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Whether Present Or Absent

Sunday School 01/15/2023 – Brother Mark Davis

For we know that if this earthly tabernacle were dissolved. We have a building of God bless the Lord. I have not laid on my deathbed. I have not been in a place where I didn’t know if I was going to live through till tomorrow. But the one thing I do know is that God is in control. And the other thing that I do know that when this bodies, the heart stops beating and these lungs stop breathing, I know I will be present with the Lord. I know that I’ll have a heavenly the Bible tells me a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. I can know that. You see, the Lord loves you so much this morning and the Lord loves me so much this morning that he wanted to give us a little insight as to what’s going to happen when we pass from this life to the next. There’s no uncertainties. Amen. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord as a child of God. Amen. There’s no uncertainty in that. He wanted to reassure us, he wanted to comfort us, he wanted to help us. And to me I find that to be a blessing, don’t you? No more cancer, no more sickness, no more mental illnesses, no more Alzheimer’s, no more debilitating diseases, no more blindness, no more crippled bodies. I think the second thing I want us to look at this morning that will help us is note this in verse number two. For in this we groan. I want to challenge all of us this morning, we included to recognize how much are we groaning for that body if we are not groaning for it, we’re not heavenly minded. If we’re not groaning, if our spiritual man is not groaning to be at home with the Lord, we’re way too comfortable here. Way too comfortable. You see, he tells us in this verse for in this we grown earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. Now, you see, I’m sorry, I take the Bible to be literal. Amen. I believe what the Lord is trying to tell us here is that we should have a groaning for that body to come, which often been said that person is too heavenly minded to be earning any earthly good. And sometimes I think that can be the case. But I also know that sometimes we’re not heavenly minded enough. And because we’re not heavenly minded enough, we’re no earthly good. We’re not groaning for those things which are to come. We’re not reminded daily of what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us. We’re not reminded daily of the promises that he’s given us. The exceeding great and precious promises. I will tell you, and I have told you before, my ticket has been paid for. It’s punched. The fair has been paid. I’m just not ready to take the next bus out. Amen. I want to see Jacob grow older and then have a family and be able to do a work for the Lord. I want to see Jessica’s ministry blossom. I want to see our pastor’s ministry blossom. I want to see my daughter’s life and her family and her children’s lives blossom and be fruitful for the Lord. I want to live to see those things. I want to see those things. But I don’t know what God’s plan for my life is. But here’s what I do know. I need to live today as if today was my last day, and I need to be looking more for heaven. I mentioned just a few weeks ago, we turned over the Book of Revelation, and in a very bird’s eye view, we could see all of us in the new Jerusalem there in heaven. Couldn’t we see all of us there that are saved by the grace of God. So we know where our home is, we know where we’re headed. It gives us comfort. It gives us joy. But it should also serve as a reminder that I’ve got things to do on this side of eternity. I think about those this morning that have gone on before in this last, this past year, and those that have been deemed that their life may not be much longer on this side of eternity. I wonder, if I were in that position, what would be my thoughts? Would I wonder, what could I have done? What should I have done more for the Lord? Was I thinking enough about heaven? Or I was just so concerned about this life that I was focused on the now and now and not what God has for me on the other side. You see, these verses serve as a sober reminder, don’t they? They encourage us. You remember at the top of the mountain, the different ski slopes, you remember we’re talking about the different ski slopes, but we go down one ski slope and we’re rejoicing because we have a building of God that’s waiting on a save man. We go down another slope and it brings us back to realization that one day we’re going to face God Almighty, and one day we’re going to give an account for the things we’ve done as children of God. It may not be encouraging to you, but hopefully it’ll be to you and to me. It’ll be an opportunity for us to look at our lives and re examine our lives and see where we are. But it also should be encouraged us to know that when it comes to that last day, when it comes to that last moment, I promise you the Lord will be there for you. I promise you he’ll be there to carry you over to the other side. So how do you know that? Because the Bible tells me. The Bible tells me that look in verse number three and four, if so, be that being clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened not for that we would be enclosed, but clothes upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life, reminding us once again that we we have whether we want whether we recognize it or not, we have a groaning for heaven on the inside. We have an anxiousness we have an anticipation maybe is a better word. We have an anticipation of being there and being with our Lord and Savior by things. We sometimes we just squelch them because we get so busy in this life. So thinking about heaven this morning and thinking about those last few days of when that day comes for us to pass over the other side, I want you to note something with me, if you will, in verse number five. Now, he that hath brought us for the self same thing as God, who also hath given to us the earnest of the Spirit. The earnest of the Spirit I have a promise, I have an earnest I have the Holy Spirit of God will carry me over on that day when it’s time for me to go to be absent. He goes on to say to us, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. In verse number eight you can rest ashore this morning. When you close your eyes in death, the moment that heart stops beating, you’ll be in the presence of Jesus Christ. Amen. You can be comforted in that. You can be strengthened in that. You can know that beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what happens in your life, when it comes to that last moment, jesus will be there for you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. It may seem that you’re on your deathbed. It may seem as if nobody cares. It may seem as if nobody knows. It’ll seem as if the world has forgotten you. But let me assure you this morning, jesus Christ has not forgotten you. He knows where you are. He will come to you where you are. And when it’s time for you to go, he will carry you into heaven. Amen. I believe that with all my heart. I believe the Bible teaches that. That’s why we believe that. So we think about that slope, going down that slope, and that’s a pleasant slope, that’s one that has training wheels on it. For those of us that are not very good skiers. Amen. It’s nice, easy slope. It encourages us. But we go down the other slope and it’s much more challenging because it reminds us this morning in verse number nine that wherefore we labor, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. For we must all, all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad. I don’t want to belabor that point this morning. I don’t want to belabor it. I just want to reemphasize to those of us that are on this side of eternity that there’s coming a day when we’ll give an account for what we’ve done in this body and we should live our lives accordingly. We should live our lives to bring praise and honor and glory to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We should be reminded of heaven and reminded of the glories that are in heaven. We should be reminded of who is waiting there. We should be reminded of the joys that are there. But all the time we’re reminding ourselves of these things. We must be busy about our Father’s work. What is it in our life that we should be doing for the Lord today? What is it this week we should have been doing for the Lord? What are the opportunities for us to serve the Lord? What are the opportunities for us to be able to bring praise and honor and glory to him? What are the opportunities that the church affords? What are the opportunities that our community affords that gives us opportunity to be able to tell others about Jesus Christ? We, as children of God, have an obligation, have a responsibility, should have a desire to want to serve the Lord. Amen. And do what he’d have us to do, no matter what it may be. One day we’ll give an account. Lord, it was more important for me to go do these other things than to do what you would have me to do. Lord, it was more important to me and my family that we have these responsibilities in our life than to be faithful in doing these things for the Lord. One day we’ll give that account. It’s a joyous thing to think about going to heaven, isn’t it? It’s a wonderful thing. I bless the Lord for that. Because we have family members on the other side, don’t we? We’ve got loved ones that are there, haven’t missed us. They haven’t forgotten your name, but they haven’t missed you. They’re enjoying the glories of heaven. They love you as much as they ever have before. And when we arrive, it’ll be like we haven’t even been separated or missed for a moment. See, we miss, we grieve and we weep because there’s still that time period between now and the time we are reunited again. And where there’s that separation, we rejoice. It will be reunited. We rejoice in what we saw in Revelation when we could look down and we could see us standing there. And John saw us many years ago. We were rejoiced in that. But until that day, he let us be mindful of the fact that we have service to do for our Savior. He’s allowing the clock. He knows when the final tick will take place. He’s in control of that. I don’t know when it’ll be. You don’t know when it’ll be. But what I do know is I need to be busy until he comes or until he calls me home. Amen. So in saying all these things this morning, I wanted to encourage your heart a little bit. I wanted to encourage you to be absent from the bodies, to be present with the Lord. I want to encourage you what the Word of God says, because this is our anchor point. This is on that dying day when you need help and hope from above. This is where you’ll find it. Not in what man says, not in man’s experiences or what man thinks, but in this. But I wanted to give you something, a few things that Pastor gave me a book to look through. So I’m reading these as an encouragement to you. This is this. The Word of God is what we need. And anchor in this will just be some encouragements for you. Catherine Booth, the wife of the founder of the Salvation Army, william Booth said this she said, the waters are rising, but so am I. I’m not going under, but over. Do not be concerned about dying. Go on living well and the dying will be right. Deo Moody said this earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. It is beautiful. It is like a transit. If this is death, it is sweet. There is no valley here. God is calling me and I must go. This is my triumph. This is my coronation day. I have been looking forward to it for years. What an encouragement. Amen. Think about that. You see, death is a hard thing for those that are left on this side of eternity to struggle with because of the separation. I understand that. But as the child of God that’s going on to the other side, can you just imagine the grace of God that he gives during that time and how he helps and how he strengthens, how he encourages us? David Brainerd said this he will come and will not tear. I shall soon be in glory, soon be with God and his angels. I am almost in eternity. I long to be there. What a blessing. What a blessing. John Wesley said, the best of all is God is with us. Farewell. John Newton said this I am like a person going on a journey in a stage coach who expects its arrival every hour and is frequently looking out of the window for it. I am packed and sealed and ready for the post. My dad had a five year old brother that ended up with I can’t remember. I’d have to get all the details. Anyway, he passed away. But before he passed away, he told his mother this I hear the train coming for me now. I don’t know. I don’t think the Lord’s coming on a train for all of us. Amen. But I believe he saw something and I believe he heard something. And I believe he knew something. And I believe that no matter what it was, when it was his time to go, the Lord Jesus Christ was there to carry him over. Adam Judson, the missionary to Burma, said this I go with the gladness of a boy pounding away from school. Amen, he said. I feel so strong. Charles Wesley said, I cannot express the thousandth part of what praise is due to thee. It is but little I can give thee, but Lord help me to give Thee my all. I will die praising Thee, and rejoice that others can praise Thee better. I shall be satisfied with thy likeness. Satisfied. Satisfied. Oh, my dear Jesus, I come. What a blessing. Now, these are saints of God, and it’s not recorded in Errand and Fowl, the word of God. I know that, but I know this. There’s an underlying theme here that when the saints of God pass over to the other side, someone’s there to meet them and greet them. I do know that. I do know that the Lord Jesus Christ will be there to welcome us home. I’ll give you a couple more, and then we’ll be finished. Brother Wakely said they will require they will inquire in the morning. Is brother wakely dead. No. Tell them he is better and alive forevermore. I know the old ship, the pilot knows me well. He will take me safe into port. Heavenly breezes already fan my cheeks. Glory to God. I see a great multitude with white robes, and I long to be with them. When you go to the grave, don’t go weeping. Death hath no sting, the grave hath no terror. Eternity hath no darkness. Sing at my funeral. Listen. Hear you not the song. He was hearing something. Amen. In case you didn’t pick up on that. Victory is ours. There is great rejoicing in heaven. Roll open ye golden gates and let my car go through. Bless the Lord. Ch. Spurgeon gave this take, and I wanted to give this to you, because this is where we are. He says, as I have thought of some of my dear brothers and sisters that I’ve seen die very sweetly, and I have remembered that they were in life, lowly and self distrustful. That would be a lot of us. Amen. I have compared them to persons who, when they drink their tea, forget to stir the sugar at the bottom of the cup. He said, how doubly sweet the drink becomes as they near the bottom? They have more sweetness than they can well bear. But listen here’s what he says. Would it not be wise to stir the tea at once and enjoy the sweetness from the brim to the bottom? This is the benefit of faith as to the future, for it flavors the present with the light. But what if saints should miss immediate comfort for a while? How richly they will be compensated. What will it be to open your eyes in heaven. What a joy to fall asleep on the bed of languishing, and to wake and the celestial am up. Hallelujahs. Were. Where am I? Oh, my God, my Christ, my heaven, my all. I am at home. Sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Does not this view of things give a transfiguration to death? He says, oh, you poor unbelievers, how I pity you since you have no such glorious hopes. All that you would believe in the Lord Jesus and enter into life eternal. He got a glimpse and this series of lessons that we’ve done on heaven, all I wanted to do is to give you a glimpse, not necessarily to describe all of heaven to you, because I can’t do that. I don’t have the words for remember. Paul said there was a man that he don’t know whether it was 14 years ago or what, I can’t remember, but he said, I know there was a man. And words could not describe our words. Can’t tell you what heaven is, but I can tell you this I know who’s there. I know who’s waiting on me. I know my family and friends accept the Lord Jesus Christ. I know they’re there. Amen. I don’t think they miss me, but I’ll know them when I see them. I’ll know who they are. We get to that moment, it’ll be Jesus who’ll be the one we want to see the most. He’ll be the one that we’ll be looking for. All the sorrows of this life, all the heartaches, all the broken promises, the broken dreams, and all the things that we’ve experienced in this life will fade away. And it will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Amen. That’s the fun slope. The other side of that is let’s be ready to meet him. Let’s make sure we’re busy doing what the Lord would have to do. No matter what it is, no matter what the task may be, let’s make sure we’re doing what God would have us to do. Be faithful. That’s a prayer. Father in heaven, thank you for Jesus mercy. Say grace, salvation. Lord, thank you for the privilege and opportunity to be back in your house this morning. I pray that you’ll bless the Sunday school lesson, the reading of Your word to the hearts of Your people that they be encouraged in Thee. Pray, Father, bless the men of God in the next hour. The choirs, they sing that each and everything he said and.

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