ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DATES
by Irvin Rozier
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Ecclesiastes 3 verse 2 "A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which was planted."
Have you ever been to an airport or train station? Do you remember seeing those big boards that announced the arrival and departure times of the planes and trains? Have you ever read birth announcements in the newspaper? How about the obituaries? These articles give the birth arrival times and the death departure times of people.
Have you ever thought about the day you will be departing this earth? When you arrived here as a brand new baby, you were allotted a certain amount of time here on this earth. This time could be as short as a few minutes or it could be a hundred years or more. You were born at a certain minute, hour and year. You will also die at a certain minute, day and year. Throughout the earth's existence, there have been many people daily arriving and departing this earth. We are all just pilgrims and strangers here, journeying through this world for an allotted time.
Where were we before we were born? The LORD has said in his Holy Word, in Jeremiah 1 verse 5, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Yes, we came from the LORD. King David wrote this in Psalm 127 verse 3, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD; and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Just to think that the LORD knew us before we were formed in the womb is an awesome thing!
Many people believe that a fetus is not a human being. Even the government of the United States of America has declared this to be so. The LORD God has said otherwise. Remember John the Baptist? He leapt while in his mother's womb. Luke 1 verse 4 tells us of this event. "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost." Verse 42 goes on to say, "And she spake with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." John the Baptist, while still in his mother's womb, recognized that Mary was the mother of Jesus...that is why he leaped (for joy) in his mother's womb. He arrived before Jesus was born, and his mission was to announce to the world the arrival of Jesus, the Savior and King. When his mission was accomplished, he departed this world. Jesus, too, departed this world. His hour of departure via the cross was predetermined by the LORD.
Where do we go after our departure from this earth? The answer to this question is found in Luke Chapter 16. We have two men involved in this. One was a beggar who was born and destined to live in a life full of poverty. The other was a very rich man who had all the things and comforts money could buy. Here is what the Bible says about them in Luke 16, verses 22 and 23: "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abrahan afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." The beggar and rich man both had departure dates. One's destination was heaven, and the other's destination was hell.
Each day that we live on this earth is a day closer to our final destination. Will you be like the beggar and go to heaven or like the rich man and go to hell? Call upon the name of the LORD and you shall be saved.
The apostle Paul was born and he died. His life on earth was a life of two very different seasons. In his first season, he persecuted Christians because he thought he was doing the right thing. He was serving the devil. He did not know the real truth. When Jesus gave him spiritual sight, he became a new man and began a new season of his life. He became a servant of Jesus Christ, and diligently worked for his Master. When at the close of his life, Paul spoke these words in 2 Timothy 4 verses 6 and 7, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." The latter season of his life was what counted...the first season of his life was washed away by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. His flight departed to gloryland. His battles and struggles were over...he went home to be with Jesus.
Over the course of my 53 year pilgrimage on this earth, I too, have had two seasons like Paul. During my first season, I was indifferent to Jesus, blinded to the truth by the prince of this world. Then one day, Jesus saved me and I became a different man, a servant of my Lord and Savior. I have seen many births (arrivals) and deaths (departures) of loved ones, friends and others. I lost a son, and two granddaughters while they were still in their mothers' wombs. My father and mother have gone and many other loved ones. I know that one day I will see them again on heaven's bright shore. How do I know? I know because Jesus came into my heart and I belong to him.
Arrival dates...departure dates...Have you made your preparations for your final destination?
John 8 verse 32 "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Copyright 2005, Irvin L. Rozier
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