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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Do Your Friends Know About Jesus?

The second of my three “life-long” friends died recently in a freak accident in his home. He had just turned 59. Of the three, he had been my closest friend through much of my youth. We were in the same public schools in grades 1-12 and even attended the same university at one time. His home was just a short bicycle ride from mine and we shared many good times together. As life and jobs often separate people, such was the fate of our friendship. He chose the military as his profession and was very successful, rising to the rank of Colonel. I chose education and became a principal. We both left our hometown. He and his family lived in different states and over the years our contact with each other became much less frequent. My last telephone conversation with him was about two months before the tragedy of his death. The second of three men I would have trusted with my life was gone.

Standing at his graveside, engulfed by many fond emotional memories, I could not help but ponder that here was a veteran of the Vietnam War who had passed through that time of trial and danger only to die at the early age of 59 in an accident at home. Truly, a “man does not know his time.” (Ecclesiastes 9:12) Thus, the Psalmist prayed “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (90:12)

Death inevitably comes, but still surprises us all. Paul writes, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) There is hope even in the grave. “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28-29)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof of God’s love toward us just as Jesus’ death on the cross is the proof of God’s hatred of sin. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that the Christian life shall conquer the grave. Remove the resurrection of Jesus and all Christianity falls. But Christ did rise and will keep his promises to perfect our faith and raise our bodies to eternal glory.

Charles H. Spurgeon declares, “The resurrection is a fact better attested than any event recorded in any history, whether ancient or modern.” Lucifer may have danced on the tomb of our Savior in his joy, but that joy was soon overthrown by the power of Christ’s resurrection glory. This is the glory of our hope as Christians. We, who are Christians, shall one day experience first hand the delight and joy of the presence of God and the opportunity to renew old friendships in the Kingdom of Heaven. Have you told your friends about Jesus?

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