When I was a youngster, although Christmas was looked forward to with great
excitement, and I started counting down the days from as much as 100 days or more, I didn't "get" much, as they
say, when the Great Day finally arrived.
In fact, one of the things I dreaded afterwards, was my friends
asking what I had gotten. Because the list was very short, with nothing spectacular to show and tell.
But I didn't hate my parents, and I wasn't ashamed of them. I understood. They did all they could, and
it was enough. It was just that I wanted to keep things private...in the family.
this came to mind as I thought recently about the place in the Bible where it admonishes us not to be "ashamed of Christ."
Jesus said, and is quoted in the eighth chapter of Mark's book, in the 38th verse, "Whosoever therefore shall be
ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when
He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
I'd hate to find, at His coming,
that my lack of zeal might be considered as being ashamed of Christ. I'm not. I'm a Christian, and often
wonder who I'd turn to with my problems, if I didn't have Him. But I'm so quiet about it!
I have a card somewhere that says, "If the authorities should come, arresting all who are Christians, would they have
enogh evidence to convict YOU?
In my case, I hope so.
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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.