By David Brown
The biggest proverbial elephant in the room! It’s that big, awkward, overshadowing thing that nobody wants to address, mention in conversation or even think about. Yet, everyone is very aware of his presence. You simply cannot ignore an elephant in the room. You can choose to avoid him for a while. Sooner or later though, the elephant makes things very uncomfortable for everyone. He’s just too big. Too obvious. Too…“there” to be missed.
We have a lot of issues vying for our attention these days! Will we get the Corona virus? When can I get the vaccine? Will my parents get sick? When will the kids be back in school? What’s happening to my 401k? Will I ever go back to work? When can I reopen my business? Will we get another stimulus check? When will our churches be filled again? How will the new administration affect our nation, our economy, or me and my family?
These are all very real concerns. I have to tell you though, there’s a bigger elephant in the room!
The biggest elephants’ name is “Death”!
Most all of us have lost people to death in the past few months. I’ve lost church friends, relatives, acquaintances and a primary mentor in my life. We see the stats on the 6 o’clock news. We read the sad posts on facebook. We see the news stories about celebrities that have passed. We get the awful phone calls and texts. This one and that one has passed away! The elephant in the room looms larger and larger. We’ve been avoiding him for a long time but it’s getting harder and harder when death is everyday’s headlines, everyone’s conversation and everybody’s concern.
I have to tell you, the older I get, the more I think about it. That’s been going on since before Covid 19 happened. I’ve been very aware of the biggest elephant ever since I was six years old when my father died at the age of 30! It was a shock to my mom, my sister Kim and me to say the least. I’ll never forget when Pastor Roy Lamberth sat down with my sister and me on my parents bedside and told us, “your daddy has passed away”. I guess we understood it somewhat. I remember we cried. We hurt. We saw our mom crying, lying on the couch for days in mourning and in a depression that I don’t think ever left her life.
The reality of my father’s death really hit me though, when I saw him in the casket. I touched his hand. It was cold and stiff. The elephant was front and center in that funeral home. There was no ignoring it and no forgetting it. It’s still indelibly printed on my mind 61 years later.
I’ve conducted many funerals and attended many more. I’ve never been able to ignore the biggest elephant. I’ve gotten used to him somewhat, but I’ve never been able to accept him. He doesn’t belong in the room. An elephant is not supposed to be in a house and death was never supposed to be a part of earthly life. Death is bad. It’s wrong. It’s horrible.
The scriptures teach us that death is an enemy and that it shall be destroyed! (1 Cor. 15:26) It’s the enemy of God and man and was never intended by God to overtake us. God isn’t responsible for the death that’s in this world. We are! Man’s sin is responsible for death. (Gen. 2 & 3) Now that brings me to happier truth. We need to be reminded of…The Greatest Promise of God’s Kingdom!
God’s greatest promise is this. Jesus came to give us Life! Specifically, the scriptures tell us that God’s gift of life is everlasting, eternal and abundant! It is so abundant in the believer’s heart…that it’s actually BIGGER than the elephant of death! Thank God!!!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And
I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall
any man pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, ad the life: he that believes in me,
Though he were dead, yet shall he live:
…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
…our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and has brought life and
immortality to light through the gospel.
1 Timothy 1:10b
The Apostle Paul taught us “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”! I believe that. I believe when a Christian passes away, he is instantly in God’s presence. God lives and reigns in Heaven and that’s exactly where every believer in Jesus who has left this physical world resides today!
Physical death couldn’t hold Jesus and ultimately won’t hold believers either. We will take part in the first resurrection, the resurrection of the just. Our resurrection bodies will be just like that of Jesus. But now, right now, believers live in the spirit in heaven! They’re with Jesus, with the Father and with all that have gone on before us! What a promise God has given us! Eternal life!
Don’t feel sorry for believers who have died! You can feel sorry for yourself and all of us left behind for now, but don’t feel sorry for them. I recently heard Pastor Gerald Brooks at GracePlano Church say that when a believing loved one passes away, it may be “the saddest day of our life” but it is “the happiest day in their’s”! Oh yeah! Can you imagine it? The moment your spirit and soul leave your body, you realize you are standing before Jesus and all the beauty and bliss of Heaven. You are whole, you are full, you are perfect and you are happy. You will be the happiest you have ever been in all of your existence! And…guess what! There’s no big elephant named “Death” in heaven”
Hey, Mr. Elephant! You weren’t so big after all!
I encourage you, if you haven’t already…believe in Jesus! Believe what he did for us on the cross when he paid for our sins and commit your life to him, following him, living for him, confessing him as your Savior! Acknowledge and turn from any known sin in your life. Make sure you are at peace in your heart with Jesus and his will for your life! Heaven is too great a place to miss. Eternal life is too great a blessing to lose! Trust in Jesus. Follow Him! And, no one can pluck you from your Father’s hand!
By the way, to insure your peace with Jesus, watch my featured Video Teaching this month…”When We’ve Sinned”. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBPhHKOWInI&t=1107s