|MY DAD, THE LATE REVEREND F.H. THORNTON
Music Download: The Perfect Dad
We may call our earthly father Dad, or Pop, or Papa, or even
"the old man," but we wouldn’t think of using such substitutes for God. I’d consider it sacrilegious
to call Him "Pop." God ranks above all kings and we’re to have nothing but awesome reverence for Him.
But our parents deserve honor, as sure as the fifth Commandment
says, "Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee"
(Exodus 20:5). Notice that this is the only Commandment with a promise of long life. That’s not a guarantee, because
the Bible also reminds you not to "tempt the Lord thy God" (Luke 4:12). I consider that to mean doing things that
are dangerous to the extent of taking death by the hand, daring God or anyone else to do it better. Bungee-jumping comes
to mind. And although the world holds mountain climbing in high regard, it’s trusting a rope and that your hand won’t
get a cramp while on the side of a wall 2,000 feet up.
So love your Dad as God loves you…and show respect, even if he’s rough around
the edges, or even if he’s mean to you. Your caring may be the means of his giving his heart to the Lord and changing
into the perfect Dad. I wrote a song with that title, and I’ll sing it for you who look in on my website or hear my
Sunday morning program locally. Or don’t click on it and it’ll stay in its pocket!
And you may have heard my Thorntonism…if you want true love,
get a dog. Love your Dad, no matter what. The Bible tells parents to train up a child in the way he should go, and when
he is old, he won’t depart from it (Proverbs 22:6); treat your Dad nice, even if he’s been on a binge, and your
goodness may rub off on him. It’s worth a try, and the Lord will be pleased.
And you guys who may be fathers in your own right someday…all
this works for you, too. Be kind to your family and be a good example to your children, and they’ll see the good, even
when you have to correct them. And be consistent. Be like a good watch; stay steady and keep on ticking.
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.