Ernest, the mortal, is gone. I am sad because even though I knew him for a short while I saw a young man of faith. He was a blessing to have around. He was always willing to help and because of his strength, energy, and attitude his help was appreciated.
“Those legs that now can nimbly run,
Shall then with faintness fail
To take one step, death’s dart to shun,
When he doth thee assail.” (Bunyan)
He wanted to grow and progress in life. He told me that he wanted to become an engineer so he could invent and create. He wanted to build things. He wanted to learn more about His God and His Word. He wanted to be a blessing to his family and see them at peace with God and each other. He wanted to be a true man in this world fighting the battles of unbelief, the world, the flesh and the devil. He wanted to be a man centered around Christ and His gospel. His battling days are over. We lost a good brother, a warrior, a friend. He has met the last enemy of death. In Christ death has been defeated.
“O blessed then is he that’s wrapt
In Christ his righteousness.
This is the man death cannot kill,
For he hath put on arms;
Him sin nor Satan hath not skill
To hurt with all their charms.
A helmet on his head doth stand,
A breastplate on his heart:
A shield also is in his hand,
That blunteth every dart.” (Bunyan)
Ernest was adopted…twice. He came from Africa. His natural father wanted to give him a better chance in life. The father who adopted, who called Ernest “son,” showed him much about this world and life. I am certain that he taught him about hard work and responsibility because I saw these as natural to Ernest. Now he has the privilege of seeing the full spiritual reality of adoption “Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom of your father, and your God, by adoption into his family.”
If he were here to speak to us, I am sure he would want you to know some things. He would want to remind you that “Our hour-glass is fast ebbing out; time stands ready with his scythe to cut us down; the grave yawns to receive us. ‘Man dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he’ (Job 14:10).” Your clock is ticking down and your inevitable end will come. There is a great judgment to come before the Creator. Have you made your peace with him? Are you in His family? Do you have a city, a home, a family that extends beyond the bounds of this time and this space? He would like to ask you like Bunyan,
“Have you felt the
alarm in your soul under a sense of sin and
judgment? Were you dead, and are you made
alive? O, then, while you bless the Savior for
such unspeakable mercies, seek with all
diligence, as life is prolonged, to extend the
blessing to others. There is no work nor device
in the grave, whither we are all hastening, that
can benefit mortals. The great gulf will be fixed,
and our state be finally decided for eternity. O,
then, if you have not yet attained that good
hope of heavenly felicity, sure and stedfast—
hasten….” Hasten to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
He would remind you that as he is now you too shall soon be. His message from His King is “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:20-21).