Genesis 23:1-2 “Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is,Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.”
Pastor Kyle, continuing in his Sunday sermon series based upon the book of Genesis stated that life is a chain of upgrades in learning, experiencing, growing and maturing on our walk with the Lord towards glory. We progress as we age. Sometimes, life comes with a little pain (i.e. the reality of death and taxes). At some time in life, the physical upgrades turn into downgrades, and aches and/or taking more time, but new upgrades (like grand-kids, retirement, etc.) appear on the road to Heaven before us. Then, at the end of our God-ordained journey through this life, there is a final and eternal upgrade in glory as we go home to be with the Lord.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.”
Pastor Kyle suggest two things that we can learn about Sarah’s (and ultimately our own) eternal upgrade. (1) in the words of the legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero named William Wallace: “Everyone dies, but not everyone really lives.” Live for something that actually matters. Live a good, godly life and make it matter for eternity. Isaiah 51:1-2 “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you. All roads do not lead to Heavens. In John 14:6 Jesus said to us: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Jesus is the great hope. If you do not believe and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then this life is the best life that you’ll ever know and the closest to Heaven that you’ll ever be.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves.Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.”
(2) For the Christian, death is an upgrade. It is good and right to take the time to mourn the loss of a loved one because of the relationship we lived together, the impact on our life that they made, the importance of them personally to us and (this side of heaven) we shall not be with them daily any more. We know where a Christian is, when they pass from this life to glory, but we shall always miss their presence. Lesson: Love, spend time and make lasting memories with loved ones while they’re still around.
Hebrews 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Let’s continue Pastor Kyle’s message on the “Eternal Upgrade” on the next post.
In Christ, Brian