A Little Girl Seeks a Preacher to Get Her Dying Mother Into Heaven (Gospel Light Minute X #370)

This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #370 titled, “A Little Girl Seeks a Preacher to Get Her Dying Mother Into Heaven.” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.

A well-known preacher was about to retire for the evening when there was a knock at his front door. Opening the door, he saw a poorly dressed little girl drenched from the rain. She had walked through the rainstorm from her home in the slum district to find the preacher. As he stood looking down into her thin, haggard little face, she inquired, “Are you the preacher?”

“Yes, I am a preacher,” he replied softly.

“Well won’t you come down and ‘get my mother in’?” she asked. The preacher wisely answered this little inquirer:

“My dear, it is hardly proper for me to come and ‘get your mother in’. If she is drunk, you should get a police officer. He is better qualified and properly dressed for the occasion.”

“Oh no sir,” she replied in haste and with more urgency in her small voice. “You don’t understand! My mother is not drunk; she is home in bed, dying, and she is afraid to die. She wants to go to Heaven, but does not know how,” He told her that he would help her find a preacher to “get her mother in.” She paused briefly, “NO! You must come quickly, sir; she is dying! Please! We don’t have time to wait.” Continue reading “A Little Girl Seeks a Preacher to Get Her Dying Mother Into Heaven (Gospel Light Minute X #370)”

GLMX #270: Dear Jerika Bolen, Before You Leave Us…

jerika-bolen

Jerika Bolen is 14-years-old. And, when this summer is over, she plans to die.


Jerika suffers spinal muscular atrophy type 2. According to USA Today, “The disease destroys nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle activity, and a lack of movement causes the muscles to waste away. Jerika has never walked, and she says her pain is a seven on a scale of one to 10 on her best days. She can speak and has some movement of her hands, but the disease — and the pain — are only going to get worse.”

Jerika has made the decision to enter hospice care at the end of August, unhook her ventilator and die. This week, a prom event was held in her honor. Over 1,000 people — most of them complete strangers — turned out to make one of her last days alive fun, enjoyable, and memorable. Many expressed admiration of her bravery in making the decision to die before she lost the ability to do so.

But death is a big — a very big — event. There is no coming back from it. And while we may debate whether or not it is right for a person to choose their own death, there is one important thing that must be considered before death — whether planned or unplanned.

And that is, what happens AFTER death. Popular culture would have us believe that death is death, and that afterwards people inevitably “find peace.” But what comes after death is as much a decision as anything else in life. We can choose what happens to us after we die. Continue reading “GLMX #270: Dear Jerika Bolen, Before You Leave Us…”

GLMX #260: The Tragedy of Being Unprepared to Die

People gather for a national service for the victims of the terror attack at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.
People gather for a national service for the victims of the terror attack at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.

On Friday night in Paris, multiple simultaneous terror attacks were carried out. 129 people were killed, and over 350 were injured. It was the worst attack in France since World War II.

Those who died in the attacks were people just like you and me. They were out at the end of the week, enjoying a Friday night and looking forward to the weekend. Some were at a soccer game. Some were eating in a restaurant. Some were attending a concert. It is one of the worst tragedies the modern world has ever witnessed. So many lives ended suddenly, unexpectedly, and unnecessarily.

What is more tragic, however, is that many of those who died may have been unprepared to face what comes after death. An eternal destination awaits each of us after we leave this earth. A decision we make in this life determines where we end up. You can die just as suddenly and unexpectedly as those 129 souls who departed this earth on Friday in Paris, or you may die after living into your old age. Either way, you have an opportunity to prepare for what comes after death right now. It would be a tragedy if you did not take advantage of this chance. Continue reading “GLMX #260: The Tragedy of Being Unprepared to Die”

GLMX #249: When Death Speaks

death-speaks


Allow me to share with you a brief story told by W. Somerset Maugham. The speaker is Death.

There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd, and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.” The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?” “That was not a threatening gesture,” I said, “it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

This little story brilliantly illustrates the inevitability of death. No matter how we try to run from it, delay it, and avoid it, we will eventually be faced with it. In fact, the day of your death is already set. God knows it, but you do not. When that day comes, you will die whether you like it or not. The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die…” Ecclesiastes 3:2 says there is “a time to be born, and a time to die.” Second Samuel 14:14 says, “For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again…”

Look all around you. People are dying: some from natural causes, some as casualties of war, and some from the effects of sickness and disease. Look at the history of your family and you will see that a long line of people related to you have passed beyond death’s door.

If death is inevitable, the only thing one can do is prepare for it.

MUSICAL SELECTION: “All My Tears” by Selah

GLMX #245: How to Defy Death

defy-death

A recent feature story in the Washington Post states: “For centuries, explorers have searched the world for the fountain of youth. Today’s billionaires believe they can create it, using technology and data.” The story went on to describe how Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, and Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, met with a molecular biologist and theoretician to discuss how they can use technology to slow down ageing and greatly elongate the human lifespan. The story also reported that Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, “has proclaimed his wish to live forever and has donated more than $430 million to anti-aging research.” He told his biographer, “Death has never made any sense to me. How can a person be there and then just vanish, just not be there?”

No doubt, every person who has lived has had questions about death. And nearly everyone has wondered at one time or another how they can extend their life or remain younger longer. Television ads about anti-aging creams and techniques populate the airwaves. People fret over dieting and health issues in an effort to look and feel younger. People have a seemingly natural desire to live longer — even to defy death and live forever. Continue reading “GLMX #245: How to Defy Death”

GLMX #243: “We Never Really Die”

08-Eternity

There is a thrilling chase scene in the movie “Lucy”, in which the main character, also named Lucy, has commandeered a police car and is driving it through Paris at high speed with a frightened police officer in the passenger seat. At one point, the police officer says to Lucy, “I’d rather be late than dead.” And, Lucy, replies, “We never really die.”

Although “Lucy” is a science fiction film, and many of the scientific claims in the film are questionable, that statement is actually true. We never really die.

Of course, you will face physical death at some point. However, your body is not all there is to your existence. The really real part of you is your soul or your spirit. That part of you will never die. Your soul or spirit is what makes you really alive. When your body falls away, you will still exist. Psalm 22:26 states, “Your heart shall live for ever.”

Perhaps you have heard stories of people who have died in car accidents and were later revived. Many of those people have reported “floating” above the scene of the accident and being able to see their body lying on the ground or on a stretcher with emergency medical personnel trying to revive them. At death, our spirits separate from our bodies. Ecclesiastes 12:7 says that when we die, “Then shall the dust [the body] return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Continue reading “GLMX #243: “We Never Really Die””

True Hope in Hopeless Times (Part 4)

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Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #161

TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at the topic of true hope in hopeless times. Last week, we looked specifically at Jesus’ command to “let not your hearts be troubled.” We can do this by choosing not to let our hearts be troubled, by choosing to believe in God, and by choosing to believe in Jesus Christ.

Today, as we continue with this theme, we are going to look at how the Christian deals with death. Death is all around us. People who were here yesterday are not here today. People who got up this morning will not be here tonight. You might have plans for this day that you will never get to fulfill because death will come knocking.

President William McKinley was the third American president to be assassinated. He clung to life for several days after he was shot. Towards the end, as his life slipped away, his wife started crying and screaming, “I want to go too! I want to go too!” With his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his final words: “We are all going.”

Yes, we are all going. And it is likely that you will see and hear about a lot of people who go before it is your turn to go. Let’s look at how we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to handle death. We are going to do this by focusing on three key words in our passage — Sorrow, Sleep, and Spirit.

1. Sorrow. In First Thessalonians, Paul writes to a group of Christians who were particularly enthusiastic about the Rapture. They were eagerly awaiting Jesus’ return. However, when Jesus did not return as fast as they thought He would, and some of their number died, they began to worry. Paul writes to them and says, “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.”

2. Sleep. Why is it that the Christian does not have to sorrow over death? Because for the Christian, death is not final. Death is, as Paul termed it in verse 13, a “sleep.” This sleep refers to the status of the physical body of the believer. When you are asleep, you are out of touch with your physical environment, and that is what will happen to your body when you die. It will be put in the ground, and it will be unable to communicate with its surroundings using its God-given senses.

3. Spirit. This is another reason why Christians do not have to sorrow about death. Second Corinthians 5:8 says, “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” When you die, your body goes down into the grave, but your spirit leaves your body and goes instantly to be with Lord. In reality, you never truly die. Your spirit is always alive, and when your body sleeps, your spirit will go on to do what the Westminster Catechism says is the purpose of man — “to love God and enjoy Him forever” — with the added benefit of being in the actual presence of our Savior Jesus Christ in Heaven.

We must always remember that Jesus Christ conquered death when He rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, so we do not have to fear death as the world fears death. We do not have to sorrow over death as the world sorrows over death. Thank God, we have true hope to cling to in the face of death.

GLMX #148: In the Name of Love

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/95671-glmx-148-in-the-name-of-love.mp3]

In 1984, the Irish rock band U2 released a song titled “In the Name of Love.” The song is a tribute to people who gave their lives because of their love for something that mattered more to them. The first lines of the song go like this.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

Early evening, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?

These lyrics refer to the soldiers of World War II who fought and died for the sake of Europe’s freedom as well as the pacifists who opposed the war because of their love for peace at all costs. The line about the man “washed up on an empty beach” likely refers to Roger Casement, an Irish nationalist who fought human rights abuses in the Congo and Peru. He was put to death by the British government in 1916. The song is also a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. who was assassinated on April 4th, 1968, because of his efforts, through love and nonviolence, to end discrimination against blacks in America. All of these people died because they loved an ideal and they loved people more than they loved their own lives.

The song is also about Jesus Christ who was “betrayed with a kiss” and willingly went to the cross to die for the sins of the entire world. In John 15:13, Jesus Christ told his disciples, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

John 3:16 says, “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.” Jesus Christ, as God’s Son, willingly came down from Heaven, took on the form of a human being, and died on the cross for our sins all because of his great love for us. He did not come down and die for us because we were good people, or because we were rich, or because he was trying to get us to worship him. He came down and died for us only because he loved us and because he did not want to see us die and spend eternity without him. As U2 sings, what more could he have done in the name of love?

+ Plus, listen to U2 singing “In the Name of Love”

GLMX 110: How to Be Ready to Die at Any Time

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/54967-glmx-110-how-to-be-ready-to-die-at-any-time.mp3]

In the wake of the mass shooting that happened in Denver, Colorado last week, several articles and videos came out that demonstrated what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation. I thought that that was rather thoughtful of people to put together. But if you ever find yourself in such a situation, and those things don’t work, you need to be ready to die. And, today, I’m going to show you how you can do that.

Someone once said, “Death is always around the corner.” That is so true. From the time we are born, the specter of death looms close by. It stalks us from our birth to the end of our life where it closes its grip over our cold bodies and claims us for the grave. Death lurks on crime-ridden streets where gang members snuff out each other’s lives with guns. Death walks desert battlefields where soldiers sacrifice their lives in service to their countries. Death hovers nearby as terrorists blow themselves up among unsuspecting men on their way to work, mothers shopping, and children going to school. Death’s long march from the Garden of Eden continues as disease and sickness runs their course in our frail bodies.

We don’t like to think of the ever-present reality of death. Scientists have researched an abundance of things we can do that are supposed to increase our lifespan. For example, they say that being happily married, going to bed early, walking, running, living in the country, having a lot of children, learning to play the piano, not smoking, being optimistic, drinking black tea, drinking a little wine, getting a pet, and eating chocolate will all help us delay the day when death comes knocking at our door. Yet death still comes knocking.

So many people who seemingly have their whole lives ahead of them are surprised by death. Shocked by death. Taken aback by death. Death is no respecter of persons. Death is not a racist. Death is not prejudiced. It takes the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the educated and the ignorant, the Jew and the Gentile, the black and the white, the straight and the homosexual. Nobody escapes death. Nobody cheats death. In fact, the Bible says, “it is appointed unto men once to die.” There are very few things certain about life — one of them is death.

So, what can you do about it? If death is inevitable — and it is — is there anything you should even try to do? The answer, my friend, is yes. While death is inevitable, death is not the end. While the Bible says, “it is appointed unto men once to die,” it also says, “but after this the judgment.” After you die, you will face God and then you will be sent to one of two places — heaven or hell. Heaven is where all of those who have accepted Jesus Christ will go after they die — it is a place of beauty, peace, joy, and eternal life. Hell is where all of those who rejected Jesus Christ will go after they die — it is a place of torment, punishment, sadness and despair.

If you want to go to Heaven after you die, you simply have to put your trust in the only one who defeated Death. His name is Jesus Christ. He is God’s Son who came to earth and lived as a man for over 30 years. His single goal was to provide a way for us to be saved from our sins (the bad things that we do) and the consequences of our sins which is Death. He accomplished this goal by living a perfect and holy life and then dying on the cross. As he died an agonizing death on the cross, He took all of our sins on Himself and God the Father poured out all of the punishment that we deserve on His Son.

Jesus Christ was buried in a tomb, but three days later He rose from the dead. He walked the earth again because He had defeated Death once and for all, and now, if we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ we will overcome death when we die as well.

+ Plus, listen to Stephen Curtis Chapman singing “With Hope”

GLMX #44: A Sermon from Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

On Wednesday of this past week, the world received the news that Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple and creator of the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, and the Macintosh computer, had died after a six-year struggle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. A statement from Apple regarding his death said that “Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.”

Steve Jobs’ sudden death, just weeks after he resigned as CEO from Apple, should be a reminder to us all that our lives will soon end one day.

In this week’s Gospel Light Minute X, Daniel whyte III discusses Steve Jobs’ words regarding the reality of death, how we should make preparations for our impending exit from this life, and the only thing that will matter when we leave this earth.

+ Plus, listen to Tobymac singing “Made to Love”