Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death

Temple Baptist Church - 1-26-2020
Psalm 23:4


A.  The Bible teaches that there is a time to be born and a time to die.  Ecclesiastes 3:2  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

1.  Life begins at conception.  The Bible speaks of God opening and closing the womb.

Genesis 20:18  For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.

Genesis 30:22-23  And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.  (23)  And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:

Genesis 18:13-14  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?  (14)  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Psalms 139:14-16  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  (15)  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  (16)  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.  (I thank God for a president who will openly attend a Rally for Life!  Everyone running against him believes in abortion from conception to birth and even after a child is born.)

2.  Life on earth ends in death.

Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

B.  Death: an inevitable event that happens to us all.  Death: an event that no one likes to think of or talk about.

C.  Death: the cessation of our temporal existence in the flesh and the beginning of our eternal existence.

D.  Death: a time of fear or a time of peace.  We have been taught to fear and dread the day of death that comes to every person.  Psalms says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is his saints.”  The Apostle Paul said that death was “gain…far better.”  I want to look at death in the Psalm of Psalms and get a biblical perspective.

E.  Death is a reality!  Ignore it and it will not go away.  Try to escape and die anyway. 

1.  Death is a Place of Appointment - none can escape. 

2.  Death is a Place of Helplessness - none can prevent. 

3.  Death is a Place of Separation - none can cross the gulf that is fixed. 

4.  Death is a Place of Appointment - none can change it. 

5.  Death is a Place of Permanence - no second chances.

F.  Our trek towards death is a walk that begins at conception and ends at the end of our physical lives.  Preparation for death is made during life, not after the fact.  I want to see a few things that make up a “peaceful” end to this life as we are ushered into the eternal presence of our Lord.

1.  A Peaceful Death Is Acknowledgement – “I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” – That day is coming for each of us and life teaches us that we are but temporal creatures.  This “vapour” that goes faster than a “weaver’s shuttle” is rapidly coming to an end for each of us. 

2.  A Peaceful Death Is Found In Acceptance – “Yea…fear no evil” – Death is not an evil thing!  God loves you and I more that we can ever know!  He wishes no evil upon His children and has allowed death to simply be the DOOR through which we walk into His presence. 

3.  A Peaceful Death Is Found In Confidence – “for thou art with me” – “If Jesus goes with me I’ll go; anywhere!  It’s heaven to me; wherever I be if He is there!”  Our Lord promised that He would never leave nor forsake us!  Where I go, He goes; where He goes, I go. 

4.  A Peaceful Death Is Found in Faith – “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” – Death is a comfort as it is the end of this present evil world for the child of God.
5.  A Peaceful Death Is Excitement – “my cup runneth over!” – No sin, no sorrow, no sickness, no parting, no disappointments, no discouragement, no devil, no necessities, and no more curse.  Home forever and ever and ever and ever and, when you get through all of those “forever’s,” say, “AMEN!”

1.  God’s Presence In The Valley Of Shadows – “thou are with me”  Romans 8:35-36  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2.  God’s Peace In The Valley Of Shadows –  “I will fear no evil”  Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

3.  God’s Promise In The Valley Of Shadows – “through the valley”  2 Corinthians 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

4.  God’s Prospect In The Valley Of Shadows – “Yea, though I walk”  Philippians 1:21-23  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

5.  God’s Purpose In The Valley Of Shadows – and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”  Psalms 16:11  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

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