What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time. A heart felt message to all my readers.

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Answers to Bible Questions
3-12-2015

Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible

(Q)  What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time. A heart felt message to all my readers.

 

(A)  Psalms 8:3-4: 3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Sunday, February 22nd, at 4:05 pm was a turning point in my life. A great sensation of sorrow came over me that day when I heard the news that my brother-in-law had died. Clayton J. (Pete) Everhart went to his eternal home in heaven to be with our GREAT ALMIGHTY GOD AND SAVIOR, OUR LORD CHRIST JESUS. He was 80 years old. I had great respect for this man whom I knew most of my life. (Pete) was a dear friend, a great husband to my sister, an excellent father, a hard worker and loved by all who knew him. In our younger years, my brother and I along with many other friends we knew at that time, engaged in lots of football games, baseball games and also basket games. Those were very good times which I will never forget.

James 4:13-15: 13 Go to now, ye that say, Today, or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Clayton Everhart married my sister Marjorie on November 26, 1955, and they enjoyed 59 wonderful years together. During that time they were the proud parents of the following five children, four boys and one daughter: David, Robert, Joseph, Kenneth and Sharon.

Pete is the name we always called Clayton, and Marge is what we called my sister, Marjorie. So from now on I will refer to them as Pete and Marge.

Sometimes Pete worked two jobs as I remember. At times he had to work on Sunday afternoon, and during that time I would ride my bicycle over to their house on Frost pkwy along the Sandusky River. I believe that Pete and Marge had their first child David at that time, so during the time Pete was working, Marge and I played cards on those Sunday afternoons to help pass the time until Pete would come home.

Years later after the other three boys were born; I would babysit for them when Pete and Marge wanted to get away by themselves. I would like to sneak up on them and scare the pants off of them if I could. I didn’t really scare the pants off of them, but I had a good time playing with them. Those were the days of fun and joy.

When the boys grew up some, they started getting involved in some baseball activities. Pete always tried to be involved in these activities whenever possible, and because of that, I believe it helped them to know they were loved, and it gave them confidence to meet the challenges they would face in their future lives out in the world. Pete and the children were not perfect, they all had faults, but Pete did his best to teach their children right from wrong, and to be the best they could be. The four boys turned out to be loving husbands, hard workers, and great fathers just like their dad. Sharon, their daughter is also a loving wife, a great mother, and has enjoyed working over the last twenty some years to help earn extra money, so they can visit some of the beautiful sites in this country, and around the world when they have the free time to do so.

Proverbs 22:6: 6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Children need to be taught right from wrong, yet they all go through stages in their lives when right and wrong are relative to their situation.

Now, we fast forward to the time when Pete retired, and all the children were now long gone, and had their own families. Marge would get lonely at times. She really missed having the children around, and I’m sure most mothers would feel the same way. Pete was completely devoted to Marge, and he loved her very much. Pete’s love for Marge never wavered! I take my hat off to Pete for his undying love for Marge, his wife, and my sister.

At this point in their lives, Pete, and Marge began to do some traveling around the country, enjoying some of the things they could not do while Pete was working. All of their boys had good jobs now, but in different states, so Pete and Marge would visit them whenever they could. Sharon, their daughter, was the only one to make her home just a few miles away from her parent’s home.

Pete and Marge had a good life together, but any of you out there who are having a difficult time in your life, just read and think about the following verse:

II Corinthians 4:17-18: 17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Pete and Marge attended some of our Bible studies in the past, and we talked a lot about the one and only way to receive the free gift of salvation by the grace of God, just by believing the true gospel. I will have more to say about that message later in this article.

My wife and I had a very good visit with Pete about two weeks before he died. He was very weak at that time due to the disease that was slowly bringing his life to an end. But, even in his weakened state, he was still thinking about Marge. Before we left that day Pete reached out his hand to me and said, “take care of Marge.” That broke my heart because he knew he did not have much longer to live. Pete died about two weeks later. We did see him one more time before he died, and again we shook hands and that was the last time we saw him alive.

Our lives are like vapor:  How many of us have watched steam evaporate from a teapot, your breath in cold weather, smoke rising from a chimney, or morning mist dissolve over a lake at sunrise?  How about watching a shadow appear, then disappear as the sun moves across the sky?

So too, our physical bodies are here on earth for only a fleeting moment in God’s eyes, Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8.  How dare we waste that short time in our own selfish endeavors! And how much a single breath is like a foggy mist that evaporates in a heartbeat.  Each morning when I awake I praise God and thank Him for His breath of life, being aware that my entire lifetime exists in less than one breath from His nostrils, Genesis 2:7; Job 33:4.

Psalms 39:4-5:  (Taken from the Defined KJV) 4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is;’ that I may know how frail I am. 5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; (A measure of four fingers, equal to about 4 inches) and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily” every man at his best state is altogether vanity. 

“Don’t put off till tomorrow, what needs to be done today.” It’s called procrastination, it is the greatest defeat in our minds and yet, it can spell disaster for tomorrow and that could be on a biblical scale, II Corinthians 6:2: 2 For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured (HELPED) thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

You have been given a mind for a reason; it is always wise to use it for all the best of reasons. It’s already apparent that the majority of the world has chosen not to do so!

My friends, I am not writing fiction here, this is all true stuff, and it’s coming from deep within my heart. Does the Bible not call our lives a vapor, here for but a moment and then it vanishes? And this is from God’s own lips to your ears and mine as written in the Bible. If you smell smoke…there is definitely a fire, of whatever size—somewhere!

There is a paradox here, and it is one that makes me absolutely crazy in the head, every time I think about it. Everyone wants to have nice things; clothes, a house to call home, a decent enough car and friends that stand with you and never leave you. We seek a mate for love and affection—to be tied to one that will never defeat us in any manner. And if we look at all these things, we would agree they are great things to have, great things to seek out, the path to prosperity and success. Would you agree with this?

I Peter 1:24-25: 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Among other things, everyone would like to live forever and never taste death, and that would include disease or pestilence, hunger or famine; that everything would be in the correct place and sufficient for an entire lifetime, right?

Having said that, who would want to burn to death, or be torn asunder all the time? No one, right?

Then explain to me, why the vast majority of humanity chooses NOT to follow Jesus Christ? Why would they choose to go to hell and then into the lake of fire?

No one in his or her “right mind” enjoys losing a loved one and yet we all know if you are born, one day you will die. It’s one of the “gimmie’s” in life. At times I hear from non-believers, they ask the question, “If God is such a wonderful and loving God, why does he allow all the bad stuff to happen?”

Life is a true miracle. It is a privilege and great honor to be alive, because you now have the opportunity to come to know the True Almighty God. It boggles my mind when I think of all the people that have lived in the past, and could never come to the place in their lives where they could put their complete faith, trust, and belief in the one and only Savior in the universe, Christ Jesus.

I am going to tell you something, and don’t you ever forget it!! God loves YOU! He is not willing that any should perish, II Peter 3:9: 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, BUT that all should come to repentance. You see that BUT in the last part of that verse. God is tell you that you need to do something yourself to make sure you don’t perish. Because of free will, you have a choice to make. God is love, but don’t ever think that God’s love will save you if your sins are not paid for by the blood of Christ at Calvary. All sin has already been paid for! Today, it’s not a sin issue, but the SON issue. You need to put 100% faith in Christ and Christ alone for your salvation! God will not allow sin into His heaven. Your sins are not automatically washed away by the blood until you truly believe. Anyone still in their sins at death will perish; make no mistake about that!

David Everhart was the first born to Pete and Marge. Later, in life David found, and married his true love Deborah Ringle, on October 23rd, 1999.  It was a marriage made in heaven. David was self-employed in the real estate business, and also worked in merchandising at Walt Disney World Resort. From time to time Pete and Marge would tell my wife and I what was happing with their children because they all moved to different states except their daughter Sharon.

The sad part about Dave and Deb’s marriage was that it only lasted 13 years. David contracted a rare disease called Amyloidosis, and died on January 14, 2013 at the age of 56. The calamity of Dave’s death took us all by surprise, and brought the end of their beautiful marriage. They both experienced great love for each other, and I know Deb misses Dave very much. I don’t know who wrote the following about Dave, but I’m sure it expresses the feelings of all those who knew and cared for Dave. It’s taken from his obituary column in the local newspaper: “Dave was the most beautiful soul who left us too soon. He had the heart that cared completely, the smile that brought so much pleasure, and the love that brought joy beyond measure. He was a great example of what a son, husband, father brother, grandfather and friend would be. He brought light to this world with grace, beauty and love. We were so blessed that God chose us to be a part of his life and make our lives something so beautiful.” Dave and Deb had the following scripture engraved on their tombstone: John 5:24 which say’s: 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Beautiful scripture! Deb will see Dave again very soon in their eternal home in heaven!

When Pete was 80, he started to develop problems breathing. Around this time, Deb, who was living somewhere around 100 miles from where Pete and Marge lived, began to help both of them because they were having trouble doing things around the house. So Deb drove to their home from time to time so she could help them with some of the things that needed doing. The last few months before Pete died, my sister also needed to go into a nursing home. Pete was now alone, and this is when Deb began to stay with Pete for several weeks at a time because he was getting weaker all the time. Deb, and Pete I believe were doing some Bible studies together during the time she was there helping with other chores around the house, and I believe these studies really helped Pete cope with the situation he was in. Deb was a daughter-in-law of Pete, and I give her all the credit she deserves for the help and service she was providing out of love for Pete during this time. It really touched my heart deeply. Thank you Deb, very, very much!!

But Deb was not the only one helping out Pete during his last days. Joseph (Joe), the third son, and Sharon their youngest were very, very helpful during that time also. In fact, they would take turns staying with Pete around the clock most of the time because Pete was too weak to even stand by himself to go to the bathroom.

Joseph (Joe) who retired recently, moved to live in South Carolina where he is in the process of remolding a home next to or by a golf course. So Joe has around an 8-9 hour drive to reach Pete and Marge’s house from where he lives. Joe was Self Employed as a Chiropractor for many years in Cincinnati, Ohio. Joe and his wife Evie have also spent many weeks at a time at his parent’s home to help them with a lot of household chores that they could no longer do. I give Joe and Evie a big round of applause; they deserve a lot of credit for their indispensable help in running the whole show, paying bills, buying groceries, taking care of the finances and so forth. Great job Joe and Evie!!

Sharon, their daughter who is married to Paul Van Horn, was also highly involved in helping her mom and dad throughout all the critical weeks and months that led up to Pete’s death. She took her mom to doctor appointments, helped with the grocery shopping, cleaning around the house, and helped with food preparation along with her husband Paul. Sharon also works full time for the MSC Corbin Corporation, so it kept her very busy at times to keep up with everything that was going on with her parents. Thank you Sharon for being such a loving, and caring daughter, and thank you Paul for all of your help!

Robert (Bob), who is married to Angie, and Kenneth (Kenny), who is married to Kim are the other two sons of Pete and Marge, both live a considerable distance away from their parent’s home. Both have full time jobs and would come home to visit whenever they could, especially on some of the major holidays. I don’t know all the things that Bob and Kenny helped with when they were home visiting their parent’s, but I believe they both helped with some of the outside work that needed to be done, like mowing grass, trimming bushes, helping with some painting projects, and maybe repairing some loose boards on the patio. My thanks to Bob, and Kenny for all of your help especially during your dad’s last few months. Also, my thanks to Angie, Bob’s wife, and Kim, Kenny’s wife for helping your husbands with all they were doing to help out at their parent’s home. Bob’s job title is Level 3 Non-Destructive Testing Technician, (Industrial X-Ray) in the state of Massachusetts, and Kenny works for the Department of justice as a Unit manager in the state of Florida. Many thanks Bob, Angie, Kenny, and Kim!

In this article, I have talked about all the good things that were accomplished by all these loving people, Pete, Dave, Deb, Bob, Angie, Joe, Evie, Kenny, Kim, Sharon, and Paul. What I am going to show you now, in no way will diminish or discredit or take away from them anything they rightly deserve.

I want to show you how God looks at some of the good things that people do, believing their good works will somehow help them to attain the salvation that only Christ Himself can provide, totally as a FREE GIFT.

Some of the following verses tell us what God thinks about our good works, IF we try to use them to earn our own salvation. But, as Christians, God wants us to do good works, Ephesians 2:10: 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. I hope all of this is not to confusing.

I am not judging anyone mentioned in this article or anyone who will find and read this article online or anywhere else.

So, here we go! Isaiah 64:6: 6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Romans 3:10-12: 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Galatians 2:21: 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Titus 3:5: 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Ephesians 2:8-9: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

I hope you can begin to see that our good works, our own righteousness means nothing to God for salvation. No one will ever be able to boast to God in heaven that they did their part in helping to attain their salvation by some good work or keeping of the law.

Romans 3:21-28: 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Here is the true Gospel for all people living today in this age of GRACE:

I Corinthians 15:1-4: 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Paul is telling us in the above verses what the true gospel is, and he (Paul) is the first one to tell us what that gospel is all about. Here are three more scriptures most people never hear about: I Timothy I:15-16: 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Again, Paul is telling us in these verses that he (Paul) is the pattern to follow if you want to receive eternal life today, through Christ Jesus. Romans 2:16:  16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Yes, it means what it says. All people who have lived for the last two thousand years are going to be judged by Paul’s gospel by Jesus Christ, because Paul’s gospel is different from the gospel the 12 Apostles preached. Paul’s gospel was given to him from heaven by our Glorified and Risen God, Christ Jesus, somewhere around two thousand years ago. What most don’t realize is that Paul is our Apostle today, because he is the Apostle of the Gentiles which most of us are today, Romans 11:13: 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: These are very important verses to know if you are seeking life everlasting in this age of GRACE. You need to take these verses very seriously!!

When we believe in the gospel of our salvation, there are some important things we need to know and understand, like the following:

II Corinthians 5:18-21: 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. All believers are now ambassadors for Christ and are to be teaching the message of reconciliation to others.

As believers, we are greatly blessed by God:

Ephesians 1:3-7: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1-12-14: 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

Below is a guarantee from God about our eternal security in Christ Jesus:

Ephesians 1:12-14: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The above are powerful verses, think about them!

Here are a few other scriptures about our security in Christ:

I John 5:1313 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

John 5:24: 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Before closing this article, I want you to consider the following: Salvation today, is by Grace through faith in the shed blood of Christ at Calvary. Because Christ shed his blood at Calvary, we can receive forgiveness of all our sins, past, present, and future. But, in order to be saved, we MUST put 100% faith, trust, and belief in what Christ accomplished for us at Calvary and O% in anything we could do, except Believe what Christ did for us.

When it comes to your salvation, don’t you dare put any faith, trust, or belief in your church, your denomination, your religion, water baptism, good works, law keeping, tithing, attending church services, keeping holydays, or anything else you think will help secure your salvation. Isaiah 43:11:  11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. Acts 4:12: 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. These two verses are referring to Christ Jesus.

Remember this, if you don’t remember anything else: Christ does ALL the saving, we do ALL the believing!

II Corinthians 10: 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

One final verse you need to think about. This verse came straight out of our Lord and Savior’s mouth:

Matthew 13-14: 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and “many” there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and “few” there be that find it.

Pete, and his son Dave, found the narrow way, which leadeth unto life, and I hope all who read this will find it also.

Maranatha (Lord Come)

Have a wonderful day,

John

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