22 January 2004

"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh"- Hebrews 11:4

Christian, what will be said of you after you are gone? That man was a great sportsman. That woman could tell a good joke. They were the life of the party. Whatever our case, we come to the sober conclusion that the dead do speak long after they have departed this life and what is said should be the concern of every honest Christian.

It is a great advantage to have families to look up to. To have godly parents and grandparents. Even our peers, teachers and those we look up to as children have a similar impact upon our future behavior. Young men will ask the question, "Would my father do that?" Young women will search their hearts and ask, "Would my mother do that?" Many, who do not have the example at home may well be asking, "Would my grandfather, my teacher, my coach do that?" So, we learn that our lives speak volumes, not only while we live, but long after we are gone. They have an impact upon our posterity. The Christian lives not for this life alone, but with an eye to a future generation that will honor Chirst!

Certainly, the lives of the righteous speak longer and louder than the unrighteous. Though Abel lived several thousand years ago, God still holds his offering of faith before us today as an encouragement for us to do the same.

The <b><i>way</i></b> the righteous dead continue to speak, long after they are gone, is by the righteous sacrifices they made for God and others during their life. This is an act of faith, faithful walking with God, recognizing that it of great reward, not only for self, but for all other Christians around us. We think of these more than the unrighteous.

The <b><i>object</i></b> of this kind of speech is the hearts of other believers. A quickened heart is genuinely touched by sacrificial acts of others.

The <b><i>effect</i></b> it has is to produce a sense of urgency in the consciences of other believers to "Go and do likewise". As we have noted, it has an impact upon our posterity.

The <b><i>purpose</i></b> of it all is to give God glory in our earthly pilgrimage.

Though we may falter, though we may stumble, even though there may be those who will pick out and point out our faults, do not give up Christian. We ever stand before the great King, He forgives and restores and He alone writes our record.

-Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor of Harmony Primitive Baptist Church