It seems that folks will give a standing ovation at the drop of a hat, anymore. They’re liable
to stand up and cheer when a rock musician smashes his guitar on the floor. We were watching one of the Bill Gaither programs,
and no sooner than Bill had said the name of a certain singer, than people started rising to their feet and cheering.
Of course, you know me…I immediately said, “What…a standing ovation even before she sings?”
But I had to eat my words, because a pretty young blonde came forward, and began telling how she had beat cancer, and could
sing again. She even mentioned that she had hair again, not the blonde wig she had worn for so long. Then she sang a beautiful
song titled, “It Won’t Rain Always.”
Yes, I asked God to forgive me. How often do we jump to conclusions! The Bible is clear that we’re not
to judge…except that we can judge other Christians if they’re clearly sinning (I Cor. 5:12-13) and Saints will
judge the world (I Cor 6:2) and we will judge angels (I Cor 6:3). And we’d better judge ourselves, as I did after finding
out the truth about the girl on the Gaither program.
But when it comes to finding fault and putting down folks, even in our thoughts, have a care. The Bible also
says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matt 7:1) and the harder we judge others, then we’ll be judged just
as harshly by God on Judgment Day. And the Bible also is clear that if we don’t forgive others, God will not…can
not…forgive us. That one sentence is enough to put us on track.
One other thought, though. I have a “Thorntonism” in which I wonder that “It may be that
God will judge us, not for our weaknesses, but for our strengths.” Could it be? Because, no matter how we try to be
good at all times, and in all situations, we often fail. Will our strengths…faith in God and, as I say in one of my
poems, “tying a knot in the end of the rope, then hanging on” to never give up our belief in Him, will keep us?
Cheer up. God is in charge, and I believe He understands that we’re only human.
I’ve noticed that some of my Conquest articles have taken on a new complexion since my wife
went to her new home. I don’t feel the same about passing from this life to the next. I like to use the
term “The Promise” that the Lord gives to everyone…that Christians will immediately be with loved
ones who’ve gone on, when our turn comes.
King David used that consolation we see in 2nd Samuel 12:23,
after his son by Bathsheba died; “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” And of course Jesus
showed the same comfort to us, as He hung on the Cross, when he told the thief hanging beside Him, who had become a believer
there, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
I’ve written about that in an earlier article, but for those of you who didn’t see it, I’ll give
my interpretation of those words by Christ. “Today” means now…assuring us that we won’t be
put in a waiting area until some time in the future. And “shalt thou be with me” means that He will go to
the same place with this person who’s dying at His side.
And the Bible clearly shows that the word “Paradise” and
“Heaven” are the same place. Revelation 2:7 is enough to convince us: “He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which
is in the paradise of God.” And the tree of life serves double duty, also indicating that we’ll eat the
best of foods in Heaven.
The only ones who
should fear death, are those of you who haven’t given your heart to the Lord. I beg you to take care of that,
at this very moment. It’s the only time you’re guaranteed.