Summary: Life is temporary, no matter how many years one may dwell in this present world. The men, women, and children who die in Christ leave this troubled enter into the joy of for heaven and the presence of the LORD. Scripture tells of what they will gain as they take in their first glimpse of glory.
The present day group of censors engaged in the "cancel culture" movement have taken it upon themselves to rid this nation of any memory of those who lived before us because they were either' oppressors", or "fascists", or had engaged in "white privilege", or some other reason they personally do not like or find "offensive". Statues of noted statemen, soldiers, explorers, and other notable officials are being conveniently removed from view and from memory as well. They are in the process of deliberately erasing our history and with it, the lives and words of the men and women who helped to shape our nation, for better or worse. As a former history teacher, this tends to infuriate me. One particular act of politically correct cowardice happened in the city I called home for fifteen years, that being New Orleans.
In the downtown area there was a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee that had stood silently upon a high pedestal for over 105 years and was one of the symbols of the city and a memorial to a man who was a former slaveowner, a Christian gentleman who worshipped side by side with the newly freed slaves after the Civil War, who edified culture, class, manners, and was rewarded with the presidency of a college. His strategies and concern for the welfare of his men in Confederate (Southern) grey brought him many victories in the War, but he also took the blame for the tremendous loss incurred at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 that ended with untold numbers of both Northern and Southern deaths and essentially changed the course of the Civil War. After that battle, the Southern forces were at a tremendous disadvantage and inevitable loss and by April 1865, Lee met General U.S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia and surrendered, ending the Civil War.
General Lee was a hero to the South for generations, until for some reason today he tends to "offend" those who have a warped view of him and really no knowledge of history as well. The former mayor of New Orleans, whom I will not name as he deserves no publicity, took it upon himself and the city council not to address problems such as crime, street repair, budgets, tourism, or rebuilding the business structure of a post-Katrina era, but to spend thousands of dollars to remove the statue of Lee from its pedestal in the middle of the night to store it in an oblivious warehouse somewhere in the vicinity. Apparently after over a hundred years in a city that was known for tolerance and good times, this statue was now considered some sort of disgrace while other cities were in flames and looking the other way.
I present this background information to inform this current generation that people existed and functioned quite well without social media or cell phones and that history did not start with their "self-awareness" or "trigger warnings". Historical figures had faults and shortcomings, but many more possessed a nobility and character that is sorely missing today. I also wanted to present a chapter in the great General's life that forms the basis for this message. In early 1870, Lee was at the point of death and about to tell his family and friends his goodbye after a lifetime of service to both the U.S. and the Confederate government of the South. Ever the soldier, his final words were an order, "Strike the tents!". This was the order for troops to pack their gear, fall in rank, and move on to the next theater of operations. It fits so well with the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1, where he compares our present bodies to tents that will soon be put away, and we will march to a new place, namely to heaven and the eternal blessed presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
However long you have served the Lord Jesus in the occupation or place of service in which He had placed you, the time will come for you to "strike the tent", and leave behind the battles, heartaches, struggles, difficulties, and all the troubles this fallen world has thrown at you like weapons in a war that might have seemed to never end nor called for a truce. Either through the "Blessed Hope" of the Rapture of the church (1 Thess. 4:13-18), or by the way of all flesh, where we die and our empty shell be buried, we are heading to a place where we will be with Jesus and our saved loved ones for all eternity, free from the curse and presence of sin, the evil schemes of the devil and his minions, free from disease, and all of the trials we endured as good soldiers of the King.