Jump Start # 2766
Luke 16:22 “Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.”
This week I am sharing some thoughts concerning the recent passing of my dad. This verse really came to my mind the last time I was with him. Dad was passing away. He was comatose. His breathing was shallow and infrequent. The door of death was opening.
As I sat there watching him in the wee hours of the morning, I wondered if angels were in the room. I wondered how long it took for angels to come. I wondered when they gathered my dad’s soul, how long it would take to get to the other side. I wondered if he would know or even see that journey. I wondered if there would be just one angel or several. So many thoughts that are not answered for us. Don’t read the junk written by moderns about dying and coming back. Those books are bogus, phony, and laced with Biblical inconsistencies and error. They are not worth the paper they are printed on. They will fill your mind with ideas that are not true to Scriptures.
I don’t know if the angels were in the room when I was there. Angels are spirits and you cannot see a spirit. But I thought, just imagine, those angels being in the presence of God Himself and now they might be right here. What all might those angels have done in the past? Could they have been the ones to help Jesus? Were they the ones that opened the prison door for Peter? Do I believe that angels carry the soul of the righteous to the other side? Absolutely!
But as impressive as that might be, there stands yet a greater thought. The Bible teaches that we stand in the presence of God. We do this as we gather to worship Him. We do this as we walk with Him. It is so easy for us to have a “here and there” attitude. We are here and God is there. We are here in all of this muck and mire and He’s there in Heaven. But that’s not a true picture.
The Psalmist declared, “Where can I go from Your presence?” If to Heaven, you are there. If in death, You are there. If in the depths of the sea, even there, You’re there. There is no escaping His presence. There is no place He is kept out. The government can forbid prayers in school, but they can’t keep God’s presence out. The courts can declare that religion doesn’t belong in the state house, but you can’t keep God’s presence out. When one sits alone in a surgery waiting room, God is there. When one walks away from the cemetery, God is there. When one cries at night, God is there.
From these some reminders:
First, we are never really alone. We may be by ourselves, but we are not alone. God is there. God is with us. You may be the only righteous person in your family. Likely, you may be the only righteous person where you work. However, you are not alone. God is with you.
Second, this is much more than just His presence. Presence does much good. You see that with little children. Take a walk with them. One will always want to be the leader. They want to be out front. But as they walk along, you’ll notice them turning around, making sure the big ones are still near by. Presence. Little ones putting their hand into your hand. The storms don’t seem so bad and the night so long when you have someone you trust, love and can assure you.
Having God with us provides the best help possible. God can do all things. When doors are shut, God can open them. When there doesn’t seem to be any options, God has some. This is why we pray. We pray, not because verbalizing your problems is healthy and talking them out will help you come up with answers. That’s not it at all. We pray because God hears. We pray because God can do things. We pray because of God. God with us means we have help and hope.
Third, God’s presence also means that He understands and loves us. God doesn’t have to be with us. God could be anywhere. He could be on the back side of the moon and keep His presence hidden from us. He could play the game, “Come and find Me,” and we would never be able to do that. Because He is near, shows that is where He wants to be. He wants to be with you. He loves you. Yes, even though there has been days in which we have let God down. Yes, even though there have been times when we have not thought much about Him. He’s always thinking of us. What greater expression of love than being with someone. It’s not the gifts. It’s not the places you go to. It’s just being with the one you love.
Fourth, God is with us because He wants us to be with Him. Not just on Sunday in a church building. He wants us to be with Him eternally in Heaven. This is why we were created. This is our purpose. This is what God wants. He’s with us so we could be with Him.
In the presence of angels is one thing. In the presence of God is something far greater. I don’t know if I was around angels the other night. I do know that God has been with me. It’s not a feeling. It’s not just one of those things you know. The promises of God in the Scriptures assure us of that.
With God, now and forever.