Summary: Who will continue on the work for your church?
One by one, God is calling home His Saints....They have had a place in the house of God, they have been faithful to what God has called them to do, they have been obedient to God, walked with Him, and been faithful to His church. And now, they have went on to claim their reward.
I think of some of my heroes in the Bible. Moses, who led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt who had a trying time with these people, and that is putting it mildly. Between 2 ½ and 3 million people was led by the leadership of Moses and Aaron.
As these two men of God did what God would tell them (most of the time), it was a struggle. But as the scripture speaks of Moses, here’s a man who told the Lord, “Lord, who am I that I should go into Egypt and lead You’re people out of bondage?”
I suppose he was thinking things like: I’m 80 years old, “Lord, I can’t do this.” I stutter, I can’t half talk,” Well, he lead these complaining, disrespectful, gossiping, know it all Israelites 40 years....Although it was only a 7 day journey, but they all disobeyed God and it lasted 40 years.
Now, at 120 years old, and the work he did, bringing the children of Israel to the border of the promised land, Moses died and was buried, who was going to take his place?
Well, there was a man who turned out to be a well known military leader...someone who God had faith in...a man by the name of Joshua; willing and ready to step in the ring. Much can also be said of Joshua. Being the greatest military leader, he knew how to plan campaigns, discipline his forces, use spies, but above all, he knew how to pray and trust God.
At the age of 110 his death was not taken lightly at all. In fact, his voice echoes through the ages. In fact the Bible puts it in essence: He is dead but yet speaks to us.
I want to challenge you to examine Joshua’s life. And I think that you will agree with me. These discoveries, will provide us important lessons as to what sort of persons we all need to be in order to be placed in service for God and to be a conqueror of evils of Canaan in our own lives.
Then we have another man who wishes to enter the ring.... Here again, much can be said of this man of God. Elijah. What a man of God this was. But as Elijah was caught up into heaven by a tornado. Who was going to take his place? This miracle prophet followed the great ministry of Elijah, Yes, God had His man already picked out. Elisha was his name.
Elijah says to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?" Elisha doesn't miss a beat here. "Let me have a double portion of your spirit." Elisha didn't say, "Ah, nothing. "Elisha knew exactly what he wanted from Elijah, and what he wanted God to do. He asks big! Elijah says, "You have asked a difficult thing . . . yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not." Difficult even for Elijah. Something he apparently has no control over.
Elisha is separated from Elijah and sees Elijah taken and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" Elisha lost someone he called "father'. He'd already given up his oxen, his work, his family, his living and then the one he left all those things for... Elisha tears his clothes.
But again, Elisha doesn't miss a beat. He picks up Elijah's cape, goes back, stands on the bank of the Jordan, takes the cape and strikes the water with it asking, "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" You could probably make even more observations about this and about God's response.
He didn't mourn for long. He takes his place with God and God gives him that very difficult thing he asked for. He didn't put it off. He doesn't wait days or weeks or years. When he struck the water, it divided and he crossed over just the way Elijah did not long before.
Elisha doesn't lack confidence. He doesn't hesitate. There's no uncertainty here. Elisha carries on the work of the Lord.
Then we have yet another man of God. A man who’s preaching the word of God is being stoned for it. In fact as he is preaching he is being stoned. How we need that kind of preaching today. We MUST stand on the word of God....Shame on us if we sugarcoat God’s word to keep from offending someone. Shame on us if we try and justify our own wrong doings. Shame on us if we are afraid to speak-up to these so-called atheist....the A C L U, and other satin run organizations.