Welcome to Episode #68 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.
I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.
The Bible says in Psalm 71:9: “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.”
The featured quote for this episode is from C. S. Lewis. He said, “Autumn is really the best of the seasons; and I’m not sure that old age isn’t the best part of life.”
Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 8: Following in the Steps of the Early Church, Part 1” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.
Early Christians made elderly widows a specific order in the church. “The Apostolic Constitutions specifies that deaconesses are to be chosen from the widows and to be ordained with the laying on of hands.” They were both cared for by the church, as Scripture consistently commands, and they administered specific functions of the church. The apostle Paul gave direct commands in 1 Timothy as to who was qualified for this position. Those women who had lost a loved one were to teach the younger saints, among other things, about “bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble.”
These elderly Christians had spiritual responsibilities to their congregation. Paul says in Titus that older women should “teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Retirement can provide those with the time and opportunity for spiritual pursuits that may not have been possible in busier days. Even in the face of a terminal illness, an elderly Christian like Fred Smith can admonish the saints, pray and engage in other spiritual disciplines that add value to the congregation. Dying in many cases is no longer an event in someone’s life but rather a period of time. Concentration on prayer, Bible reading, service and other spiritual disciplines prepares a person’s heart for transitioning to life in eternity, and it can be a source of spiritual strength for a congregation and for a family.
Paul’s vision here and elsewhere in his epistles is one of a community in which the younger generations benefit from the experience and wisdom of their elders. Such a community has two elements that many of ours lack. First, the elderly are integrated into the congregation. When members are actively dying and professional health care takes them away from the congregation to a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is the church that must go to them. “The best care we can give the aged is, when possible, to use their gifts,” writes Rowan Greer, “This means trying to avoid segregating the aged or at least seeking to mitigate that isolation as much as we can. We can strive to enable the aged to keep on serving, to be needed.”
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.
Let’s Pray —
Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”