Antioch Church Of Christ

Located Ten Miles East of Tampa Florida at Interstate Four / Exit Fourteen

Phil Roberts
What His Eyes Must See

On Sunday, April 10, 2005 a “prince of Israel” was taken from among men to walk in the presence of God. Living in the hope of the eternal reward given through Jesus Christ, Phil sought to walk in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 1) and the God whom he loved (Mark 12:30). He was not a perfect man but a man who sought the perfection of His Fathers image (Matthew 5:48). It is not so much that Phil has died but that a child of God has gone home.

What wonders the child of God beholds in death - in the awakening of eternal life! When people saw Lazarus in Luke 16 they saw a man pitiful before men. He was a beggar who suffered miserably in the flesh being full of sores. The only pity given was the grace of those who would lay him at the gate of a rich man to beg for morsels of food and drops of water to cool his parched throat. His misery was compounded by the infectious compassion of dogs who would lick his sores. How much he suffered in life. How much he gloried in death.

The death of Lazarus came as he closed his eyes to the world of flesh and opened them to arms of angels as they bore him to the tender care of Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22). The pain he suffered so wretchedly in life was now gone. His mind was no longer clouded with the burdens of the flesh. The eyes dimmed with the pain of suffering were now clear as crystal beholding the face of Abraham. Gone were the pains of hunger and the unquenchable thirst to be filled with the fullness of God’s glory. The sounds he heard were not the laughter of those who mocked him or scorned him but the voices of angels singing, “Holy, holy, holy. Lord God Almighty.”

I wonder what Phil sees? He suffered in life. Enduring the endless pain as did Lazarus, death was a sweet blanket of serenity that flowed through his body as he walked into a world that is without understanding. We glimpse in the pages of God’s word for understanding yet still fall short of comprehending the depth of its wonders. Lazarus was taken to “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). The thief found peace in the words of Jesus: “Today you shall be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). John in the Revelation beheld “a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald” (Revelation 4:2,3). The end of the Revelation reveals that we shall see “His face” (Revelation 22:4).

The death of a saint is a time of sorrow as we mourn the separation of their life from ours but the joy in the knowledge that death is not the victor (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). The child of God is born anew when the “corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53) and the victory is finally realized in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). There is no more “death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” and He who sits on the throne will say, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:4).

Phil was a teacher who now understands the eternal wisdom of all things. His fleshly eyes could only see the written words but now they see the fullness of the mystery of man’s existence. Because he – with all those who seek to “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12) – died in the Lord, he rests from his many labors to enjoy the eternal reward promised from the father (1 John 5:13). His works will follow him on this earth as a testimony of devotion and duty. The greatest work he has left us is the knowledge of how wonderful it will be to open our eyes in eternal life and see the Father face to face.

Nothing matters in life but what we see in death.

Kent Heaton, evangelist
Church Of Christ, Trenton Florida

Recent Sermon Uploads