[forthright] Reflections on the Death of a Saint

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 06:01:50 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

When troubles come, no one knows better than Job. 'In
Search of Perfection: Studies from Job,' by Michael E.
Brooks. Click here:
http://forthrightpress.com/#InSearchOfPerfection


COLUMN: FIELD NOTES

Reflections on the Death of a Saint
 by Michael E. Brooks

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his
saints" (Psalm 116:15).

This week while visiting the village of Kataltala in
southern Bangladesh, I learned of the death last
November of Sister Bouturani Halder. Sister Halder was
about 85 years of age, the mother of one son and five
daughters.

She was one of the first Christians in her village and
her family gave land on which a small building was
erected for the church.

As we stood by her grave on family land near the church
building, I was reminded of certain fundamental truths.

First, that we are all mortal and that, "it is
appointed for men to die once, and after this the
judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). 

Life is brief and we are feeble, but God is strong and 
he is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1).

I can guarantee nothing by myself, but with his help
all things are possible (Philippians 4:13).

Second, I was reminded that the work of the Lord in
Bangladesh is becoming established and is maturing. The
first known congregation of Churches of Christ in
Bangladesh in modern times was planted in April of
1984.

The congregation at Kataltala began about 1990. Several
of the early converts have lived out their lives and
gone on to their reward. A second and even third
generation is now carrying on their faith.

As we train future preachers and leaders at Khulna
Bible College, we are seeking to perpetuate those
things accomplished by those who have gone before us.
We are deeply grateful for their examples.

Finally I was reminded of the urgency of our task.
Sister Halder died as a faithful Christian, so far as
we humans can know. If God validates our judgment, she
is one who has overcome and thus has been promised the
crown of life (Revelation 2:10). But consider the
alternative.

Had no one come to this land twenty six years or so ago
and preached the gospel, Bouturani Halder would have
continued to live as a "child of wrath . . . having no
hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:3,
12).

The hope and comfort her family has would have been
denied them, and her destiny would have been eternal
destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).

Millions of Bangladeshis (and billions throughout the
world) continue to live and die without ever once
hearing the good news of salvation through Jesus
Christ. God's power to save is denied them, not through
lack of his love, but in some cases at least by the
indifference of his people.

Jesus came "to seek and save the lost" (Luke 19:10).
He established his church to continue that work until
he comes again and this earth is destroyed. Let us
renew our commitment and zeal to be "fishers of men,"
and to enable the saving power of the Gospel to reach
all who would hear it.
 
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