As a father of young children watching the Keith Green documentary posted on tuesday cuts me to the core. Keith Green's life, a life that produced some of the truly great Christian songs of the last century, was tragically cut short at the age of 28 in a plane crash. Compounding the tragedy was the death of his son Josiah (4) and daughter Bethany (2) who were on board the same plane. As Keith's wife Melody tearfully recounted this tragedy of 25 years ago I saw a short video of young Josiah on a swing grinning ear to ear. That same day I had been pushing my two year old son on a swing as he grinned ear to ear. The thought of this made me erupt into tears unable to fathom the tragedies so many people face.
But what is even harder to fathom is why God graciously has allowed me and my family to live in a bubble of blessing while tragedies strike all around. I had a stern reminder of this in the last week when a good friend of mine from Australia informed me of his terminal illness. As I meditated on these things in the light of God's Holiness and man's depravity I wrote these words in the hope of delivering comfort to my suffering friend.
Dear xxxxx, we were stunned with your latest news. We are praying for you. Though we are not facing the same adversity we draw great encouragment from other godly men and women who have faced incredible hardship and crisis. Abraham drew comfort in the valley when he said "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
We rejoice in your desire to fervently witness for the "ONLY NAME given under heaven by which all men must be saved". I fear much more for those people who have not repented of their sin and trusted in Christ. Jesus is the ONLY hope for all of mankind and we are comforted by our trust that you are in the care of the Great Physician. We love you both dearly and are so grateful for the love, counsel, and salt and light you have been for us. You are a very large part of a very important season of our lives and we are constantly grateful.
The Bible rightly says that all of our lives are like a vapor in the context of eternity. The curse pronounces terminal illness on the entire human race. Thanks be to God that in the fulness of time He sent forth His Son to be a penal substitute in the place of sinners. The God Who made us has numbered our days and that is ultimately what defines the start and finish of our sojourn on this planet. No earthly doctor can set those limits. We get the days God gives us - no more and no less - and it is our loving Creator Who alone determines the boundaries of human life on this planet, that is not our home.
For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city (Hebrews 11:14-16).
We are so blessed by your desire to continually be a witness and want to exhort you to please stay fervent in your witness for Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation and He has graciously given us a role in proclaiming His Gospel. It is ultimately a verbal Gospel which is why Paul says "how shall they HEAR unless a preacher is sent". Everyone's life will end one day, but it doesn't need to end up in hell. Christ in you is the hope of glory to these lost people who will come to you and it is for this reason that your finest days may still lay ahead of you.
You are both so precious to us.
Cameron and Family
I have often heard it said that "some people are so heavenly minded they're no earthly good". I actually believe the reverse is true. Without an eternal perspective, Jesus as my strong tower, and the comforting doctrine of God's sovereignty, I don't know how I could face another day. I cannot understand how lost sinners can face each new day - it can only be blindness, ignorance, and delusion that allow hell bound sinners to soldier on in life. Don't they see the ultimate statistic that one out of one people die? Don't they see their own terminal illness.
There is so much more to explore on these issues and I will continue on saturday. This all strikes me so close to home that and I am overwhelmed with the gracious and tender way God has dealt with a rebel like me. My great question is why does God allow me to live and be so blessed in this life? I have decided to reveal a lot of my personal testimony over the coming days. So stay tuned if that grabs your curiosity!
Go On To Part 2