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Sermon 9/18/05 - Death and Life
Matthew 10:29-32

Friday  Study Ministries
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Death and Life

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:29-32)

What IS death, anyway?  It seems like the end of us because everything we know through our senses, is completely torn away.  All of it still exists, but not for the one who is gone.  Here on earth, our loved one has departed, but to them, WE are missing and so is all else they (or we) knew.  It sounds terrible, except that it is not loss, but LIFE that God intends for all who simply TRUST in Him.  “Death” is not the “end,” but instead it is a Rescue for those of this world.  We are able to finally go to our true home – with Him.

In New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States, officials, volunteers and workers are struggling night and day to provide for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.  They want to give LIFE back to the people of New Orleans.  In our Scripture for today, Jesus spoke of “heaven,” a literal place of safety, reserved for those who “confess” (trust in) the Son of God.  If we prepare a place for Him in our hearts, He is faithful and will provide a place of eternal safety for us.  Just as the workers in Louisiana are working to save residents and restore their homes, a Rescue is underway for you and me.

Does this in any way promote the idea of suicide as a way of getting to heaven quicker?  Absolutely not, and in fact, the reverse is true.  Someone taking their own life actually is interfering with God’s intent and is demonstrating a LACK of faith in His purposes.  Your life is His – let Him keep you where He wants until HE decides it is time to depart.  Difficult circumstances can actually become great good in His hand, as His purposes unfold.

My wife, Genevieve, and I, along with her family and mine, are struggling.  Her father, at 83, is experiencing physical difficulties that may signify the end of his life.  My mother, at 90, is at a similar point.  When we visit one, their appearance and circumstances remind us of the other.  Her father is in a hospital once again and my mother has been living in a skilled nursing facility for two years.  In both cases, the doctors are asking questions, and if you think about it, NO ONE is capable of truly responding to questions like, “Do you want us to resuscitate…” your loved one?

I mean, here are doctors and other professionals, looking at us right in the face, asking things that are impossible to answer.  In the event of this or that, do we, do any of us, “pull the plug” (end the life) of our loved one?  Anyone who has any feelings at all, MAY be able to act in such a case, but only with extreme difficulty.  We need GOD and we need what HE wants in our lives, and for the lives of those we love.

According to, 153,000 people die every day.  That estimate may be conservative, for deaths are not reported everywhere in the world.  And in last year’s Tsunami in Southeast Asia, along with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, a few weeks ago, it will likely never be known just how many died.  The estimate does mean that at least 153,000 families are torn with grief each and every day, all over this planet.

And how many dogs, whales, eagles, ants and blades of grass will leave this earth today?  We don’t have an estimate, but God does know.  And God allows each and every one of those 153,000 deaths of humans and the countless losses in nature.  Through every frantic, helpless, traumatic loss, God knows, and He who loves us all, sighs in His glory and His love, “Now it is the time,” as He allows the sparrow, the king, the janitor, the advertising executive, and the moth to leave this earth.

Jesus Christ, who, before His birth was with the Father and knows all things about death and life, said of the sparrows that fill the air: “not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.”  To all who are losing hair, whether through chemotherapy or some “natural” means, He said, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30).  And He offers a solution to our fear of death and life:  “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).  He continued, “Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).

Your decision about Jesus Christ is more important than any philosophy you might invent or adopt.  He is more than your culture, more than anything you were taught in school.  He is more than ANYONE’S ability to reason.  He is infinitely more to you than any objection about Him you might have.  You can TRUST in the Lord!

He is the One who sits at the right hand of God the Father (Psalm 110:1, Matthew 22:44), and you need to know what He is doing there.  If you reach out to Him and trust Him without being ashamed of Him, He PRAYS for you.  That’s what it means when He said He will “confess” you before His Father.  He is praying for you, for your deliverance, for your safety, your well-being – everything you need.  He is praying for you.  And 100% of His prayers are answered.  He is praying you will have abundant LIFE! – Forever!

In certain classes in college, it is taught that humans cannot think of more than one thing at a time.  We may feel we can, but what really happens is that our minds flash back-and-forth quickly between differing ideas, giving the illusion that we can think of two things at once.  Underneath it all, even the most intelligent know that we are limited in thought, deed and in love.  The sad thing is that we limit God by comparing Him with ourselves.  Our Lord can and does pray fervently for each and every one of us – all at the same time!

The only limitation on His prayers is your will.  He has not made you a robot, but instead has given you the freedom to accept Him or reject Him as you choose.  Many in New Orleans refused the help of rescuers, insisting that they would stay in the remains of their homes.  Many on earth refuse the help of our Lord.  Will YOU answer His call?  You and your loved ones are VALUABLE to God, who created you and the sparrow, and He loves you without limit.  Will you trust in Him and receive the LIFE He offers?  Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I confess my need of You.  Forgive me for what I have done that is wrong.  I confess you as the Lord and Savior of my life.  I am Yours.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
First Church On The Net
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

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