On September 30th of the year of the Lord 2016, I had to bring the Lord’s message to the gieving family and friends of a dear dear friend of our family, in his memorial service. Dennis Fernandes (1979-2016) was a dear brother of mine and his tragic passing away by drowning in Lake Buchanan on September 24th was a heart wrenching experience. It was not until 48 hours later that the Texas Game Warden and his special ops team were able to recover his body. That evening, when I met my children, Reuben (10 years) and Ittai (4 years) and told them, “They found Dennis uncle”, their very first question was “Is he alive?” to which I with sorrow replied “No”, only to recognize quickly, how incorrect and wrong, I was. For Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” Then Jesus questioned “Believe thou this?” (John 11:25-26).
Dennis, our brother, is alive. He is spiritually alive, because he trusted and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, the destroyer of the devil who had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and who will eventually destroy the last enemy – death itself (1 Corinthians 15:26). Dennis was a child of God for he had received and believed in Jesus Christ (John 1:12). So though he is physically dead, yet he is spiritually alive and has merely a change of address, from earth, where sorrow and pain abounds, to heaven, where there is no more sorrow or pain – only the Joy of the Lord for eternity.
Like many of Dennis’ family and friends, Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and I miss Dennis and we weep, because we love him. Jesus wept (John 11:35) even though he knew that he would raise his friend, Lazarus from the dead. So our tears are only temporary for God himself will wipe away all tears from our 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 (Revelation 21:4).
Points to ponder:
It is only a matter of time, before we will join Dennis and our loved ones who have gone before us, for it is written, that it is appointed unto men to die once and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The judgment of God, where the verdict can only be one or the other – dead or alive? Spiritually dead or Spiritually alive? To all who have believed in Jesus as their Savior, King and Lord – the verdict would be Spiritually alive and to the others who willfully chose to reject him, their condition would be worse than physical death for they would die the second death – eternally separated from God. The question that then ought to be answered is: Are you (Spiritually) alive?
John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Revelation 21:3-5 (KJV)
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 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.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.