Last Of All...

"Last of all He was seen also by me." I Corinthians 15:8....."It is possible to know Christ as a fact of history, of doctrine, of the Scriptures, of the experience of others, but it avails nothing if we cannot add, "Last of all He was seen also by me." Vance Havner

 
Some time ago I had a conversation with someone who was talking about what comes after death. They said, "No one knows." I couldn't let it pass. I made the simple statement, "I know." They looked at me with what can only be described as disdain, and said in arrogance, "Oh, you KNOW!" I didn't enter into an argument with them. I never do in such places. I simply answered, "Yes, I do." And I just quoted the Scripture, "I know whom I have believed, and I'm persuaded that He's able to keep that (all of that) which I've committed until (and beyond) that day." I knew, I know Whom I've believed because I've seen the One I believe. I have seen Him throughout the last 39 years of my life in Him. I "saw" Him in my early days of walking by simple faith as I left everything I knew and moved a thousand miles from home to a place I'd never been to follow a road I'd never walked on. For the next four years I "saw" Him as He worked and provided for me, and then my family, in what were truly miraculous ways. I "saw" Him as He guided me, a young, inexperienced pastor through situations that were always far greater than my ability. I "saw" Him when, after 7 years, my marriage and ministry collapsed, and He led me through terrifying, seemingly hopeless floods, fires, earthquakes, and impossibilities. Over the last 25 plus years, I have continued to "see" Him in all places and situations. I still see Him today. Because of that, "I know." I know that what comes with what we call death is His Life for those who are His. Those who know in Whom they believe. He has been seen by many before me. He has also been seen by me. It is my deep hope that He will be seen by you. And here is the joy; He desires with all His heart that you would.

If all you know of Him is what history and tradition say, than you have not seen Him and you don't know Him. If all you know is what Scripture says of Him, than you have not seen Him and you don't know Him. If all you know is what others have told you of Him, than you have not seen Him and you don't know Him. That can only be when you, like the Apostle Paul, have beheld Him....even if you are last of all to do so.
 
It doesn't matter whether you are among the first to see Him or the last. It just matters that you have, and if you have, what is the result? You will either run from Him or be transformed, as was Paul, by Him. There is no middle ground. Most stumble through life like ones wearing blindfolds in the dark. Jesus Christ gives us sight in the deepest darkness. Sight and Light that lead us home...to Him who is our Home.
 
I think back to the mockery I speak of above, the question of how could I possibly believe that I knew what they considered unknowable. I can only answer that I know where I have been. I know where I am. I know where I am going. Indeed, in Him, I'm already there. I know that because I know Him, and I know that because I've seen Him, and see Him still. Have you? One day He'll return and all will see Him. For most, it will be too late. It is not too late yet. Do you know? Have you seen? You can. You will, if you but ask...in faith...in brokenness. In hope. Then you too will see....and know.
 
Blessings,
Pastor O
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