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.”