Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of April 29, 2007

James 4:14 For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Last week, my Father who was nearly 90 died. He had been in a nursing home and unable to speak clearly because of a stroke for nearly 10 years of his life. His health had been failing for the last year so we had been prepared for this event. Still I had not really expected that Sunday to be the day of his death.

In the history of mankind, only Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11) have avoided the death penalty. One hundred percent of the rest of mankind has died. My dad lived a long life and produced a large family. He was talented in many ways, and he had learned a lot about a lot of things. Now that is all gone. Even though his life was long and he left a large family behind him, he hardly caused a blip on the radar screen of eternity.

When we left my Dad at the cemetery, was that the end or was that just the beginning of something more? In this life we go to those who know when we have questions. The only person who can really tell us what happens after death is the Lord Jesus. He came from heaven and He went back to heaven. If I were going to go to Alaska, it would be nice to talk to someone who either lived there now or who had lived there before making the trip. They could tell me what it is like and what I should expect. If I want to know about heaven and hell and the eternal hereafter, rather than talking to philosophers and scientists that can only speculate since they haven’t been there, I would want to talk to the only person who is an authority on the subject. That person is the Lord.

The Lord has left His information behind in a book called the Bible. If I pick up an article or a book written by or about Albert Einstein, my inclination is to believe that this person whom I have never seen and who is now dead, wrote or at least was the subject of what I am reading. I think it is only reasonable to assume that the Bible is both written by and about the Lord and that He can and does tell us what to expect after we die. He makes it clear that while the body sleeps awaiting its time of resurrection, the real person that was in the body exists in a conscious state either in bliss or in torment. Moses and Elijah talked with the Lord on the mount of transfiguration years after they had died. Martyrs in the book of the Revelation cry unto the Lord. In Luke 16, a man who died unprepared was in torment and could talk to Abraham who had died years before. When a person dies, it is not the end. It is just a beginning.

I am convinced that my Father is in a state of conscious existence. It is not my business to decide whether people are saved or lost after they die. While I am convinced that my Father was saved, the real message of a funeral is that we all need to be prepared for the day that we die. Many people who say you cannot know you are saved before you die, are always convinced that people are in heaven after they die. I am glad that I know that these things are settled before a person dies. We need to believe that Christ died for us and enter into the spiritual resurrection of John 5:24 so that we can know that we are prepared for what comes after death. John 5:24 says, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Our lives are but a vapor that appear for a time and then vanishes. No matter what we accomplish, we don’t accomplish very much in the light of eternity. Funerals are always sad so it is nice to know that the deceased loved one was wise and made preparation for eternity before dying. I hope that we all are prepared for the day when loved ones will be standing beside our casket.

Bruce Collins

1 Comment »


Comment by Fred Schwertfeger

April 30, 2007 @ 8:23 pm

Dear Bruce, I’m sorry to learn that death has separated you from your father–temporarily. To have hope “according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:1) brings great comfort and peace. Thank you for your meditation during this time of sadness. Fred

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