April 1, 2001
Volume 11, Number 13

Making a Friend out of an Old Enemy

The Bible calls death "the last enemy" (1 Corinthians 15:26), and most people view death as the enemy. They donít like to talk about it; they donít even like to think about it. They go to expensive extremes to postpone itó even for a few months. But Jesus came so we can make a friend out of this old enemy.
Jesus told Martha that "...whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die...," then asked if she believed it (in. 11:11-15). He did not mean believers never die physically. A Christianís body dies like everybody elseís. Jesus was inviting her to see the old enemy, death, as a new friend that opened the door for the spirit to eternal life. Paul looked forward to dying because he knew he would then be with God (Philippians 1:22). Jesus wants us to look at death from Godís perspective. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" (Psalm 116:15; Revelation 14:13). Why?

GOD SEES DEATH AS JUST GOING TO SLEEP

To Jesus, Lazarus had just "gone to sleep" (John 11:11). Parents do not fear their children going to sleep; rather, they plan for it. They work family schedules so there will be plenty of hours for naps and sleeping. Jesus saw raising a dead man as no more difficult than for us to wake someone from sleep (cf. Matthew 9:24). On resurrection morning, Jesus will wake all those in the grave with the angelís "alarm clock" that will be loud enough to (literally) "wake the dead" (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). He will say, "Come on, weíre going home" (John 5:25-29), or, in the case of non-Christians, sadly Heíll say, "Time to go to the lake" (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:15).

GOD SEES DEATH AS JUST TAKING A TRIP
(2 TIMOTHY 4:6)

Paul said, "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" (Philippians 1:23). Paul expected his soul to go to paradise, while his body rested in the grave to await a happy waking. Imagine standing on a dock watching a great ocean liner moving out of a harbor. You say, "Itís going," as you watch it sink below the horizon. Finally someone says, "Itís gone." But on another shore someone watches for the ship. One day they see the smoke, the funnels, then the hull and say, "Itís coming." As it pulls into port, they say, "Itís here." We say at a loved oneís deathbed, "Sheís going," and as she takes her last breath, "Sheís gone." But the watchers on another shore say, "Sheís coming. She is home at last."

GOD SEES DEATH AS A CHANGE OF RESIDENCE
(JOHN 14:1-3)

Imagine knocking at an old house. A neighbor notices and says, "Are you looking for Mrs. Johnson?" "Yes," you reply. He says, "She doesnít live there anymore. She moved to a new house on the rich side of town last week." You drive to her new home where she welcomes you and proudly shows you around her new place. We have Christian friends whose frail bodies no longer serve their purpose. They have to move out of the tenement of clay, but they are really only changing residences. We are journeying, not to the sunset, but to the sunrise; death is a gate on the skyline to heaven.

GOD SEES DEATH AS HIS CHILD GAINING AN INHERITANCE
(PHILIPPIANS 1:21)

If we live for Christ, we get rich when we die (Matthew 6:19-21)! We gain access to all we have invested there (Matthew 6:19-2 1). We gain victory over sin, Satan, doubt, and fear (Revelation 20:10). We gain freedom from aches, disease, pains, tears, and death (Revelation 21:4). We gain fellowship with God, Jesus, and the Spirit (Philippians 1:23), and association with loved ones and the saints of all the ages (Matthew 8:11).
Have you feared death in the past? Get rid of it right away! Jesus came to deliver us from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:15). He made it possible for us to say, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me" (Psalm 23:4). A gentleman visited a poor family and saw a French note for a thousand francs (a lot of money at that time) framed on the wall. He said, "Where did you get this?" They told him they had taken in an injured French soldier but were unable to save him. As he died, he gave them this "little picture as something to remember him by." They thought it was a "pretty souvenir" so they framed it. They were surprised that it was worth a sum greater than their whole house! Christians who still fear death are not using the blessing Jesus left them. Death is a friend who gives us a ride home. Itís a graduation exercise from Earthís High School to Heavenís College.

Allen Webster

Annual Bible Reading Program

This weekís Bible readings are:

Sunday, 1st: Matthew 25:1-30, Numbers 30-31, Job 1
Monday, 2nd: Matthew 25:31-46, Numbers 32-34, Job 2
Tuesday, 3rd: Matthew 26:1-25, Numbers 35-36, Job 3
Wednesday, 4th: Matthew 26:26-46, Deuteronomy 1-2, Job 4
Thursday, 5th: Matthew 27:1-31, Deuteronomy 3-4, Job 5
Friday, 6th: Matthew 27:32-66, Deuteronomy 5-6, Job 6
Saturday, 7th: Matthew 28, Deuteronomy 7-8, Job 7

A pint of example is worth a barrelfull of advice.

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ďLife is made up of little things, It is seldom that occasion offers itself for doing a great deed. True greatness consists in being great in all little things. Let us be willing to keep doing a little good rather than waiting to do a great deal of good all at once.Ē

W.S.K. Yeaple

A Special Welcome to our Visitors

Please fill out a blue visitor card so that we might have a record of your visit. If needed, there is a nursery available at the rear of the auditorium. Bible classes for all ages are available Sundays at 10:00 am and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM. We hope that you will join us for these studies. Please come and worship with us again soon.

Emma Jean Phillips - Bill Sherman - Elizabeth O'Connor - Leslie Johnson

Robert Heffernan - Viola Morinier - Virginia Law - Jeanette Thompsom

Bill Brown - Mike Sullivan - Martha Osborne -Maxine Riggenbach

Mary Kauppila - Naomi Morton - Sean Smith - Elroy Finney

Jim & Betty Dougan - Ron Jones

 

News:

 

New Directory: We are working on the new directory which will include family photos.

Fellowship Meal: This Sunday.

Wednesday Adult Bible Class: "Jeremiah", chapters 50-51. (6:30 PM)

Sundayís Lessons:

Is That Your Final Answer? (Mark 10:17-22)

TBA()

Service Opportunities

Time of Services

Announcements:

Wayne Vowell

Sunday

Ushers:

Walt Thompson

Bible Study:

10:00 am

Morning Services

Worship:

11:00 am

Bible Reading:

Dale Schwartz

Evening Worship:

6:00 pm

Songs:

Jim Treece

Monday

Sermon:

Ted Wheeler

Ladies Bible Class:

11:00 am.

Closing Prayer:

Glen Law

Wednesday

Evening Services

Bible Study:

6:30 pm

Opening Prayer:

Clarence Riggenbach

Songs:

Jim Treece

Our Record - Last Week

Sermon:

Ted Wheeler

Closing Prayer:

Dick Navarre

Attendance:
106

Communion

Contribution:
$ 1680.00
Delbert Leavens
Weekly Budget:
$ 1500.00
Kerry Keathley
Don Douglas
Weekly Average (yr):
TBA

Mike Weber

Copyright © 2001 Church of Christ of Venice. All Rights Reserved.