MY DREAM…

The following testimony was originally posted in 2007. I have done some minor editing and changed the title.

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One day, as I left my house to go shopping, I noticed one of my elderly neighbors sitting on his stoop. My husband and I had distributed gospel literature in our neighborhood, but had not yet witnessed to this neighbor. As I came out of my house and saw my neighbor, I had a strong prompting to share the Gospel with him. Instead of obeying the Holy Spirit‘s prompting, I said a quick hello and went on my way. I don’t know why I did that. I may have been feeling shy, or maybe a bit intimidated, I’m not sure. This neighbor was someone who we would often greet in passing, but we really didn’t know him very well. He wasn’t too friendly either, but I felt compassion for him and had been praying for his salvation.

A short time after that happened, I had a dream …

I dreamt that this same neighbor was in the hospital. I knew that I hadn’t shared the Gospel with him, and that I needed to go to the hospital and do that. There was an urgency, as if this would be the last opportunity to do so. Also, in the dream, he was looking at our Gospel tracts with a happy and approving expression on his face. That’s pretty much how the dream went.

When I woke up, I wondered a moment about this strange dream. But it was the day of my sister-in-law’s wedding day so I was busy, and before long I completely forgot about the dream. Later in the day my husband went to get his brother at the bus station. His brother lived out of town and had come in for the wedding. As they came into the house my husband said he just learned that one of our neighbors was seriously ill and in the hospital. The neighbor had cancer, and was having emergency surgery that very day. It was the same neighbor that I had dreamt about the night before!

I wanted to drop everything and run to the hospital to witness and pray for this man. I thought to myself, how am I going to do that. I told my husband about the dream, and he responded by saying that we needed to go to the hospital right away! I was so relieved. A Christian friend was visiting that day, so before we left we all prayed together. We asked the Lord to give us time alone with our neighbor so that we could share the gospel with him without hindrance.

When we got to the hospital we couldn’t locate the room he was in. This was because the transition from the recovery room to his hospital room was very recent. We waited, and when we finally found ourselves in his room he was sound asleep. We saw someone’s coat and book in the room, probably the belongings of his wife who had gone out for a moment. So there we were, in the room with our neighbor who had just come out of surgery. He was sound asleep. My husband and I looked at each other and started to wonder if we should even be there. We wondered if he would be angry if he woke up and saw us there. We didn’t think we should wake him up, we didn’t know what to do. Just then a cheery nurse walked into the room and said to her patient, “wake up, you have company.” Our neighbor woke up and looked at us. Then he said “God sent you here.” We were shocked! We thought so, and we were sure glad he thought so too!

While we were there, for that short visit, we shared the Gospel with him. We told him he needed to be born again. He told us something about “St. Lucy” helping him. We told him that “St. Lucy” couldn’t help him, only Jesus could, and that he needed to trust only Jesus, no one else. He was willing to pray with us, so we prayed with him. He cried and thanked us for coming. He was very grateful. We went back home rejoicing and got ready for the wedding.

Our neighbor, Mr. D., went home to recuperate, but we never had the opportunity to see him again after that hospital visit. A few months later he died from his illness.

Not every dream is from the Lord, probably most aren’t. I do believe this dream was of God. (It came to pass, and it did not in any way contradict the Bible, Deuteronomy chapters 13 & 18). Our neighbor heard the Gospel, and he was happy to hear it. When we shared the Gospel with him he did not resist, he listened and prayed with tears. This is just one of many a death bed ministry that the Lord has called us to, and it is always a blessing and a wonder to be used by the Lord in such a way.

Are you ready to die?

WHEN I DIE…

As I age and think about getting closer to the promised land, the following thoughts come to mind.

When I die,…

whether there be one person at my grave…

or one hundred…

I would want these things told…

I would want the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ preached and Jesus Christ exalted and glorified.

I would want any unsaved person there to hear that they must be born again if they ever hope to enter heaven.

I would want told that my Saviour, Jesus Christ, saved me from a very sinful life.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship

one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

I would want told that in Jesus Christ there is hope in a very hopeless world.

I would want told that the promise of the Father, the Holy Ghost is real and that the Lord does not disappoint. This fallen world gives us empty promises that disappoints us time and time again, but “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen”.

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him 

are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Last of all I would like the praises of God sung by any born again Christian there, with hands lifted up in praise to our God.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Until then…

SPIRITS OF JUST MEN MADE PERFECT

In 2016 we lost a family member, a sister, to Cancer. She was only in her 40’s.

And now, a sister in Christ who we’ve known for a very long time, recently became suddenly ill.

Suddenly.

Cancer. 

It made me think about heaven, where the redeemed dwell.

Heaven.

This very real place called heaven.

The following phrase of Scripture came to mind as I meditated …

“the spirits of just men made perfect”

Here’s some interesting commentary on that verse…

Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

MacLaren Bible Commentary:

Faith carries us while living to the society of the living dead.

Immediately on the thought of God arising in the writer’s mind, there rises also the blessed thought of the blessed company in the centre of whom He lives and reigns.

We can say little about that subject, and perhaps the less we say the more we shall understand, and the more deeply we shall feel.

We get glimpses but no clear vision, as when a flock of birds turn in their rapid flight, and for a moment the sun glances on their white wings; and then, with another turn, they drift away, spots of blackness in the blue.

So we see but for a moment as the light falls, and then lose the momentary glory, but we may at least reverently note the exalted words here.

‘the spirits of… men made perfect’

That is to say, they dwell freed from the incubus and limitations, and absolved from the activities, of a bodily organization.

We cannot understand such a condition.

To us it may seem to mean passivity or almost unconsciousness, but we know, as another New Testament writer has told us, that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; and that in some deep, and to us now undiscoverable, fashion, that which the corporeal frame does for men here, immersed in the material world, there the encircling Christ in whom they rest does for them.

We know little more, but we have a glimpse of a land of deep peace in which repose is not passivity nor unconsciousness; any more than service is weariness. And there we have to leave it, knowing only this, that it is possible for a man to exist and to be, in a relative sense, perfected without a body.

Here … we pass within the palace gates, and the writer tells us what we find there.

This interweaving of the presence of God with that of the creatures that live in His love witnesses to the great truth that our God dwells in no isolated supremacy, but in the midst of a blessed society; …

and that the solitary souls who find their way into His presence have a welcome, not only from Him, but from all their brethren of His great family.

… it suggests to us the close and indissoluble connection between God Himself and all those who, in every place, whether the place above or the place beneath, call upon the name of Him who is both their God and ours.

Oh, if we could rend the veil as death will rend it, and see the things which are, as faith will help us to see them – for it thins, if it does not tear, the envious curtain between – would it be possible that we should live the low, mean, selfish, earthly, sinful lives, devoured by anxieties, defaced by stains, depressed by trivial sorrows, which, alas! so many of us do live?

And so the souls beneath the altar, clothed in white, and rapt in felicity, do yet wait ‘for the adoption, even the redemption of the body.’

men who have been redeemed, who being unjust, have been made just, and have had experience of restoration and of the misery of departure,

But the more important consideration is the real unity between poor souls here who are knit to Jesus Christ, and the spirits of the just made perfect who stand so close to the judgment seat.

Ah, brethren! we have to alter the meaning of the words ‘present’ and ‘absent’ when we come to speak of spiritual realities. The gross localized conceptions that are appropriate to material space, and to transitory time, have nothing to do with that higher religion. It is no mere piece of rhetoric or sentiment to say that where our treasure is, there are our hearts, and where our hearts are there are we.

Love has no localities. It knits together two between whom oceans wide roll; it knits together saints on earth and saints in heaven.

To talk of place is irrelevant in reference to such a union; for if our love, our aims, our hopes be the same, we are together.

And if they on the upper side, and we on the lower, grasp each the outstretched hand of the same God, then we are one in Him, and the same life will tingle through our earthly frames and through their perfected spirits.

He is the centre of the great wheel whose spokes are light and blessedness; and all who stand around Him are brought into unity by their common relation to the centre.

Our sorrows would be less sorrowful, our loss less utter, if we truly believed that while apart we are still together.

Our courage and our hope would rise if we came closer in loving contemplation and believing thought to the present blessedness of those once our fellow-travelers, who, weak as we, have entered into rest.

Heaven itself would gain some touch of true attractiveness if we more clearly saw, and more thankfully felt, that there is ‘the Judge of all,’ and there also ‘the spirit of just men made perfect.’

But howsoever great may be the encouragement, the consolation, the quieting that come from them, let us turn away our eyes from the surrounding and lower seats to fix them on the central throne.

Let us ever realise that we are ever in our great Judge’s eye.

Let us spread out our hearts for His scrutiny and decision, for His discipline if need be.

Let us commit to Him our cause, and, in the peace that comes therefrom, we may understand why it was that psalmists of old called upon earth to rejoice and the hills to be glad because He ‘cometh to judge the earth, to judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.’

JFB:

And church of the first-born – these all, from the beginning to the end of the world, forming one Church to which every believer is already come.

Which are written in heaven – they were not, as the church at Sinai, of an earthly enrollment, registered here to know their families and descent, whether right Jews and priests or no, whose genealogy was preserved to that end, … but had their register in heaven, were written in the Lamb’s book of life, to be of heavenly descent, born of God, partakers of the Divine nature, and who had a right and title by faith in Christ to the heavenly inheritance, and were free denizens of it, and have all heavenly privileges derived to them. How obliging, influencing, and promoting are these privileges of every Christian’s pursuit of holiness!

Revelation 21:4 -5 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.

What must I do to be… saved ?

THE SURGEON SAID IT WAS ONE OF THE TWO OR THREE WORST CASES HE HAD EVER SEEN

Here’s a photo of a tract entitled A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH. I only had one of these tracts left and I found it recently when I was looking for something else. I wrote it many years ago. This testimony has already been posted with a different title but I believe it bears repeating. Here’s the tract with some minor editing. When the Lord does such an awesome thing in your life you just have to keep telling it again and again. I pray it will encourage someone today. All the glory to Jesus! 

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A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH

In the summer of 1992, at the age of 74, my mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer. After having a hysterectomy she had radiation treatments for 25 consecutive days.  The doctors told her that intestinal distress would be a side effect of the radiation, and that it could last as long as two weeks after treatment was completed.

In November the treatments were finished and my mother was experiencing the side effects she was told to expect.  But instead of getting better she seemed to be getting worse.  I didn’t know what to think.  My uncle who was always joking and very upbeat took one look at her and started to cry.  On Thanksgiving weekend she began to hallucinate.  We later learned the hallucinating was the result of dehydration.  My father and brother rushed her to the hospital emergency room.  The diagnosis was a ruptured colon.  She was a dying woman as she went into emergency surgery late that night.  The doctor told us that it was one of the two or three worst cases he had ever seen.  He didn’t give us a lot of hope, he was telling us to prepare ourselves for her death.

When we realized the gravity of the situation I went, with my husband and daughter, into an empty waiting room at the hospital and began to pray.

I prayed within …

“Jesus, if my mother were to die tonight and if she were to go to heaven that would be alright with me because she’s very sick and she’s suffering.  If she would go to be with you I know she would be much happier there, than here in this world.” 

Then I prayed… 

“BUT Jesus, you know and I know that according to your Word, if she died tonight she would not be going to heaven because she’s not ready to die, she’s not born again.  Please spare her life and give her more time to repent.”

We had been praying no longer than about 15 or 20 minutes when the phrase “a man under authority” came to me. (The phrase was from Matthew chapter 8:9

At that moment I knew that my mother was going to survive and that Jesus Christ would bring healing to her body and extend her life.  I didn’t say anything to anyone, I was afraid to stop praying, but within a few moments my husband said “your mom is going to be OK” so we stopped praying and went back to be with the rest of the family.

When I woke up the next morning I began to doubt. Did I really hear from the Lord.  Was my mother really going to live. I read the words of Jesus in John 4:48 . . . “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe”. Then I realized it was all about faith.  I was doubting because I had not seen anything yet with my physical eyes.  My mother had not hopped out of bed and said “I’m fine now, let’s go home”.

It was Sunday morning and we went back to the hospital.  My mother was in intensive care recovering from the surgery. Her whole body was swollen and she had tubes everywhere.  When I looked at her she reminded me of one of those helium filled balloons at the Thanksgiving Day parade.  She really looked pretty awful.  

But she did recover.

The Lord did spare her life. 

He did answer my prayer, and my mother lived for another 15 years!

And at the end of those 15 years she was born again, and washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, and my mother witnessed to my father of his need for the Holy Spirit if he wanted to go to heaven.

Hallelujah!

Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Where would you go if you died today? 

Have you been born again?

See also …

Man Under Authority – IIMy mother’s road to the Lord

Man Under Authority – III – What I spoke at my mother’s funeral service