Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Great Epiphany

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing (epiphany)  (2 Timothy 4:8 NKJV).


An epiphany is a supernatural manifestation or appearance.  Some dictionaries even call it an ah-ha moment.  The word is usually associated with the coming of the Lord, both the first time and the second time.  In this passage, many commentators see the epiphany to be the judgment seat of Christ when the faithfulness of Christians will be rewarded.  However, if you were about to be executed, what day would be on your mind?  Paul had said that the time of his departure was at hand, therefore, I would suggest that this manifestation or appearing of the brightness of Christ in glory was going to occur when Paul died.  I believe that Paul thought he would see the same Lord he had seen on the Damascus Road.  It was the same Lord that the disciples had seen go into heaven from the Mount of Olives.  I believe he was encouraging us to believe that the first thing we will see upon the death of this body is the glory of the Lord.

Sorrow of Death

Death is a time of sorrow.  It reminds us of the cost of sin.  It is the final goodbye as far as friends and family are concerned.  But death is not the end, it is just the beginning.  I had my closest friend meet the Lord this last week.  He had been suffering so it was a relief to see him pass into the presence of the Lord.  But it still hurt to have the Lord take him.  There will be no more conversations about the Lord at Culver’s.  He will no longer build my decks and install my doors and fix my roof.  He will be greatly missed. However, I wouldn’t want him to come back.  He is done with the sorrows of this life.  His fortune is made. 

I find that in the Bible there are very few who “celebrate” death.  They always “mourn” the loss of the one that they are burying.  Jacob lived a long time by our standards, yet he said his days were few and evil (Genesis 47:9).  Solomon, who had it all, said that there was “no profit” under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11).  A man once asked another how much a rich man who had died had left behind.  The answer was, “He left everything.” 

Death Puts Life in Perspective

When we see our friends die, it makes us realize that our turn is coming apart from the Lord’s return for the church  When I ask people if they are prepared for this last journey most tell me that they don’t want to think about it.  But think about it we must!  Because we will experience it.  We wouldn’t get sick without going to the doctor.  We don’t go through life without insurance to cover contingencies.  And we shouldn’t go through life without Christ.  Only as we trust Him will this life make sense and only in trusting Him will we get the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).

My friend is gone from this life and is separated from those of us who knew and loved him, but he has seen the Lord.  His productive and useful life down here is over.  He would likely agree that his life was like a vapor that appeared for a little time and then vanished away (James 4:14).  But the bliss he is now experiencing will never end. 

Have a Good Day

Often when we do business, the clerks tell us to have a good day. I often wonder how those who are having bad days feel about being told to have a good day.  Those of us who miss my friend are having a bad day today, but I am confident that he is having the best day anyone could possibly have.  He has had an epiphany.  He loved the Lord’s appearing.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of December 15, 2019

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