deeds. Then Death and Hades were flung into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death; into it were flung any whose name were not to be found in the book of life.”

Also read Philippians 2:8-19.

There are throughout the Bible messages of hope over death, but the precursor is that we obey Gods’ commands and accept Jesus into our life as Lord, and that is the challenge.

You may also like to check all the references to death in your concordance’ as they are eye opening and thought provoking!

Blessings to you all

Peter

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