Donít Die in That Church!

Study No. 88

  If there is ever a time when we need the comforting words of a faithful minister of the Almighty, it is when a loved one dies.

The Old Testament often uses the phrase, "he was gathered unto his people." "Then Abraham gave up the ghost [spirit], and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years: and was gathered to his people" Genesis 25:8. Righteous people should gather together at the death of one of Godís saints. "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints" Psalm 116:15.

However, there is a minister we know who apparently does not believe this. He has a church with members scattered throughout the country. A faithful follower of his church died, and this "minister" would not come and conduct the funeral. Instead, he advised the widow to obtain a totally unknown local Seventh Day Adventist minister to conduct the funeral. This is not an isolated case. Another elderly gentleman in this church was recently in critical condition and not expected to live. The minister sent the relatives a cassette tape of a sermon funeral message to be played at the funeral should the old man die. He didnít die, and later heard his own funeral sermon!

How can a cassette tape played at a funeral help and comfort those who have lost their loved ones? Does the word "minister" means "servant"? This church leader is not really a minister, in the sense of being a servant.

Ah, but you might think that perhaps this church was low on funds and didnít have enough money to pay for the ministerís plane fare to go and personally conduct the funeral and comfort the bereaved. Not so, because there were sufficient funds for trips to Switzerland and Hawaii.

I think that I know this man rather well, but I cannot understand how a professing minister of the gospel can be so cold and inconsiderate of the emotional needs of those in his church. If I have all the right doctrinal truths, and faithfully "keep" them to the letter, and do not have the spirit of love and compassion for others, I am good for nothing, worthless, I Corinthians 13.

The Savior had compassion for the multitudes, Matthew 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, 20:34 and other verses. He went out of His way to serve and help others. This trait is not natural for any of us. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

May each one of us have compassion for others, especially our brethren in the faith. Let us go out of our way to serve them when they are alive, and honor them even unto death. Donít die in that church! Live, and die, in the assembly (group) of those who hold the truth in love, Ephesians 4:14-15, II Timothy 1:13. W

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