Everyone, no matter how rich or poor, bad or good, finally must quit what they’re
doing, and die. Elijah was one of the greatest before Christ came, but his time came to name a successor.
The Bible says in 1st Kings, 19:19, a man named Elisha, was plowing 12 yoke of oxen, and “Elijah passed by him,
and cast his mantle upon him.” He didn’t have to say it…Elisha “broke the plow,” in a manner
of speaking, knowing God had chosen him to join Elijah. About 11 years later, Elijah was taken up “in a
whirlwind into Heaven” (2nd Kings 2:11).
What a pity that even the greatest, finally have to
lay down their mantle. But in this case, Elijah had asked Elisha what he would like from him, and Elisha asked for a
double portion of Elijah’s spirit. And it became evident soon after Elijah was taken up. Almost immediately,
Elisha wanted to cross the river Jordan, and he “smote the waters, and said, “where is the Lord God of Elijah?
“And when he also had smitten the waters, the parted hither and thither, and Elisha went over.”
One day in college, after a session touched on the crossing of the Red Sea, I asked my history professor, whether he
knew that fact, and he did not. He knew his history, but not his Bible. The four were, of course, the Red
Sea (Exodus 14:21; the river Jordan by Joshua (3:15-17); the Jordan again by Elijah (2nd Kings 2:8, and the Jordan again by
I often wonder who will “break the plow” and replace such greats as Billy Graham,
still living at this writing in2017. But God knows, even now.
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.