WHEN A FRIEND GOES TO HEAVEN
I have had two dear friends of a lifetime leave their earthly ministry and enter Heaven’s gates this year. Both of them Great men of God with faithful godly wives and wonderful families. We all miss them dearly. I still have waves of grief sweep over me from time to time. I am not a crier under most conditions. But I have shed tears many times reminiscing over these two faithful servants of God.
One was R. B. Adamson. We went to church together as boys in Louisville, KY at Southside Baptist Church. He became a pastor in Bowling Green, KY while I was there working for IBM. After much faithful prodding on his part with weekly visits my wife, Nancy, and I attended Bethel Baptist Church where he was pastoring. Before long I had rededicated my life to Christ, my wife had gotten saved and we began to serve the Lord. We never looked back. We became lifelong friends with Bro. R. B. and his dear wife Sondra. It wasn’t long until God made it clear to me that God was calling me to full time Christian service. That was in 1966 (47 years ago). He was a faithful preacher and pastor until God took him home this year. I preached his funeral.
The other was Ed Snider. I met Bro. Ed at Glendale Baptist Church 46 years ago. We both along with our wives Sheila and Nancy became members there about the same time. When I became a staff member at Glendale Bro. Ed became like a volunteer assistant. When God called me to Louisville to pastor Shawnee Baptist Church, Bro. Ed took much of my staff responsibility. It wasn’t but a few years until I needed a faithful staff member. I called Bro. Ed and he joined me there in September of 1976 serving as a loyal associate for 33 years. Our families literally grew up together. After I resigned as pastor of Shawnee he continued to serve the pastor and people of Shawnee until God took him home to Heaven this year. I preached his funeral.
When a friend goes to Heaven two verses come to mind that bring peace and even joy to my soul.
Psalms 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
When Bro. R. B. and Bro. Ed woke up in God’s presence it was a wonderful event, a blessed event… Like when your children come home from a long absence… This verse calls it, “Precious.” God is Blessed
Rev 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
Not only is it precious to the LORD, it is also a Blessed event for those who die in the Lord. What a glorious eternal day. Resting from labours Rejoicing in rewards from heavenly work they did on earth. So not only is God blessed but our friends in Heaven are Blessed.
In Heaven everyone is rejoicing. It seems we are the only ones still grieving. I suppose we will miss our loved ones until we meet them in Heaven. Still we can believe God and press on in spiritual victory with thanksgiving.
1Co 15:57-58 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Thank the Lord that the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the grave takes the sting out of death and victory away from the grave. We will see our loved ones again
In this Easter season as we think of our living Lord let’s also remember our living loved ones waiting for us on the other side.
1Corinthians 15:20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”
Mark 16:6 “… Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.”
John 11:25-26 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Now let’s get busy inviting our living friends, neighbors, co-workers, relatives and everyone we meet to meet our living Saviour.
Let’s rejoice in the empty tomb. Let’s tell them the gospel story.
Let’s give our testimony. Let’s bring them in. If they don’t come …. Let’s invite them again.