5 Things I Realized About Life Because of Death

Recently, I faced the deaths of three beloved people in two weeks–Zenaida Pineda, Randy Pepito, and Amihan Capao. Zenaida, 58, passed away due to complications of pneumonia; Randy, 59, to cardiac arrest; and Amihan, 50, to breast cancer. They died relatively young. They were close friends and family. Zeny was a vibrant Christian, a grace-giver. Randy was my brother-in-law, talking partner, and friend. Amihan was a sweet, strong woman full of faith in Christ.

Death is a robber. It robs us of joy. Death has robbed me of three people three times in two weeks.

Death is also a door. In Amihan’s final minutes, I told her, “Amihan, death is the door to the next room (heaven). We are on this side on earth. Jesus is on the other side in heaven. Death is the door that stands between heaven and earth. At death, we enter the door to the next room. There, Jesus is waiting for those who have trusted Him as Savior.”

Consequently, I learned five things about life because of death.

1. LIFE IS SHORT. DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOUR TIME IS UP. LIVE FOR GOD.

Check out the timeline in every tombstone in the cemetery. “Henry Trocino Jr., 1965 – ?” The short “dash” in-between the years refers to your lifetime. It’s that short.

1 Peter 1:24-25,

24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.

The grass withers,and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

2. LIFE IS GIVEN AND TAKEN BY THE LORD. DON’T ACT AS IF YOU OWN IT.

Job 1:21, “And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.'”

3. LIFE IS ONLY UP TO A POINT THAT GOD ALLOWS YOU TO LIVE. DON’T LIVE AS THOUGH YOU’RE THE ONE WHO DECIDES YOUR LIFE SPAN.

James 4:13-15,

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

4. LIFE IS PRECIOUS. DON’T WASTE IT.

C. T. Studd wrote, “Only one life. It will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” This is a favorite quote of my father-in-law, Rev. Andres Pepito.

1 Thessalonians 5:5-8,

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

5. LIFE IS A CHANCE TO SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR OTHERS. DON’T HIDE YOUR LOVE.

1 John 3:16-18,

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

17But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

18Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Can you think of someone you love that you haven’t told, “I love you”? (e.g. father, mother, brother, sister, friend, brother in Christ, etc.). Tell him today and say, “I love you.” Show your love in many ways–by asking how things are going, by asking how you can pray for her, by listening, by inviting him for coffee, by sharing the Gospel, etc.

Can you think of a strained relationship with someone? Someone you haven’t forgiven? Tell her today that you value her, that you forgive her, and that you love her in the love of the Lord.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Life is too short for avoidable delays.

 

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Jesus Robbed Death of Its Power to Rob Us of Life

imagesGod is the giver of life. But death is the great robber of life. Death has robbed us all of Joy. Death took Joy away from all of us. But Jesus came to rob death of its power to rob us of life. Jesus has already saved us from the power of death.

Hebrews 2:14 reads,

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

Since we are flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood. He became flesh just like us, yet without sin. That is the reason for Christmas. Jesus was born in the flesh, so that He will die for our sins. Through His death, He has destroyed the Devil. Through His death, Jesus has destroyed the power of death. Through His death, Jesus delivers us from the fear of death.

Therefore, in Christ, we win over death. In Christ, we receive eternal life. Though we die, in Christ, we live forever. In Christ, we get back the things that death has robbed us. We get back our loved ones. We regain our joy.

Have you trusted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Have you trusted in the One who has broken the power of death by His death and resurrection?

Come to Him now! Call on the Lord and you will be saved.

Death is Moving On to Living Forever

One day Jesus’ close friend, Lazarus, died. When He arrived at Bethany, Martha Moving On Quotes 0243-245 (Quotes About Death) (1)greeted Him and said, “Lord, if you had been here, Lazarus would not have died.” Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” But Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this (John 11:21-26)?”

Notice the difference between what Martha said and what Jesus said? Martha based her hope of a future resurrection on Jewish belief. But Jesus told her that her hope of a future resurrection should now be based on Jesus Himself. “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” The power to raise the dead resides in Jesus. (I am the resurrection.) The power to give eternal life resides also in Jesus. (I am the resurrection and the life.) (George R. Beasley-Murray)

Do you believe in Jesus? Do you trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior today? Therefore, though you die, yet shall you live. Though you die, you never really die. Though you die, you live forever.

Jesus makes you live though you die. Have you thought of that? Jesus does not only make you live; He makes you live forever. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Jesus is the source and giver of eternal life. Therefore, Jesus makes you live forever! What an amazing concept!

So, yes, we die. But no, we don’t die. Because in Christ, we live. In Christ, we live forever. We live forever because we have eternal life in Christ.

Jesus said in John 5:24, “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” Jesus said that if you trust in him, you have passed from death to life. In the Greek, the verb “passed” is perfect tense. The perfect tense indicates completed action but with continuing results. If you trust Christ as your Savior, you have passed from death to life. You have transferred from a state of death to a state of life. You have transitioned from a condition of death to a condition of life. The results are continuing. You don’t get back to death. You stay in the state of life.

If you trust Christ as your Savior, you possess eternal life. You possess it now. Eternal life cannot end. Eternal life will not end. Eternal life is forever. Our bodies die. But our souls live forever. Thus, at death, you move on to live forever.

Death is Going Home

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He was goingheaven_Jesus_receiving_man_in_heaven.13385105_std home to heaven. What is heaven? First, Heaven is a place. What kind of place? How do you describe heaven? Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Lk. 23:43). The word, “paradise,” is a Persian word “for an enclosed park or pleasure ground.” (RWP). But in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT, the word, “paradise,” was used for the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8; 13:10). (John Nolland) Paradise is a pleasant, pleasurable place, like the garden of Eden.

Have you been to a beautiful garden full of plants and trees? Heaven is a million times more beautiful and more pleasant. Heaven is a beautiful park, a pleasurable place of enjoyment. But heaven is more than a place.

Second, Heaven is a Person. Jesus said, “Where I am, there you may be also.” Heaven is a Person. Jesus will be there.

Third, Heaven is permanence. Howard Hendricks said that heaven is being with a permanent person in a permanent place. The thing that makes heaven, heaven, is the presence of Jesus. The thing that makes hell, hell, is the absence of Jesus. It is the presence of Jesus our Savior that makes heaven a glorious place.

Aren’t you glad whenever you come home after a long journey? As someone once wrote, There’s no place like home. Joy has gone home. She is now in a permanent place called heaven. Most of all, she is with a permanent Person called Jesus.

Death is Traveling

Paul said, “The time of my departure is at hand” (2 Tim. 4:6). The word, “departure” is 0525.departures_0B8316F3from a Greek word (analuo) which means, “to unloose.” The word refers to unloosing a tent. Last Nov. 3, in the cemeteries, people unloosed the tent. They took the tent down. Departure—unloosing of the tent. “Departure” also refers to untying of a boat. We weigh the anchor. We loosen the ropes. We put out to sea. We head for a faraway land. So death is going on a journey.

We unloose a tent. We unloose a boat to go to a faraway shore. Paul says that your body is a tent. My question to you now is, Are you ready for the day when God shall unloose your tent? Are you ready when God shall unloose your boat and bring you to a faraway shore in heaven?

Joy was ready when God unloosed her tent and her boat.

Death is Sleeping

maxresdefaultMark wrote in Mark 5:38-40,

38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him.

Jesus arrives at the home of Jairus. Jairus’s 12 year-old daughter is already dead. Jesus finds the mourners doing their thing. The mourners included two flute players and wailing women. They were professional mourners—paid and good at their job. They were weeping and wailing loudly, creating a lot of noise. Jesus comes in and says, “What’s all the noise? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” They laughed out loud.

Why did they laugh out loud? It sounded funny, weird, and crazy to them. If you believe only the possible, but not the impossible, you will also laugh at the word of God, just like old Sarah, Abraham’s wife. To them, the child was already dead. But to Jesus, the child was just sleeping. To them, death is the end of life. But for Jesus, death is not the end of life. Jesus said, “She’s just sleeping.”

Death is just going to sleep. Sleeping is temporary. You don’t sleep forever. It means that the state of death is just temporary.

Joy died trusting Christ. She has accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. How do I know? She said so. When asked if she has trusted Christ as Savior, she said, yes. Dr. Norfelly Pepito shared the Gospel to her. I noticed one thing that Joy does when I read the Bible to her. She was feeling pain and tiredness. But when we will read the Bible or pray, she would sit up straight. She would listen to God’s Word and nod her head; and pray. Joy died trusting Christ as her personal Savior.

Therefore, we can say with Jesus, she is just sleeping. Just make sure she doesn’t wake up!

Death is sleeping. You ask, when will Joy wake up? Paul says the dead in Christ will wake up when Jesus comes again (1 Thess. 4:16).

Death is Not the End of Life

(Preached at Bethany Room, St. Peter Chapels, Cebu City; Title adopted from John Piper’s Sermon, “Death is Not the End of Life”)

How many of you have watched the movie, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”? There is imagesthe scene of Kylo Ren stabbing Hans Solo with his light saber. Then Hans Solo falls off the bridge. Death is the end of Hans Solo’s role in the Star Wars franchise.

To most of us, death is also the end of Joy Tenerife’s role in life. It is the closing chapter of the book of Joy Tenerife. It is the end of the road for Joy Tenerife. It is called “The End” at the end of the movie of the life of Joy Tenerife.

But is death the end of life? I want to tell you from the Bible that death is not the end of life. I’m glad to tell you that in the Bible, death is only the beginning of life. I’d like to share with you four pictures of death. These four pictures of death tell us that death is not the end of life.