Tuesday, April 24, 2007

DYING EARLY=HEAVEN?


About 800 people gathered at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., April 21 for a three-hour memorial service honoring Rachel Hill, who was a member of the church and a graduate of Grove Avenue Christian School. In an e-mail to Baptist Press two days after the shootings, Grove Avenue school administrator Clay Fogler said, "Rachael was an incredible witness for Christ, the love of Christ shone through her to others."

Rachel was one of the victims of the tragic Virginia Tech murders. She, praise God is with the Lord and has been given the reward of her faith. It is interesting and sobering to put all of life through the grid of Gods Word. Particularly when it relates to untimely death. We all have an idea of about when it is that people should leave this earth. We all have an idea of what we think it right or fair, or at least what is to be expected. When events like the one at VT happen, it shakes the foundation of those errant expectations. If we believe the Word of God then we need to understand that for Rachel that fateful day was a day of gain for her. The Bible tells us that to live is Christ and to die is gain. It was a great day for her.

But it was a great day only because she knew Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. If that were not the case it would have been the worst day ever, as it would have been the day her eternal damnation began. People also, tragically believe that there is merit to someones eternal destiny if they die at an age we consider to be too early. You hear it pronounced about teenagers and young people who had no true faith in Christ that anyone was aware of, who sadly die and are pronounced by a well meaning but weak minister to be "with the Lord". That is simply not true. If a young person dies, yes it is an awful thing for all left behind, but it is worse if that young person did not know Christ as his or her own. There is not an age exception given by God.

This is why we need to be diligent about our witness for Christ to all, regardless of age. It is also why we do an eternal disservice placing people in Heaven because they die too early. Praise God that Rachel Hills family can be assured that she is with the Lord and they will see her again. Not because she was gunned down at an early age, but because they share the same faith in Christ. Can that be said of you and your children?

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com