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'It's Not Over...Until It's Over'
by Travis Wiginton
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I started to use the word 'ain't'....but I didn't want anyone to get stuck on that word...
and miss 'what is'. Since I'll be 80 yrs. of age on Sunday, this subject is for me....
as well as for 'thee'.

The Bible is the Word of God telling a nation, a people, and individuals....
that it's not over yet!

God isn't through with me yet....nor with you!
We must let God call the shots....let God be the referee.
He will blow the whistle when the Game of Life is over.
Then of course, we'll know that the Best is Yet to Be!

At the Red Sea, God told the Israelites, "It's not over".
Then later at the Jordan River, they thought that it was all over but God said...
"Stand still - see the Glory of the Lord - Go forward."

At another time, God told Jonah "I'm not through with you yet.
Go to Ninevah where I have people who need to hear the Word of the Lord."

The Bible is full of examples like this, but none is better than The Cross of Jesus Christ.
It looked so final, but really it was just the Beginning of God continuing to save mankind.

The Apostle Paul's life is that of incidences that seemed to say..
"Well Paul, this is it.....it's all over".

In the Philippian jail, it seemed 'over' but God sent an earthquake.
The prison doors were opened, the jailer got saved and Paul was on his way...
to be God's Messenger.

His three historic missionary journeys propelled Christianity to it's world-wide mission.
Even as a prisoner in a ship bound for Rome, Paul told the hardened shipmen,
"Sirs, be of good cheer for I believe God that it will turn out just like He said it would." (Acts 27:22-25)

You would think that being in a Roman prison, Paul would feel that it was 'all over'...
but not the Apostle Paul.

God's Presence and Power were with him and he wrote many letters...
including what we now call the 'Four Prison Epistles'.
These were written primarily to the Christians in the churches...
urging them to continue on faithfully, carrying out God's Mission.

Warren Wiersbe has some good paperback books about these Prison Epistles:
Ephesians - "Be Rich" ~ Are you losing the things that money can't buy?
Galatians - "Be Free" ~ Be free in Grace and in the Gospel
Colossians - "Be Complete" ~ How to become the whole person God intends you to be
Philippians - "Be Joyful" ~ It beats being happy!

Here are my favorite Scriptures from these Prison Epistles:

Ephesians 1:7f:
"In Christ we can have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins...
according to the riches of His Grace."

Ephesians 2:8-10:
"For by grace you are saved, through faith and that not of yourselves...
it is the gift of God.
It is not of works lest any man should boast for we are His workmanship...
created in Christ Jesus unto good works."


Galatians 2: 20-21:
"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me.
The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God Who loved me....
and gave Himself for me."

Galatians 5: 22-23:
"The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance against such, there is no law."

Rejoicing in Prayer ~ 1:4
Rejoicing in the Gospel ~ 1:18
Rejoicing in Christian fellowship ~ 2:1-2
Rejoicing in Sacrificing for the cause of Christ ~ 2:17
Rejoicing in the care of the Churches ~ 4:10
Rejoicing in God's Provisions ~ 4:19

The key to the Christian life (and victory) is Philippians 2:5-10.....The Mind of Christ.
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."


Colossians 2:9-10:
"God exalted Christ to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, and that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." (NIV)

Among my favorite (and there are many) Scriptures that Paul wrote to the young preacher Timothy, here are some of his last words before he became a martyr for the cause of Christ.

II Timothy 4:6-8:
"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. Therefore there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all those who love His appearing."

The earthly life of Paul was over, but there was more to come....so much more!
This earthly life was over today for a dear friend of our's, retired Oklahoma State Trooper Lt. Bill Price.

Bill and Joyce celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary recently by spending 11 days in Hawaii, spending 7 days cruising between the Islands, arriving back home on May 5th.

(Joyce said that they had a wonderful time, but decided that they might should've done it when they were younger)

Bill had experienced some pain in his feet and legs, but otherwise seemed to make the trip fine. However 2 wks. ago today, Bill was hospitalized as doctors tried to find out why he was in such pain.

They discovered several cancerous tumors throughout Bill's body and were discussing which treatment might be best...when God took Bill 'Home' at 4:30 p.m. today.

So this life was over for Bill....which means that the rest of us need to 'take up the slack' by continuing to witness for our Lord...as Bill did.

When our son Kevin was a Jr. in High School, he heard Lt. Price speak at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly for Youth. Kevin said he knew that day that God was calling him into Law Enforcement, so he made that decision public after Bill's testimony.

All through the years, Lt. Price would call to encourage Kevin, so our family feels tonight as though we lost a family member.

Speaking of that, Lt. Price's brother died less than a month ago, so please be in prayer for this family!

With that plea in mind, I felt that this old hymn would be appropriate as we...
(whom God has not yet called Home) must march on, with the Cross of Jesus going on before us.....until OUR life is over!

Words: Sabine Baring-Gould
Music: Arthur S. Sullivan 1842-1900

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.

At the sign of triumph Satanís host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hellís foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

What the saints established that I hold for true.
What the saints believŤd, that I believe too.
Long as earth endureth, men the faith will hold,
Kingdoms, nations, empires, in destruction rolled.

Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never against that church prevail;
We have Christís own promise, and that cannot fail.

Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor unto Christ the King,
This through countless ages men and angels sing.

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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38


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