Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Death is a Great Teacher



Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.


Memorial Day

This weekend is a time for remembering.  We remember loved ones and military people who are in cemeteries.  Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, death has been the end of the road for all but Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11).  They were both translated directly to heaven without death.  But as we go to decorated cemeteries this weekend, we need to remember that under every headstone is a person who has died. 


The Problem

The problem with remembering is that sometimes our remembering is pleasant but often it is not.  I have two sisters that died prematurely.  One died through an accident and one died through a child hood disease.  Remembering their deaths always brings some sorrow.   I have many relatives and friends that have died after long productive lives and who died natural deaths.  While we miss those people, we don’t grieve like we do when deaths are caused by accident or unexpected sickness.  But the deaths that really speak to me are the military deaths. 


Many people have given their lives for the sake of the defense of our country and in order to maintain peace.  However, lasting peace has never been obtained through war.  The Lord reminds us in Matthew 26:52, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”  Have all the wars that have been fought and all the lives that have been lost brought us lasting peace?  The answer is NO! 


But not only do we have the problem of wars between countries, we have the deaths occurring in our own neighborhoods because of drugs, hatred and gang warfare.  Each person who is killed is now under a headstone.  They were real people with real dreams and real potential, but now they are gone.  Who has won?  Satan has won. Many of those who have died have lived in rebellion against the Lord Jesus.  Many are now consigned to an eternal destination where they will suffer throughout eternity and they cannot change that destiny now.


Universal Condition of Man

Before the flood, God was sorry that he had made man.  He said, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5).”  The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence according to Genesis 6:11. Are things different now?  NO!


Thousands were killed in the Old Testament wars; thousands have been killed in our World Wars that were fought to end all wars.  Thousands are being killed through terrorism and gang related warfare. Thousands are being killed in the Middle East because tribes and religions cannot get along.   And unless something changes, thousands more are going to be killed through a coming nuclear war. 


Satan is a Great Adversary

So what do I think about on Memorial Day weekend?  I think about all the lives that have been lost or cut short because of our adversary the Devil.  I am glad for those who have given us temporary protection from domineering cruel dictators and I honor them, but their sacrifice has not brought lasting peace.  This time of the year, I just marvel at how cruel and inhumane Satan is.  He is a master liar and deceiver.  He is a murderer.  He makes sure that the human race hates rather than loves.  He makes sure that he divides rather than unites.  And most importantly, he has convinced most in the human race to follow him rather than the Lord.  Yes, I think about lives destroyed and lost because of sin and Satan on Memorial Day weekend.  I wonder how many of those in cemeteries were ready to meet God when they died.


But I also think about a spiritual solution.  I realize that there will be no lasting peace until the Prince of Peace is ruling.  While he does not have His proper place on the world stage today, He has His proper place in every true believer’s heart.  When we trust Him, we get peace.  The world may be heading for catastrophe, but the believer is headed for heaven.  Because of the world we live in, that might even be the result of a martyr’s death.  But every headstone of every believer, reminds us that there is a solution.  It is found in the Lord Jesus.  Thank goodness that there is one tomb that is empty.  That is the tomb of the Lord.  And while Satan offers death and destruction, the Lord offers us eternal life. 


My prayer is that we will honor the dead this weekend, but that the memories associated with this weekend will cause us all to think about where we will spend eternity.  I pray that many will be delivered from the cruel deceptions of Satan this weekend. 


Meditation for the week of May 28, 2017

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