Share This Episode
Love Worth Finding Adrian Rogers Logo

How to Smile at Death

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2021 7:00 am

How to Smile at Death

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 650 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


March 9, 2021 7:00 am

In spite of our best efforts to forget, death is a very real fact. As believers, it’s something we don’t have to fear; rather, we can anticipate it. In this message, Adrian Rogers examines Psalm 23 to show us how we can smile at death.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
In Touch
Charles Stanley
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Summit Life
J.D. Greear

As believers we don't have to be scared of death.

Listen to this. We want you to learn to smile at death. Take God's word and find Psalm 23 and the verse 4. Psalm 23 and verse 4. Now I suppose that Psalm 23 is known better than perhaps more than any other verse in that Psalm. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. A little lady had walked with God for many, many years. She was a saint by every measure of the word. At last her body grew frail and her life was ebbing away and she was on what many would call her death bed. And her loved ones were around her and they were wringing the hands and they were crying and they were weeping.

And she looked up at them. She said, now go ahead and cry if you must. But she said, don't cry if you must.

Don't cry for me. She said, I am tickled to death to die. I like that. Tickled to death to die. I want to talk to you today about how to smile at death. How to smile at death.

How to be tickled to death to die. Now death is not a popular subject. We're trying to do everything we can do to obscure the fact that we're going to the grave.

And even the graves, the burial places, we make them look like a memorial park or a garden of some kind. We don't like the idea of dying. But death is a very real fact as we're going to see and it's something that we're not to be afraid of.

Really it's something that we are to anticipate. Now David had that in mind, I'm certain, when he wrote this wonderful, beautiful psalm and especially verse 4. He spoke of a valley called the valley of the shadow of death. And yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou art with me.

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. David had learned to smile at death. And I want you to learn to smile at death.

And I want to give you three principles that will help you to do that. First of all, I want you to accept death as a decided fact. F-A-C-T, fact. It is a fact. Now notice how that verse begins. Yea, Y-E-A, not nay.

Yea. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Now as I said, that's a fact that many people don't want to face. We sometimes try to change the subject, but the Bible says in Hebrews 9, verse 27, it's appointed unto man who wants to die.

That's an appointment, my dear friend, that you have. It is appointed unto man who wants to die. And the same Bible says in Romans chapter 5 and verse 12, wherefore as by one man's sin entered into the world and death by sin, so death passed upon all men for that all have sin. The only exception to whether or not you might die is if Jesus comes first.

But if Jesus does not come first, you're certainly going to die. There's a new statistic out on death. One out of one people die. Okay?

One out of one. It's appointed unto man who wants to die. But not only is it a stubborn fact, it's an uncertain fact. You don't know when you're going to die. You see, David said, yea, though I walk through the valley.

He's walking through the valley, and he doesn't know from one moment to the next what is going to happen. The psalmist said, there is but a step between me and death. There is but a step between me and death. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

It is a stubborn fact, but it is an uncertain fact. You don't know when you're going to die. Old men die, but sometimes mothers kiss their helpless babies, and their innocent babies goodbye and leave them.

Sometimes even a little child must drop his toys to grapple with the iron strength of death. It may be the last sermon you'll ever hear. You don't know. Many a time I've preached the last sermon a person has heard before that person died. And so, in the book of James, verse 13 and 14, go to now ye that say, Today or tomorrow will enter into such and such a city and continue their year and buy and sell and get gain. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow, for what is your life? But even a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanisheth away, so that you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that. You see, God doesn't have to take your life. All he has to do is stop giving it.

You understand that? It's of the Lord's mercies that we're not consumed. You see, dear friend, life is a gift from God. If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that. Your life is like a, is like a vapor on a frosty morning, like a breath on a frosty morning.

Here for a moment and then gone. You see, listen, accept death as a decided fact. It is a stubborn fact. It is an uncertain fact. And I'll tell you what else it is.

It's a personal fact. Yea, though I walk, you are walking in the valley of the shadow of death just like David was. You know when a preacher talks about people getting ready to die, you know what happens in the human mind?

You know what the human mind says? Tell them, preacher. Tell them they're going to die. Tell them to get ready.

Tell them that they're going to die. They may die at any moment, friend. You may die at any moment. You say, well, I'm healthy right now.

You may not be as healthy as you think. But you know automobiles run over healthy people also. Death, my dear friend, is a stubborn fact. Death is an uncertain fact. And death is a personal fact. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. And step number one in learning to smile at death is to look death straight in the face. Look death straight in the face. Think about it. Bring it into focus and say with David, yea, though. It's there.

Yes, it's there. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Now, there's something else I want you to do. Number two, not only do I want you to accept death as a decided fact, but I want you to acknowledge death, dear friend, as a defeated foe. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. There are three wonderful truths there as we think about death as a defeated foe. First of all, he talks about a valley. Now, learn this. There can be no valley without mountains. Isn't that true?

It's impossible. It's impossible for there to be a valley unless there's mountains. And you see, this is the valley psalm between two mountain psalms. Psalms 22 is a mountain psalm. It deals with Mount Calvary and it tells of the crucifixion of Messiah. And then Psalm 24 is a mountain psalm. It deals with the coronation of Messiah. It deals with the second coming. So Psalm 23 is a valley between two mountains. Over here are the blood-drenched slopes of Mount Calvary and over here are the sunlit peaks of Mount Zion. And over here we have crucifixion. And over here we have coronation.

And we are living in the valley. Remember we said that the Lord Jesus Christ is described as a shepherd three times in the New Testament. For example, the Lord Jesus is called the Good Shepherd. John 10 verse 11, I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. Now the Good Shepherd, that's Mount Calvary. And then the Lord Jesus is called the Chief Shepherd. John 5 verse 4, and when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. The Good Shepherd died for me.

The Chief Shepherd is coming for me. But then also the Lord Jesus is called the Great Shepherd, and that's the one who now lives for me. Hebrews 13 verses 20 and 21, now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that Great Shepherd of the sheep. You see, he's the one who rose from the dead. He's the one who has conquered the valley of the shadow of death. The Good Shepherd, he died for me. The Chief Shepherd, he's coming for me. The Great Shepherd, he lives for me in the valley of the shadow of death.

He was raised from the dead. And so what I'm trying to tell you, my dear friend, if you want to learn how to smile at death, understand number one, there can be no valley without mountains. Thank God I'll lift up mine eyes into the hills from whence cometh my help.

Are you down in the valley? Then look at the mountains, my dear friend. Look, look, I say, to Mount Calvary and look to Mount Zion. Second thing, there can be no shadow without a light.

Notice what it says. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Now death is just a shadow if you know the Lord Jesus Christ because Jesus has become the death of death. You see, Jesus pulled the sting out of death.

Jesus took the gluten out of the womb out of the grave. Jesus took the dread out of dying. And Jesus has given us a hope that is steadfast and sure, a shadow may frighten you, but a shadow cannot hurt you. Jesus has taken the sting out of sin, the dread out of the grave.

Jesus has become our victor. And there cannot be a shadow without a light. Are you in the valley of the shadow of death right now? Look to the light. And I'll tell you, my dear friend, if you'll look to the light, the shadow will fall behind you.

You won't even see it. There is no valley without mountains. And there is no shadow without a light. So the third thing I want you to learn as you see death as a defeated foe, and that is this, there is no evil without a greater good. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

This time now, He is competing with me. He is pairing the evil with the great shepherd, the great shepherd of the sheep. Who is the thou?

Who is He talking to? Well, remember how this psalm begins? The Lord is my shepherd. And if you have the old King James version of the scripture, the word Lord, L-O-R-D, is in all caps. Because that word Lord means Jehovah, or as some would say, Yahweh. Actually, it's an unpronounceable word, just four consonants, that cannot be pronounced.

We pronounce it as best we know how, Jehovah. But actually, Yahweh, or the Lord, is my shepherd, who is the most sacred name for God that the Jews knew. When Moses was getting ready to deliver the children of Israel out of bondage, he made excuses.

He said, I can't go. They won't believe me. Who shall I say sent me? God said to Moses, Moses, you tell them that I am, that I am sent you. That is, I am the great, eternal, personal God that ever existed. The one who never had a beginning, the one who never had an ending, not I was, not I will be, but I am.

You tell them that I am sent you. And then he said, you tell them Jehovah is my name. Jehovah is my name. That name Jehovah is not mentioned in the New Testament, only in the Old. Why? Because Jesus is our Jehovah.

Let me tell you what happened. That name was so sacred that a Jew copying that name would go take a bath before he would copy that name, get a new pen before he would write down that name, that holy name, Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah. Do you know what the name Jesus means?

It means Jehovah saves. You remember when Moses could no longer lead the children of Israel, he had a man named Joshua who took his place. Joshua?

But Joshua's name wasn't always Joshua. His name was Hoshea. Hoshea.

That was his name. And his name Hoshea means salvation. Moses said I'm going to give you a new name and I'm going to take Hoshea, a part of that name, and I'm going to take a part of the name Jehovah and I'm going to put them together.

And then so you have Jehoshia, Joshua. And I'm going to put Jehovah and Hoshea and I'll put them together and I get a new name. Jehovah saves. Hoshea, salvation, Jehovah.

Jehovah saves. And that was Joshua's name in the Old Testament. Now in the New Testament, the name Jesus is the same as the Old Testament named Jehovah. Jehovah, Old Testament, Jesus, New Testament.

Both of those names are the same. Jesus is the Joshua of the New Testament. He is the Jehovah saves of the New Testament. And what was David saying? David's saying there may be evil, but Jehovah is with me.

How much more can we say it? Jesus, Jehovah is with us. There can be no valley without mountains. There can be no shadow without a light. Truth is mightier than error. Grace is greater than sin. Our sovereign God is greater than Satan. And life is greater than death.

You've got to understand that. So, for thou, Jehovah, art with me. There's a third thing I want you to learn and it is this. Not only must you see death as a decided fact and not only must you see death as a defeated foe, but you need to see death as a delightful friend. Pastor, did you say friend? Death?

Yes. I said friend. I wanted to change that as I prepared this sermon and I did change it. I said I'm going to change it to something else because I just don't like calling death a friend.

Then I just came back and I said no. I'm going to leave that there. Death is a delightful friend. Let me give you an interesting verse. 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 22 and 23. The apostle Paul is telling us what we have in Christ. And the Corinthians had been arguing and squabbling a little bit about what preacher they liked best. And this is what Paul said.

Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life. Now watch this. This is not yours. Now of the wonderful things he says belongs to us, he says death belongs to us. It's one of our treasured possessions.

It's yours. Death is yours. He thinks of death now not as an enemy, but as a servant to help us. Did you know the Bible says in Psalm 116 verse 15, precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of the saints? Did you know that the apostle Paul said in Philippians 1 verse 21, I will die is gain? I mean physically it's gain.

My body is going to be made like the Lord Jesus. Intellectually it's gain for I'll know as I am known. Emotionally it is gain because I'll be able to praise him with my whole heart. Socially it is gain because I will be with the saints of all of the ages and with my Lord face to face.

Spiritually it is gain because temptation and sin will be behind me and I will be one with my Lord like never before. Now what brings me into that relationship what brings me there is death. So death is not an enemy if it helps me to come into a place like that.

For me to die is gain. Now listen. See why David thought of it as a friend. Now notice what he says. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

Now watch. For thou art with me. First of all, there's the presence of the shepherd. Thou art with me.

You know up until this time he's been talking about the Lord. The Lord is my shepherd. He makes me a shepherd. He maketh me to lie down. He leadeth me. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness. His rod and his staff. But now when he's in the valley he's no longer talking about him.

He's talking to him. Thou art with me. There's nothing that will bring you face to face with God more than the dark valleys of life. But when you get in the dark valleys of life you're going to know what he meant when he said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. I will be with thee always even to the end of the age. There is the presence of the shepherd. Now who is the shepherd? Jehovah. The ultimate is my intimate. Think about it.

Think about it. I won't have to cross Jordan alone. I'm not going to have to die alone. Our Lord is there with us.

The light is there. The shepherd is there. There is the presence of my shepherd but not only is there the presence of my shepherd, there is the power of my shepherd for his rod and his staff.

They comfort me. When you come to die I can promise you. The Lord will be with you. He will strengthen you. I mean there will be the presence Jehovah God who says precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints will be there. His rod will be there to protect you from all of the powers of evil and his staff will be there to draw you up close to him as you walk through that valley and as your feet touch those chilly waters of the rivers of death.

Singing you can go along your way. My dear friend, the presence of the shepherd and the power of the shepherd, there is the purpose of the shepherd. And what is the purpose of the shepherd? It is through the valley. It's not a box canyon. It's a valley, dear friend.

And Jesus has kicked the end out of the grave. I want you to know that. I want you to know that he's bringing us through. And you may be in some trouble today. And you may be in some difficulty today. But I want to tell you, my dear friend, it's only for a season. And it's only for a purpose. It's only for the shepherd to know that a shepherd would never lead his sheep through any place like that unless he's leading them to a better place.

That's all. David knew that the shepherd would never lead his sheep through any place like that unless he was leading them to a better place. Somebody ask a man, what's your favorite verse? He says it's that one that says it came to pass.

So why is that your favorite? He said I know it didn't come to stay. It came to pass. Whatever it is, dear friend, it has come to pass. And we are going through.

The purpose of the shepherd is to lead us through. Now, my dear friend, the Bible says in Hebrews chapter 2 that the devil keeps people in bondage through the fear of death. You listen to me. You are not ready to live until you're no longer afraid to die.

You are not ready to live until you're no longer afraid to die. What shall I do with my sins? I'll tell you what to do with your sins. You put your faith where God put your sins on Jesus. All we like sheep have gone astray.

We have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. It's called our Discover Jesus page. There you'll find answers you may need about your faith.

We have a response section as well. Share how this message or others have impacted your life. Go to lwf.org slash radio and click the tab at the top that says Discover Jesus. We can't wait to hear from you today. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message, call us 1-877-LOVE-GOD. Request the title How to Smile at Death When You Get in Touch. This message is also part of the insightful The Secret of Satisfaction series. For that complete collection, all 18 powerful messages, call 877-LOVE-GOD or order online at lwf.org slash radio.

Or you can write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. Are you walking through the valley of the shadow of death today? Remember, death is just a shadow because Jesus has become the death of death. Jesus pulled the sting out of death, took the gloom out of the grave, took the dread out of dying.

Jesus gives us a hope that is steadfast and sure. Clean to that today and thank you for studying in God's word with us. Be sure to tune in next time for another insightful message from Adrienne Rogers right here on Love Worth Finding. A listener wrote recently about how these messages have blessed her during the recent pandemic.

One tiny, tiny positive out of COVID 2020 is working from home allows us to never miss a message from Adrienne Rogers. We are grateful to find ways to praise God in these strange times. Well, thank you for your prayers, for your donations, for listening and studying along with us. We are sustained to share messages of hope and encouragement in dark days because many people say yes to the ministry of Love Worth Finding. If you'll send a gift right now, we'd love to send you the book, The Passion of Christ and the Purpose of Life. In the book, Adrienne Rogers delivers a masterful presentation of the saving sacrifice of Jesus and what it means for you today. Request your copy of this book, The Passion of Christ and the Purpose of Life when you call with a gift at 1-877-LOVEGOD.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-17 13:13:16 / 2023-12-17 13:21:42 / 8

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime