21 June 2010

Granddad's Hope, and Mine

My granddad (Roger Hall) had a massive heart attack on Monday, May 31. He passed away on Friday, June 4. Lauren and I were able to make the trip for the funeral. Had the opportunity to give the gospel to those in attendance. Just wanted to pass along some of my notes in hopes that it will be a blessing.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

I’d like to call your attention to the phrase at the end of verse 13, “that ye sorrow not, even as others, which have no hope.”

The scripture does not say that we do not sorrow, because we do. But the sorry that I feel today is a sorrow that is mixed with hope. What makes my sorrow a hopeful sorrow is my knowledge of the fact that the goodbye I’ll say today is not a forever goodbye. For me and my Granddad and all who have this hope, death is only a temporary separation.

Now, when the Bible speaks of hope it’s not referring to a wish or desire with some chance of coming to pass, but rather a certain expectation of a future event. I don’t hope that I’ll see my Granddad again in that it might happen or it might not happen, but my hope is that I’ll see him again in that I know it will take place.

What gives me this hope is not that my Granddad was a religious man, because to tell the truth, he wasn’t. If he was religious about anything it was his hunting and his grandkids. What gives me this hope is not that my Granddad was a good man, though he was as good as they come.

What gives me hope of a future, eternal reunion is the fact that my Granddad, as good a man as he was, realized that he was a sinner who needed a Savior and believed that the Jesus Christ who died and rose again was the only one who could save him from his sin and its eternal penalty.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Not because my Granddad was a religious man, in fact, he wasn’t; not because my Granddad was a good man, though he was; but because my Granddad trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of his soul, I stand before you fully confident that the moment he drew his last breath, he opened his eyes in the glorious presence of Almighty God.

Today my sorrow is mixed with hope because I have trusted the Savior my Granddad trusted, and I know the two of us will be together with Him one day.

My hope and my Granddad’s hope is that you, too, will join us.

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