Rod McNair | Tomorrow's World

Rod McNair

Will You Take the Mark of the Beast?



Sun seal for Sunday worship as mark of the beast

Will the mysterious “mark of the beast” mentioned in Revelation find its way into your life? What if it already has?

A Sabbath Rest for an Anxious World



Dove with an olive branch

The Sabbath is a commanded rest for all time. You can learn the true benefits of taking time out to observe the seventh-day Sabbath and God’s Holy Days and experience the joy they bring.

Malachi’s Prophetic Message for Today

Are we the first generation to ever grapple with issues of injustice and unequal treatment under the law? The Old Testament book of Malachi tackles that subject with very potent advice—and parallels—for our world today. Watch this episode of Tomorrow’s World as part of your personal Bible study.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

A Holy Book With a Crucial Warning

Could an ancient manuscript have prophecies for today?

It’s easy to think in these modern times that history is irrelevant—especially ancient history.

After all, we’re living in a mind-blowing time of technological wonder. From space-bound telescopes that give us a glimpse into the Universe, to the powerful machines we carry in our hands unlocking a window to people and places all over the world.

Our time is truly unique. So, do old books still matter today?

The answer is yes.

Frankly, the past becomes more relevant to our day, because some of those dusty old books tell us about our day and the future.

The book of Malachi is one such book. It’s found in the Old Testament of the Bible. This portion of the Bible is also known as the Hebrew Scriptures. It was written over 400 years before Jesus Christ, and yet has a message for us today. What could that message be?

On this program, we’ll explore the answer. So, get ready, as we go deep into the past, and unlock “Malachi’s Prophetic Message for Today.”

Malachi’s Warning—God Expects Better

Welcome to Tomorrow’s World, where we bring an understanding of today’s world, through the prophecies of the Bible.

The prophet Malachi lived and prophesied sometime in the latter part of the 5th century BC. His message was to the Jewish people, who had been resettled in the land of Judah after the Babylonian captivity.

Malachi gave strong medicine to his generation. They had become lax in keeping God’s law, their priests were corrupt and unfair in their judgments, and divorce was ripping that society apart. Some were even wondering whether it mattered if they served God or not.

As we consider the challenges in the modern Western world, it’s fascinating and perhaps a little sobering to look at the warnings that Malachi gave his generation.

The warnings are written in the style of a dialogue between God and His people. Let’s read a few of the passages, to catch a glimpse of what God was saying to that generation.

We might just find there’s a message for ours.

We’ll start in Malachi 2:7:

“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law.”

The priest at that time was the one who taught them God’s laws and led in public worship—and yet the priests had become so corrupt that people could not trust what they were teaching anymore. Instead of making God’s ways clear and plain, they had caused the Law to become confused and muddled in the minds of the people.

“You have not kept My ways but have shown partiality in the law” (v. 9).

The law was being applied unfairly, unjustly. Do we think our age is the first to grapple with issues of injustice and unequal treatment under the law? Malachi showed that God was not pleased when judges showed favoritism instead of fairly and consistently applying God’s law.

“And this is the second thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously…. ‘For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 2:13–14, 16).

That generation was noted for its lax attitudes toward marital commitment and faithfulness. And God was not pleased.

How do you think He looks at our generation? Is He pleased that so many marriages end in divorce? What about the conditions that lead to divorce? Some people wrongly accuse the Bible of encouraging hate and disrespect toward women, but nothing could be further from the truth.

What we just read shows that God is very upset when women are not treated fairly and respectfully in marriage. He tells men, don’t abuse, neglect, or hurt your wives in any way. God cares about women, and the Bible upholds the marriage relationship, which was made for the benefit and happiness of men and women.

Notice, there’s more;

“You have wearied the LORD with your words; Yet you say, ‘In what way have we wearied Him?’ In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them’…” (v. 17).

There were some in that day who were turning God’s law upside down. They were trying to make it look like what God calls good is actually bad. And what God calls bad, well, that’s actually good for you. And they were then trying to say that is somehow behind this upside down approach. Do we see any glimpse of that today, in our society?

In our day today, some push immoral behavior and actually say that God supports it. This is really nothing new.

The prophet Malachi warned against this approach in his generation about 2,400 years ago. And he was telling his people they were in danger of unraveling as a society if they didn’t take a different course.

What about us today? Is our world getting better, or worse? Is real love and care for others growing and spreading, or becoming more rare? Malachi witnessed to a corrupt generation with strong warnings to repent. Frankly, there are strong parallels for our day.

But some will say, “This is Old Testament, what does it have to do with me?” Well, let’s read on and we’ll find out.

Jesus Christ Himself Was Speaking Through His Prophet

In the last segment we read about some of the spiritual conditions of the people in Malachi’s day. That was in chapter 2. Notice what Malachi records in chapter 3:

“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.”

What is this talking about? Who is the messenger who is preparing the way? Well, let’s go to Mark 1 to find out.

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You’” (Mark 1:1–2).

This is the beginning of the book of Mark, in your New Testament. Mark is describing how John the Baptist was the messenger preparing the way for the ministry of Jesus Christ. But in explaining that, he was directly quoting from Malachi. In other words, Malachi prophesied about the Gospel. Specifically, Malachi prophesied about John the Baptist being the one who would prepare the way for Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

So, was this book of Malachi only for the Jews living back in the 400s BC? I think we’re seeing it had a scope far beyond his time and his generation. His preaching and his writings reached way into the future, hundreds of years, and they pointed to the very work of John the Baptist and the Messiah.

Let’s continue in Malachi:

“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me” (Malachi 3:1).

O.K., stop again, one more time, and note something else. Who is speaking? It’s Jesus Himself. He uses the pronoun “Me.” The pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, was speaking in this prophecy. He was the One Who was speaking through Malachi, and inspiring Him in what to tell His generation. Think about that for a second, and ask yourself again, does this book have anything to do with New Testament Christians?

Absolutely, because the One who was inspiring its words was Jesus Christ Himself. That alone should cause us to want to open our eyes and see what it says.

What did He say next?

“And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:1).

Who is the Lord whom we seek? Well, of course, it’s Jesus Christ. Malachi prophesied that He’d come suddenly. And He did burst onto the scene in 1st century Judea, when He suddenly came to His temple, overturned the tables and threw out the money changers.

John the Baptist would announce His coming and he would prepare the way, and then Jesus Christ would come and preach the message.

But let’s notice something else here. What message did Jesus come to preach? Again, we might say, “well, the gospel message, of course.” That’s right. But there’s another detail we don’t want to miss. Let’s read it again.

“And the LORD, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant…” (Malachi 3:1).

So, not only is Jesus Lord, not only is He the Messiah, our Savior, He also was the Messenger of the covenant. But what does that mean?

Let’s think about this for a moment.

What is a messenger? A messenger is someone who’s been given the task of relaying a communication. We might think of in olden times when hand-written messages would be relayed by a trusted official or king to another. A messenger was one who carried that important communication on behalf of someone else.

But in this passage, Who is Jesus the messenger for?

Well, let’s look at an excerpt from Dr. Meredith, in the booklet Do You Believe the True Gospel? He explains on page 5:

“A messenger bears a message from someone else—and so Jesus did, as He made plain by stating that ‘the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me’” (John 14:24)” (p. 5).

This is an important point to remember: The message of the Gospel is from the Father.

You see, some seem to have the mistaken idea that God the Father is that stern old God of the Old Testament, and Jesus Christ is the loving, kind God of the New Testament who came to do away with the Old. Have you had that impression? Is that your opinion now? And can you see, nothing could be further from the truth?

In fact, reading this book of Malachi is showing us that the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ was speaking through this Old Testament prophet, and speaking of bringing a message from the Father. He and the Father are of one mind, in perfect harmony. They are in total agreement. So, what was the message from the Father?

Going on, from Dr. Meredith in Do You Believe the True Gospel:

“God the Father sent Christ to announce a message from Him. What kind of message was it? The word ‘gospel’ originates from the Old English word godspell, meaning ‘good news’ or ‘announcement of glad tidings.’ The New Testament translators used ‘gospel’ for the Greek noun [“eu-on-GELI-on”] euaggelion.

The English word “evangelism”—preaching the Gospel—is derived from it. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have come to be known as “the four gospels” because they relate four separate accounts of Christ delivering His announcement of Good News!

What was this Good News all about? Let Scripture answer!” (p. 5).

You see, too many people have come to the mistaken conclusion that the gospel is just about believing in Jesus. Yes, believing in Jesus is the starting point. We must believe that He is God, and that He is our Savior. we must accept His love and sacrifice for our sins, to be saved. But was the gospel message only about the Person of Christ and His sacrifice? Or is there more?

When Jesus began to preach the gospel, what did He talk about?

We can read about it again in Mark chapter 1:

“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14–15).

The gospel message is from the Father, and is the good news about His coming Kingdom. It’s about Jesus Christ coming to earth to end the misery and the heartache and the suffering this world is going through.

Jesus Christ Will Come AGAIN!

Thus far in today’s program, we’ve opened the book of Malachi, to see that he preached to a generation that was corrupt and in need of a spiritual renewal. We can see parallels in our day.

We also saw that in the book of Malachi, the Word who became Christ prophesied of the coming of John the Baptist. And we also saw that the pre-incarnate Jesus prophesied of His own coming. We also saw that Jesus brought a message. That message would be a message from His Father, about the good news of a coming Kingdom.

But there’s more.

Let’s pick it up where we left off. After reading of John the Baptist being the messenger of the Messiah, and Jesus Himself being the messenger of the Father, we read of something else. We’re introduced to the idea that Jesus will not just have a first coming, but a Second Coming.

“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…” (Malachi 3:2–3).

A refiner’s fire? A purifier of silver? This could not be referring to His first coming.

When Jesus Christ first came to this earth, He allowed Himself to be arrested and beaten and finally crucified. But this passage tells us of a very different time. It speaks of Jesus’ Second Coming, which will come in a time of great distress on earth. It speaks of a time when people will be purified and tested through great suffering. We read of that same time, referred to as the Great Tribulation, in Matthew 24 verse 21:

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

Why would Malachi be writing a warning about something that happens many centuries after his generation was dead and gone? Why would he write a warning to the end-time generation, living just before Christ’s return? Does the prophet Malachi have a message for our generation today?

Absolutely. He’s speaking of our day today.

Are we in the last days? Are we living in a time of great corruption, and injustice, and inequity? We see moral values plummeting, and the state of marriage and family at an all-time low in Western societies. We see people trying to convince us that bad behavior is actually righteous and good. We’re living in the days prophesied by Malachi.

Let’s go back to Malachi chapter 3 verse 5:

“‘… I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, against adulterers, against perjurers, against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, and against those who turn away an alien—because they do not fear Me,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:5).

This is the returning Jesus Christ speaking. He’s saying our sins will bring judgment on ourselves. What sins is He talking about?

Adultery. Lying. Stealing from and exploiting the poor. Mistreating foreigners. This is a message to the end-time generation. When you think about it, it’s a message for a godless generation that has thrown off all restraint.

Are you beginning to see that in your world today? If so, think about how applicable this message is for today. Let’s go one step further. Malachi 3 verse 13:

“‘Your words have been harsh against Me,’ Says the LORD, ‘Yet you say, “What have we spoken against You?” You have said, “It is useless to serve God…”’” (Malachi 3:13–14).

Would you say we are living in a time when this is the attitude of many people in our Western societies? That the moral fabric upon which our civilization was built—an understanding of a real God and His inspired word—is crumbling beneath us? More and more people are saying, “Biblical Christianity? Why would we need that?” “A God who is revealed in the Bible? Oh, that’s just old, dusty writings of men.” Think about it. These words of Malachi are spot on for our generation today.

Let me show you one more thing. The prophet Malachi closed His book with a powerful, resounding message. And again, remember, this passage was the last warning and challenge of the entire Old Testament. We read in MAlachi again:

“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Malachi 4:4–5).

This is another message for the generation of the last days, who are living in the time just before the great and dreadful day of the LORD. Isn’t it striking that the prophet gives a warning to the generation alive in the end times, but refers to the law of Moses? He says, “Remember the Law of Moses.” But isn’t the Law of Moses—the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath day—aren’t those all done away?

Not at all. God’s law still stands, and it has deep significance and meaning for New Testament Christians today. And that’s why God inspired Malachi to tell our generation, “Remember the Law of Moses.” It’s not done away. Malachi warns our generation not to forget about it.

God Will Judge the World—To SAVE Us

In today’s program, we’ve explored the world of Malachi, a prophet of God who lived and preached in the 5th century before Christ. We’ve seen that he warned his generation of the sins of corruption, mistreatment of others, unfaithfulness in marriage, and immorality. We’ve seen that this same prophet had a message about a messenger, John the Baptist, preparing the way for Jesus Christ.

But we also saw that Jesus Himself was a messenger of a covenant from the Father, of forgiveness of sins, of life and peace. We saw that the true gospel is about a Kingdom that’s going to be set up. But before that Kingdom is set up on this earth, we read that there will be great distress on the earth as God judges the world. Ultimately, God’s will is that this will lead all mankind to having an opportunity to enter a covenant relationship with Him.

Let’s read the end of the prophecy, in Malachi 4, verse 5:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5–6).

The question for us is, will there be a change of heart in us? Will OUR hearts to be turned to serving and loving others as ourselves. And especially, will our hearts be turned to our Father in Heaven, and His Son, Jesus Christ? Will we show ourselves faithful to them? Going back to Malachi chapter 3:

“For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob… Return to Me, and I will return to you,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:6–7).

The “sons of Jacob” are just the modern descendants of the patriarch Israel. If we understand who modern Israel is today—and frankly many of us are living in the end-time nations of Israel—we should be grateful for God’s patience and longsuffering, and we should cry out for His help and mercy as we see these things coming. Will God help those who fear Him?

Will He be a refuge to those who serve and obey Him sincerely and faithfully? Let’s read Malachi 3, verse 16:

“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him’” (Malachi 3:16–17).

The book of Malachi prophesies deliverance, comfort, and safety for those who don’t succumb to the godless attitudes of these last days. It’s our hope and prayer that you will seek Him, and obey Him and love Him, with all your heart.

Thanks for watching. Remember to subscribe and click the notification bell so you don’t miss another Tomorrow’s World video. And, if you’d like a copy of our free booklet Do You Believe the True Gospel?, go to TWTV.org/gospel, or click the link in the description. See you next time!

Thank you for watching! Remember to subscribe so you don’t miss another Tomorrow’s World video, and if you would like a copy of our free study guide, Do You Believe the True Gospel?, go to TWTV.org/Gospel or click the link in the description. See you next time.


When a Loved One Dies



Dying person holding hands with a loved one

Have you grieved the death of someone close to you? Are you still feeling the pain of a long-ago loss? Maybe you have even asked yourself this question: If God is good and all-powerful, why am I suffering so much? The good news is that you can face death—even your own—with boldness, courage, and hope.

When a Loved One Dies

How do you deal with the death of a loved one and the questions and fears it raises? What happens when you die? Is there an afterlife? What about resurrection? All of these questions have answers in the Bible. You can face death with courage, faith, and hope. Learn three ways how to cope with grief in this episode of Tomorrow's World.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Facing the Inevitable

Imagine the scene; family and friends gathered together. Beautiful flowers adorn the coffin, as well-wishers file in. Words of encouragement are given and tears flow. At the funeral of a loved one, there is often deep sorrow, especially when the deceased is someone cut off early in life—a child, or a young person, with so much promise of life and vibrancy, now gone. Or the loss of a devoted husband or wife. A companion for decades perhaps. And now, the survivor must carry on alone.

How do you approach the death of a loved one? If you’ve faced it, you know how it feels. When a loved one dies, we grieve, we mourn, we have a hole in our heart. It’s difficult and it hurts. And sometimes the pain lasts for years. And we may ask: If God is good and all-powerful, why am I suffering so much?

There is a way to face death with boldness, courage, and hope. God’s word assures that, and gives us practical and timeless advice.

How can you be prepared when death strikes someone close to you?

Death and the Resurrection, According to the Bible

Welcome to Tomorrow’s World, where we help you make sense of your world through the pages of the Bible. Not long ago, a dear friend of mine and colleague in this Work died. I was asked to say a few words at his funeral. I’ve always found it challenging but profoundly rewarding to speak on behalf of someone who dies. Life is a precious gift. And, especially if one has lived a long and full life, there are so many things to say. His or her life is like a diamond that sparkles as you turn it. You see experiences, traits, qualities of strength, and yes, even a few weaknesses. It’s the sum of their life. How do you encapsulate it in just a few minutes? And yet what an honor it is to speak on behalf of a beloved friend or loved one at a time like this.

When a loved one dies, we grieve. And many struggle with how to get through. Especially in these times of grievous diseases, how do we cope? In this episode of Tomorrow’s World, we’ll talk about three ways to face death with courage and faith.

If you are a regular viewer, you know that at Tomorrow’s World we hold to the Bible as the Truth, the word of God. It has the answers to the big questions of life. And so, when we talk about death and grieving, and how to cope, the absolute first key is:

1. Look to the Bible for answers and comfort.

I know most of you don’t have to be convinced to read your Bible, especially when you’re down and struggling. Many of you hold the Bible in high esteem. But some of you watching may not yet be sure about the Bible. You may have heard it’s just a collection of myths and legends, writings of men. Your understanding of the Bible may only be what others have told you about it. Maybe your views have been formed by your friends or coworkers, or even the popular media. If so, you most likely have misconceptions about what it really says. When it comes to matters of life and death, the Bible’s the only book that even claims to have the real answers.

Give it a second chance. Consider what I’m saying. And when you’re in tough times, remember—the Bible has answers.

There was a man named Job who lived many thousands of years ago. Job was tried severely in his life. He lost loved ones, tragically, sons and daughters, in one day. He struggled to understand and even blamed God for his troubles, at one point. It shook his faith to the foundations. But at the end of the day, he put his trust in God and the hope of the resurrection. In Job 14:14, he said this:

“If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands” (Job 14:14-15).

Job believed in the resurrection from the dead. He believed that after death, the dead will rise. God will call and they'll answer him. And you can read from one end of the Bible to the other, and you’ll find the affirmation of life after death. This life is not the end. Death is not permanent.

When Jesus was on this earth, He was God in the flesh. What did He say about life and death? Notice in John chapter 5 and verse 28:

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29).

Jesus said, there is life after death. The dead will rise. There’s something yet in the future. These are the words of the Son of God Himself. And He can tell us definitely, because He Himself rose from the dead.

Paul speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. In fact, the whole chapter is about the resurrection. Notice what Paul said in verse 12:

“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:12).

You see, it’s nothing new that some don’t believe in the resurrection. In every age, there have been those who doubted. And yet Paul explained that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was witnessed by hundreds of people. And many of them were still alive when he wrote this. Going on in 1 Corinthians chapter 15,

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that he was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

Now think about this for a moment. Paul was saying that there were at least a couple hundred brethren, at the time of this writing, who had seen the risen Christ and were still around to tell about it. If you’re not sure whether you can believe the Bible, consider this testimony. If this wasn’t true, would Paul have dared make this bold assertion? If Jesus Christ really hadn’t been resurrected, why would Paul stake his reputation on it? And why would Paul give His life for it, as well as the other apostles?

So, what’s the point? When we look at the Bible, we’re given an understanding that there's something coming after death. The Bible is unique in offering this hope. It’s special in that it gives us a glimpse of what happens after death. Only the Bible can give that kind of comfort. And when we lose a husband, a wife, a child, or a close friend, we can turn to the Bible for encouragement. In fact, we must turn to the Bible for comfort, for where else can we get real answers?

The Bible gives the answers to the important questions of life and death.

Coping With Death and Loss Together

When a loved one dies, we grieve and we’re sad. Our heart is broken and we feel a profound emptiness. Some feel guilt for surviving while their mate dies. Others feel stuck, like they’ll never get over the loss. But how do we cope with death? In the first segment of this program we saw that it’s vital we look to the Bible for answers and hope. But there’s more. The second key is:

2. Reach out to others who care and who can help.

When a loved one dies, there is a tendency to retreat within ourselves. We may feel like isolating ourselves and pulling away from others. But is that healthy?

In the Western world, we have traditions and ceremonies to honor the dead and comfort the living. Family and friends gather to lend support and encouragement. Eulogies about the deceased are often given. We are saddened by the occasion and may shed a tear. But on the other hand, hearing about the life and accomplishments and even a humorous anecdote or two about our loved one, is healing and therapeutic.

I’m always touched when attending a funeral and learning more deeply about another person’s life. It’s profound to hear what a son or granddaughter or other relative relates about what was important to their loved one. Those memories are precious. They are especially profound when shared by someone who knew the person well. And they should be shared. Though the process is a bit painful, we all benefit by hearing the stories of a child of God who’s finished his or her race.

Too many people want to hide their eyes from mourning and sorrow. And in doing this, they often pull away from individuals in their life who can help them the most. Being surrounded by people who love us is vital to working through the grieving process. When death occurs, we need to accept the efforts of others to comfort us. They may not always know what to say. There may be awkward moments. But they’re trying to help—and it’s good to accept that help.

Many people today are alone and lonely. The pandemic has made isolation more acute and more painful. And as human beings, we need one another. And that is true especially during times of distress and loss.

The gospels record that Jesus wept when His friend died. Let’s look at that in John chapter 11 and verse 33:

“Therefore, when Jesus saw her [that is, Mary] weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the Spirit and was troubled. And He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept” (John 11:33-35).

This wasn’t a show. He wasn’t making believe. Jesus cared deeply for His friend. But He wasn’t just weeping for Lazarus. He was mourning for everyone, for He saw the suffering and distress they all had.

In this instance, Jesus actually brought back Lazarus to life. Now, He didn’t do that every time someone died. But here there was a specific purpose He was working out. The point is, this Scripture shows He cared for people and had compassion for them. When others are hurting, we need to reach out to them as well.

Young people suffer loss and pain, too. Sometimes as adults, we can forget that children and teens experience distress when they see a grandparent or other relative dying. They might be confused about what’s happening, especially if they are small. And they might even be confused by their own emotions. They may not even show emotion. They may act out in certain ways, and misbehave. There are numerous websites that give advice on helping young people grieve. Here are a few suggestions one website gives to teens, called KidsHealth.org, for those who have suffered loss:

1. Express Feelings and Find Support

If you are a young person and watching this program, and you have suffered loss, don't be afraid to reach out to others who care. Be strong, you can get through this. Stay engaged, and reach out to your parents, and teachers, and other adults you trust.

Another suggestion for teens suffering loss is:

2. Find Meaning

We touched on this in the first part of our program. Oftentimes, times of sorrow and suffering cause us to ask the big questions of life: Why am I here? What’s it all about? Don’t shy away from these questions. Searching for answers is healing in itself.

And here’s a final tip on the website:

3. Take Care of Yourself

It’s easy to let down on the things that keep us strong and healthy. We might lose sleep. We might lose interest in exercising. We might be less careful about what we eat. But taking care of yourself physically is actually vital in working through a time of grief.

The Key to Facing Death? Knowing God’s True Purpose for Life!

What’s another key to handling death in a positive and hopeful way?

3. Seek for the purpose of life.

You see, to understand death, you first have to understand life. Why are you here? What does your life mean? Are the evolutionists right? Are you just the result of billions of proteins that just happened to be zapped by a lightning bolt and mashed together in a random way that all works together harmoniously and perfectly? No, the truth is, we are the children of God. We’ve been made in God's image.

In Genesis chapter one we find a brief history of the origin of mankind. I’ll read in verse 26:

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

Do you realize what that means? It means you look like God. Now, understand, in His glorified state, He’d be brighter than the sun to us. We could not see Him and live. But if we could look at Him in the spiritual realm, we would see Someone Who looks like us because we look like Him.

Now how can we know for sure? Notice in Genesis chapter 5 verse 3:

“And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth” (Genesis 5:3).

It’s the same phrase—made in his own likeness, after his image—that Genesis 1 said about God making mankind. Now, we have no problem understanding that Seth was a human being and looked like his father Adam, and his mother, Eve. So, why is it such a stretch to believe that we were made in the image of God? That we, if we could see God, would see that we look like Him?

Think about this. It means we are on a totally different plane than the animals. We were made to have a connection with God. And that connection with God gives us a destiny so much greater than the animals. There is a purpose to this life. This life is a time to grow in character—God’s character. We are here to come to understand God and His purpose and turn our hearts to Him. And ultimately, He is giving us the chance to live with Him, in the spirit realm, in His family forever. Notice 1 John chapter 3, verse 1:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1-2).

We shall be like Him, and we shall see Him as He is. That’s the purpose of life. The purpose of life is not to be extinguished, snuffed out forever, or drift off into nothingness. The purpose of life is to prepare for eternal life. Notice verse 3:

“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).

So, we don’t just live our lives aimlessly, with no regard for tomorrow. We live for Christ, to be conformed to His character. And if we do that, and accept His sacrifice for our sins, and humbly ask Him to guide our lives, we’ll live forever. What an opportunity. Notice in Hebrews 2:6:

“But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?”

Truly, why does God even notice us or care about us? We’re so insignificant compared to the enormous size of this planet, much less the size of the solar system or the Universe. And yet, God has created us for a purpose. Going on,

“You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him” (Hebrews 2:7-8).

We don’t yet have “all things” put under our feet, as Paul goes on to explain. Because right now we’re only in the physical flesh. But when we enter life—real life, eternal life—we’ll receive our inheritance. And what does that mean?

Let me read from the booklet we’re offering today, What Happens When You Die? On page 33, Mr. Ames writes:

“‘Nothing’ not put under him? ‘All’ in subjection? Yes, this is the promise! The Greek phrase translated as ‘all’ in Hebrews 2:8 is ta panta – which literally means ‘the all.’ As Greek lexicons explain, ta panta in the absolute sense means ‘the universe.’ God wants to give you, along with billions of others, dominion not just over the earth, but over the universe!”

When you suffer the pain of loss and death from those close to you, don’t despair. There is hope. There is a future. Our whole life has been built around a plan that God is working out. The human family is a miracle. The fact that we can survive on this planet is astounding, when you realize how finely tuned our world must be to support life.

We’re not here by an accident. We’re here for a purpose, and that purpose gives us hope. Paul explains this in 1 Thessalonians 4.

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

This world is filled with philosophies and ideas [that] give no hope. What is there to hope for, if you believe that at death that’s it? Or, if you’re so terrified of the afterlife because of popular concepts [that] have no basis in reality?

Overcoming the Grave

But there is a way to face the death of a loved one with courage, faith and hope. And our Father in Heaven wants to give us comfort when we face these troubles in life. He comforts us, and He wants us to learn to comfort others. Notice in 2 Corinthians 1:3:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

The world is full of pain. But there is a purpose for suffering, and death is not the end. There’s much more to the plan. And as we look to God and walk with Him, and allow Him to guide our life, we’re going to understand that plan more and more. And we’ll be able to help others along their journey as well.

Thanks for watching! Remember to subscribe so you don’t miss another Tomorrow’s World video, and if you would like a copy of our free booklet What Happens When You Die?, go to TWTV.org/Death or click the link in the description. See you next time.



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