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Mailing Address: 1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, Singapore 308899
Email: email@example.com; Website: http://www.truelifebpc.org.sg
(Ring Pastor Jeffrey Khoo 62561189 Anytime)
|“The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep SILENCE before him.”|
Dr Jose Lagapa
Last Thursday, I received a message from our brother Carlo that his mother went home to be with the Lord. I was a bit shocked because “Mama Clarita” as she was fondly called was still actively attending the Christian Bible Fellowship (CBF) last month. In fact, she was so early that I felt ashamed to have arrived later, after her. She was waiting outside of our meeting place under the hot sun on a sunny afternoon because the door was still locked.
In our first meeting in 2017, I had already noticed God’s working in her life. I thought she would just brush off the message that was preached that day because Cebuanos (those who hail from the island of Cebu) are generally staunch Roman Catholics. The Cebuanos, by the way, were among the first Filipino tribes who received Roman Catholicism way back in the early 1500’s. So I went to Mama Clarita after the message and shared with her again the gospel. I cannot forget her words to me, “The Word of God is really different from the words of men.” It dawned on me that she appreciated God’s Word as a comfort and source of hope for her. She also acknowledged that in the Lord there is forgiveness of sins.
I saw her again when I was tasked to have a Bible study with brother Carlo’s siblings before we started the CBF. That Sunday afternoon, there was a big fire in one of the malls in Lapu-lapu City that caused heavy traffic jams. Since she came from the opposite direction she was able to come on time. She even invited a few young people to join us. Being worried that only few arrived and it was already past the scheduled time, she took her own initiative to call each of her children to come and find other routes that they might be able to join the Bible study. She was concerned for the spiritual life of her children.
We met again during the launching of the CBF in Cebu. She was bringing her children and friends to come and attend the meeting. Since then she was active in the CBF, though absent sometimes due to her health. In one of my scheduled preaching stints in CBF, she joined us even though she just got out of hospital. She used to be fetched by her grandson, but on one occasion no one came to give her a ride. She went out alone and walked to the CBF. Thank God that a relative passed by and gave her a lift to the CBF. She was an encouragement to the fellowship and she kept on asking us to pray that all her children might be united as one under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ.
She was 69 years old when the Lord took her home. She had been in and out of hospital because of diabetes. She wanted to be discharged and the doctors allowed her even in her bad situation. A day after she left the hospital, she succumbed to kidney failure and was taken home by God.
As the Psalmist writes, “Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave Selah” (Ps 89:47–48). So Moses prayed in Psalm 90:9–12, “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
We really cannot tell when our last day is on earth. As I ministered on Friday afternoon to the family of brother Carlo during the vigil service, the Lord gave me the burden to share 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: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” I shared two points: (1) resurrection and life is only found in Christ Jesus because He is the eternal God and the Creator of life; and (2) resurrection and life is availed by faith alone in the work and Word of Jesus Christ. There were many Roman Catholics who listened. Let us pray the seed of the Gospel sown in them will grow unto their salvation.
Indeed, it is “… better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth” (Eccl 7:2–4). As I shared the Word of the Lord, I was also reminded of the brevity of my life. I cannot say that since I do not have a terminal disease I will last longer on earth. We are all terminal cases, whether we acquire a terminal disease or not. Accidents and disasters are able to end our lives on earth. But let us remember that only God knows our end. Not one will die without God’s appointment. Therefore, let us be always prepared to see Him face to face, whether at death or at the Rapture. “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12).
Let us not take for granted the life God has given to us. Let us not waste it by indulging in the filth and dirt of this world. Let us spend our life in a very worthwhile manner on earth. That can only happen when we entrust our lives unto the Lord when we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Only then can we be indwelt by the Spirit of God and be led to live a life pleasing before Him. Without God, our lives are meaningless and full of emptiness. People who do not have Christ do not have the direction of life towards heaven. They are unaware that they are heading towards eternal condemnation in the Lake of Fire. God’s Word promises that whosoever believes in Jesus Christ should not perish but will have everlasting life.
Many people at middle age still think they have a long way to go. Please do not be caught by Satan’s deception to think that you can enjoy the world first and then come to Christ at old age before you die. But when will this be? Who among us can determine his or her days on earth? Even great doctors have no idea when his patient will pass away. Do you think you tell when your life will end? We may end up finding ourselves dead without Christ and then wake up in the very fires of hell! “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” (Heb 3:15).
Mama Clarita is in the good hands of our Saviour, where there is no more sickness and death! Don’t you want to live eternally in heaven too?
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