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The Day That's Better Than Your Birth

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In this sermon Pastor Bogan explain how the day of a man's death is to be viewed as better than the day of his birth.

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Ecclesiastes 7:1 KJV 1900
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
A little more than a week ago the family of Mother Willie Mae McClinton was preparing to celebrate her 89th birthday. There was quite a bit of excitement and anticipation surround this celebration. And we should expect this, especially when you consider the caliber of woman their mother was and the kind of life she lived. We would expect for the family to put on very grand affair.
A little more than a week ago the family of Mother Willie Mae McClinton was preparing to celebrate her 89th birthday. There was quite a bit of excitement and anticipation surround this celebration. And we should expect this, especially when you consider the caliber of woman their mother was and the kind of life she lived. We would expect for the family to put on very grand affair.
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” (, KJV 1900) A little more than a week ago the family of Mother Willie Mae McClinton was preparing to celebrate her 89th birthday. There was quite a bit of excitement and anticipation surround this celebration. And we should expect this, especially when you consider the caliber of woman their mother was and the kind of life she lived. We would expect for the family to put on very grand affair.
A little more than a week ago the family of Mother Willie Mae McClinton was preparing to celebrate her 89th birthday. There was quite a bit of excitement and anticipation surround this celebration. And we should expect this, especially when you consider the caliber of woman their mother was and the kind of life she lived. We would expect for the family to put on very grand affair.
A little more than a week ago the family of Mother Willie Mae McClinton was preparing to celebrate her 89th birthday. There was quite a bit of excitement and anticipation surround this celebration. And we should expect this, especially when you consider the caliber of woman their mother was and the kind of life she lived. We would expect for the family to put on very grand affair.
But as we consider the plans that were made for this birthday celebration and others like it, we’re reminded from this verse that the day of a man’s death is worthy of the same, if not more, attention. If we count it a good thing to celebrate the day when a man enters into this life (a life the Bible says is full of trouble and anguish), we should count it an even better thing to celebrate the day when that same person departs this life into the next. In fact, what are we saying if we are joyful and glad on the day we enter this life, but mournful and sad on the day we pass on to the next?
(KJV 1900)
Philippians 1:23 KJV 1900
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Paul admits that while there may be advantages in remaining in this life, it is FAR BETTER to depart and be with Christ!
Paul admits that while there may be advantages in remaining in this life, it is FAR BETTER to depart and be with Christ!
Paul admits that while there may be advantages in remaining in this life, it is FAR BETTER to depart and be with Christ!
Paul admits that while there may be advantages in remaining in this life, it is FAR BETTER to depart and be with Christ!
(It’s interesting to note, by the way, that Paul uses the word ‘departure’ to describe his death. Departure is a nautical term used to describe a ship’s departure from the dock. The reason this is significant is because unlike people, the greatest day for a ship is not when it is created, but when it casts off its anchor, looses its sails and sets off for sea! In fact, on the day a ship is launched out to sea a celebration is held called a Christening. It’s called a Christening because that’s the time when a ship receives its name. Children are Christened (receive their name) when they arrive (are born), but ships are Christened (receive their name) when they DEPART! I suspect our children would receive much different names if we gave it to them at the end of their life rather than at the beginning!)
Again, Paul states that it was “FAR BETTER” to depart and be with Christ. But we must ask, for whom?
Departing this life is certainly not “better” for everyone. Paul even admits that as far as the Philippians are concerned, it would be better if he remained in the flesh. (He said, “It is more needful FOR YOU.”) It’s safe to say that death has a different impact depending on who you ask.
If you ask family, friends, co-workers, and loved ones of the deceased they may tell you that it’s better to have them around. It’s better if they remained with us.
It is incorrect to say that death is better for ALL men. The day of one’s death is only better IF you have a “good name” (). He didn’t say that it would be better for those with a “good job,” or a “good education,” or even a “good life.” And lest we think we are “good” enough because we are better than our neighbor, let me remind us all that “goodness” is a quality that belongs only to God ().
It would also be incorrect to say that death is better for everyone who dies. I know we like to believe that everyone who dies is immediately ushered into the presence of the Lord. But, Jesus gave a parable and said, “That a certain beggar died and was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom. A certain rich man also died, but in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments” (, ).
He didn’t say that “better is he with a good job” or “good education” or even a “good life.”
The fact is, the day’s of one’s death is not better for everyone. The day of one’s death is only better IF you have a “good name”
Ecclesiastes 7:1 KJV 1900
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
He didn’t say that it would be better for those with a “good heart,” or a “good education,” or even a “good life.” Death is BETTER for those with a good NAME. And let me remind everyone that true “goodness” is a quality that belongs only to God.
He didn’t say that it would be better for those with a “good heart,” or a “good education,” or even a “good life.” Death is only BETTER for those with a good NAME. And let me remind everyone that true “goodness” is a quality that belongs only to God ().
He didn’t say that it would be better for those with a “good heart,” or a “good education,” or even a “good life.” Death is only BETTER for those with a good NAME. And let me remind everyone that true “goodness” is a quality that belongs only to God.
Therefore, death is only an advantage/blessing to those who have the name of God and abide in that name!
He didn’t say that it would be better for those with a “good heart,” or a “good education,” or even a “good life.” Death is only BETTER for those with a good NAME. And let me remind everyone that true “goodness” is a quality that belongs only to God.
Matthew 19:17 KJV 1900
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Before I close, I would like to answer one final question that may be in the back of some of your minds. WHY is the day of a man’s death so much better than the day of his birth?
He receives REST from his labor
Revelation 14:13a KJV 1900
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
Not everybody is given rest when they die
Revelation 14:11 KJV 1900
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
). This rest is only for those who die “in the Lord.” Unfortunately, some men will die “in their sins” (). Moreover, the Bible calls these people “blessed.” We pronounce “happiness” upon those who are born, but God pronounces “blessings” on those who die. To be happy requires favorable circumstances. However, to be blessed (to receive favor from God) requires a favorable position. In other words, you don’t need the right things to fall into place. YOU need to be in the right place, and according to this verse that place is “in the Lord.”
Not everybody is given rest when they die (). This rest is only for those who die “in the Lord.” Unfortunately, some men will die “in their sins” (). Moreover, the Bible calls these people “blessed.” We pronounce “happiness” upon those who are born, but God pronounces “blessings” on those who die. To be happy requires favorable circumstances. However, to be blessed (to receive favor from God) requires a favorable position. In other words, you don’t need the right things to fall into place. YOU need to be in the right place, and according to this verse that place is “in the Lord.”
This rest is only for those who die “in the Lord.” Unfortunately, some men will die “in their sins.”
John 8:24 KJV 1900
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
4). Moreover, the Bible calls these people “blessed.” We pronounce “happiness” upon those who are born, but God pronounces “blessings” on those who die. To be happy requires favorable circumstances. However, to be blessed (to receive favor from God) requires a favorable position. In other words, you don’t need the right things to fall into place. YOU need to be in the right place, and according to this verse that place is “in the Lord.”
Unless we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we will die in our sins and spend eternity apart from God and apart from his rest! If we really want our death-day to be better than our birthday, we must make sure that we are in the right position—in the Lord, and not in our sins. And having the right “position” is really the difference between being blessed and being happy.
When we celebrate someone’s birth it’s common for us to wish them “happiness” (i.e. Happy Birthday). However, the writer of Revelation does not wish “happiness” upon those who die in the Lord. Instead, he pronounces a “blessing” upon them (“Blessed are they who die in the Lord”). What’s the difference?
Happiness requires favorable circumstances. However, to receive a "blessing” from God requires a favorable position. In other words, you don’t need the right things to fall into place to be blessed. YOU need to be in the right place to be blessed (i.e. “in the Lord”).
Furthermore, those who are found “in the Lord” (or in faith) at the time of their death, the Bible says they will be blessed from “henceforth.” The word “henceforth” means from this moment forward. In other words, the blessing is continuous and unbroken.
Not everybody is given rest when they die (). This rest is only for those who die “in the Lord.” Unfortunately, some men will die “in their sins” (). Moreover, the Bible calls these people “blessed.”
Why do we need rest? Rest is how the body refreshes itself
Happiness may be short-lived, but the blessing of the Lord is eternal! Happiness has a lifespan (many times a short lifespan). However, God’s blessing is eternal. I don’t know about you, but I will gladly trade in temporary happiness for an eternity of blessing!
Ecclesiastes 5:12 KJV 1900
The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
You might say, “I’ve been working for as long as I can remember.” But, God’s not granting rest to those who’ve been working for themselves.
Luke 12:19–21 KJV 1900
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
). Jesus said, “I must work the works OF HIM WHO SENT ME while it is day.” We can’t just perform the works that interest us. We must work the works of God. Moreover, we must work them while it is “day.” We have a very small window to accomplish the things God has assigned to our hands!
Jesus said, “I must work the works OF HIM WHO SENT ME while it is day.” We can’t just perform the works that interest us. We must work the works of God. Moreover, we must work them while it is “day.” We have a very small window to accomplish the things God has assigned to our hands!
He can receive REWARD for his work
Not only will the righteous receive REST when they die, but they will receive a REWARD for their work.
Revelation 14:13b KJV 1900
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
)
Today Mother is enjoying her rest. Although we didn’t get a chance to wish her Happy Birthday one last time, she was given something much better than short-term happiness. She was a blessing—her reward. And she was given it not because she was a loving wife (even though she loved her husband), not because she was a faithful mother (even though she faithfully nurtured and cared for her children), neither was she given it because she served the saints or labored diligently in prayer (even though she did both). No, she was given her reward and received her blessing because she had a good name and maintained her position in the Lord.
Whatever work she performed as a wife, mother, saint or prayer-warrior succeeded (followed) her and did not precede her.
Revelation 14:13 KJV 1900
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
This is where many of us have missed it. We’ve assumed that our works “go before us,” being the means or the reason why we enter into heaven. But, the Bible is clear. We enter into rest (the joy of the Lord) because we are “in Christ,” and whatever we have done for Christ FOLLOWS this!
Favorable circumstances maybe needed to have a Happy Birthday, but what is needed to have a blessed Death-day is a favorable position. You don’t have to worry about your Death-day being ruined because the caterer isn’t on time, or because all the decorations didn’t quite make it. The difference between a good Death-day and a disappointing Death-day is your position in Christ. Are you “in the Lord” or are you still “in your sins”?
Mother is enjoying her rest today, not because she was a loving wife and a faithful mother. Neither was it because she served the saints and labored in prayer. Mother is enjoying her rest because she received a good name. The love she gave as a wife, the work she performed as a mother, the service she rendered as a saint and the labor gave in prayer did not precede her. They followed her. What preceded her was her faith. It was because she kept the faith as a wife, mother, saint and as a prayer-warrior that she was ushered into the presence of God. As Paul states in , “I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them that love his appearing.”
Will your death-day be better than your birthday? Will your last day be better than your first?
For example, we celebrate the day a child is born, even though it is unclear what kind of life that child will live. We celebrate when they graduate from school (be it high school or college), even though it’s unclear if they will find a job. We celebrate when a new business opens, even though it hasn’t made one sale. We celebrate at weddings even before the marriage begins. We celebrate athletes when they are drafted even before they begin their professional career. But, we are reminded by this verse that if we do all of this at the beginning of a thing, what should I response be at the end?
Moreover, the righteous are given rest because of their LABOR. Those who work hard, will sleep well.
Ecclesiastes 5:12 KJV 1900
The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
You might say, “I’ve been working for as long as I can remember.” But, God’s not granting rest to those who’ve been working for themselves.
Luke 12:19–21 KJV 1900
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Jesus said, “I must work the works OF HIM WHO SENT ME while it is day.” We can’t just perform the works that interest us. We must work the works of God. Moreover, we must work them while it is “day.” We have a very small window to accomplish the things God has assigned to our hands!
Not only will the righteous receive REST when they die, but they will receive a REWARD for their work.
Revelation 14:13b KJV 1900
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
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