Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Can Death be a Blessing?
The righteous perishes, 
And no man takes it to heart;
Merciful men are taken away,
While no one considers
That the righteous is taken away from evil. (Isaiah 57:1 NKJV)
Another Version:
Good people pass away;
the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand
that God is protecting them from the evil to come. (Isaiah 57:1 NLT)
Where are the Peacemakers?
We live in a day of great changes and of great tumult.  If we look at the Sermon on the Mount, the blessing is to peacemakers.  Yet when we consider the state of the world today, all we hear about is war, and gangs, and shootings (even by six year olds), and racial prejudice.   Fortunately, once in a while we get to hear about a hero who overcomes all this evil and actually “loves his or her neighbor.”  People do not forgive others in the same way God has forgiven them.  Sometimes I wonder why God continues to put up with us.  In Noah’s day we read, “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 NKJV).”  And again we read, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11 NKJV).”  So the Lord sent a flood and started over.  However, the sin nature inherited from Adam and Eve was found in the offspring of Noah.
Wickedness of Noah’s Day and of Sodom and Gomorrah
So God destroyed the earth and its inhabitants with a flood because of the wickedness of that generation.  Only eight believed God and were saved.  Then later God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness.  Abraham had prayed for the city and thought that there would be at least ten associated with his nephew Lot that would have been righteous but ultimately only four were delivered from the city.  And one of those had her heart back in the city likely because her children were being destroyed and she died as well.  So only three were actually saved from that destruction.
Coming Destruction
We are told of another day that is coming when terrible destruction is coming.  The fact that the nation of Israel has over and over turned their back on the One who was faithful to them in delivering them from the bondage of Egypt, has caused judgment to fall on them over and over again.  In addition to other wars, Assyria took the northern ten tribes captive and Babylon took the last two tribes into captivity.  Because Assyria was overrun by Babylon, all of the tribes of Israel ended up in Babylonian captivity.  Those wars were terrible.  The Assyrians, in particular, were known for their cruelty.  That is why in our verse above death is considered a blessing.  God is protecting the righteous from the evil that is coming.  He did that with the babies that died during the wars led by Johshua as the Canannites were being judged for their sin by God in those wars that many people look at as genocide.  God was destroying people who had rejected Him but he also kept babies from being raised in pagan homes where they would very likely have died as unbelievers if they had lived.  They were taken away from the evil to come.
Another evil day is coming. It is called the day of the Lord or the tribulation or the time of Jacob’s trouble.  The Christian has been delivered from the atrocities of that day..  Our salvation is complete.  We are not only saved for eternity but we are saved from the judgments that will come on unbelievers for rejecting the Messiah.  So whether by death or rapture we who believe are delivered from the evil that is to come.  
Can death be a blessing?  
Yes.  Do we want to die? No!  “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 NKJV).”  However, if we die before the Lord comes, we need to remember that God is taking us away from the evil that is to come.  The unbeliever who has not been saved is going to wish they had listened to those of us who have been sounding the warning.  Terrible times are coming.  How soon, we do not know.  But they are coming!
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of January 8, 2023

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