NO MORE Andy Hollifield 1-16-17
Many times in the course of our lives we encounter situations where we don’t think we can take any more. It is hard as I write not to jump ahead and reveal my last thought first because it is one to look forward to. I began to read about some of the things that will end when our last breath is drawn in this life. Years ago while studying for a message I began to wonder about that last breath. I have had the privilege to be by the bedside of a few people as they took that last breath. Now this may not sound real encouraging at the minute but please bear with me because I haven’t got to the good part yet. As I stood by the bedside of those folks, it was really quite peaceful for them. There came a time when the next breath just never came. All of the ones I was with at that final moment had been born again and were ready to meet the Lord. As I thought about that last breath, while studying for the message, I wondered; where did it go? I called a friend of mine that operates a local funeral home and asked him if there was air in the body after someone passed. He said that as they begin to move a body, as they lifted it around the torso and chest area, there was a gush of air that rushed out of the lungs even though the person had passed. That was a great blessing to me because my thought was this: that one day we would breath out over here in our fleshly body for the last time and breathe in that heavenly air in our new glorified body. That may not do anything for you but it is a real blessing to me. One reason is because that last gush of air could be considered a big sigh of relief that this life with all of its trouble is finally over. The other reason it is a blessing is because I thought of my arrival in heaven like a crisp mountain morning as you walk outside and just draw in a big deep breath of clear mountain air or the same circumstance at the beach as you step out and take a deep breath as you watch the sun rise. Refreshing isn’t it and thinking about it just makes you look forward to getting there a little more.
As appealing as that sounds, we still haven’t got to the good part. In Revelation 21:1-2, John saw the new earth and new heaven and “new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, as a bride adorned for her husband. All that is good but verse 3 is where it really starts getting good. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people , and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Now we get to the good part in verse 4 “And God shall wipe away all TEARS from their eyes; and there shall be no more DEATH, neither SORROW, nor CRYING,neither shall there be any more PAIN: for the former things are passed away.” Ain’t that good? Just the thought of God himself wiping away ALL of our tears. This is mentioned at least three more times in scripture. What a blessing! We won’t have anything to cry about when we get there. No more death. No funeral homes, no more having to say good-bye to loved ones, no more grief and bereavement. No more sin. Can you even imagine such a place as that? 1 Corinthians 15:26 says “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” On down in verse 54 “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” No death, tears, crying, and one of my favorites; no pain. No pain meds, surgeries, glasses, contacts, hearing aids, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, heating pads, or ice packs. All of that will be gone when this mortal body puts on immortality. Are you getting excited yet? As good as all of that is, the thing I think I may look forward to as much or more than anything else is someone who will be missing. Do you realize that when you draw that last breath that the devil can go no further? You have at that point outran him and you win! If you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior, at that point you will never have to worry about him again. But if you have never accepted Christ as your personal Savior, if you have never repented of your sin and asked him to save you; when you leave this life you are just getting started with the devil. Oh, we as Christians will see him again when he is bound and cast into the bottomless pit. But imagine what our life here would be like without him. All the heartache you have ever gone through is because of him. From the garden of Eden until now, every tear you ever shed is because of what sin has done to mankind. As much as the devil has fought in my life, I will be glad to step off over in heaven and not have to give a thought or have any remembrance of him or anything I have suffered because of him. We have never experienced that kind of unlimited peace since we were all babies in our momma’s arms and even then we occasionally had to deal with pain brought on by the curse in Eden. Never having to worry about anything again. Never having to give thought to whether something is right or wrong. Never again having a temptation much less having to resist it. Imagine the relief, if you will, of a life where there is no devil. No more devil. Say that a few times, no more devil. Man that sounds good doesn’t it. It is beyond our comprehension. 1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
My sincere hope is that no matter what you may be facing or whatever dark place you may be in, the bible says this phrase 452 times: “it came to pass”. It didn’t come to stay. It is only temporary. God has a purpose and a plan for your life. We are not home yet and he is still molding each one of us into what he wants us to be. Aren’t you glad there are going to be some things missing in heaven. Some things that once we leave here, whether by the rapture or the grave, we won’t have to deal with anymore. No more! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!