King's Business - 1969-05

them with great difficulties in ad­ dition to their sorrow? Ask any widow whose husband died inte­ state and learn some o f the grave difficulties and large expenses that could have been avoided complete­ ly by his planning in advance. Have you prayed about the mat­ ter of stewardship? It is impera­ tive for the Lord’s people not only to have a proper will but also to keep it up to date because of changing c o n d it io n s . Nothing should be left to chance. And do you have an estate plan? One can be made for you. While there are generalizations which apply to all planning, each one should be made to conform to the purposes and responsibilities of the individual Christian. What are your particular and personal responsibilities? After such ques­ tions are prayed over and thought through, there should be the for­ mulation o f the plan, then its exe­ cution. These are the three questions that I faced that night. These are the questions that must be pre­ pared for now so that one can face them unafraid at the edge of eternity. The salvation o f one’s soul, the service for the Saviour, and one’s faithful stewardship should be settled now. There may be no time so to do when our call comes. W hether that call be through the valley of the shadow of death or the upward call at the sound of the trumpet announcing our Lord’s coming again, His Word is equally pertinent: BE YE ALSO READY! Editor’s note: In this edition dealing with issues which Christians must face, it seems in order to present some practical ideas concerning the matter of death. Should Christians he afraid of dying? Does Scripture offer help and direction to guide the believer concerning this area of his future? While serving as editor of T he A lli ­ ance W itness , the late Dr. V. Ray­ mond Edman, f o r m e r president of Wheaton College, published the follow­ ing testimony. Shortly t h e r e a f t e r , death became a reality to him. He went to be with his Lord — unafraid. His tes­ timony is published through the cour­ tesy of T he A lliance W itness B b ] iv

edge, all arrangements for the eventuality of death had been made. Just recently Mrs. Edman and I had brought our wills up to date. This was the fourth revision. Con­ ditions had changed since the four boys were little fellows. Further­ more, we had completed a life estate plan with a Christian or­ ganization. After much prayer and planning we had sought the counsel and help of those qualified to advise the Lord’s people in these matters, for it is our con­ viction that no matter how large or how modest the estate, nothing should be wasted. It has not been difficult ; it has, rather, been a real delight to com­ plete this estate plan and thereby provide for the family, and espe­ cially for the Lord’s work. All the resources were transferred to a responsible Christian organiza­ tion with the reservation o f our life use guaranteed. After that there will be distribution to the Lord’s work and to loved ones according to the terms of the agreement. In the event of my “ home call” that night while abroad, there would have been no problem nor perplexity for Mrs. Edman — no complications, no delay, no pro­ bate. She would continue to re­ ceive the income during her life­ time, and then without unneces­ sary delay or expense the estate would be distributed in the Lord’s work and among the children. There was gladness on my part that provision had been made for loved ones, and especially for the Lord’s work, and I reflected that these things need to be done while we are alive and alert. I thought of II Corinthians 5:10, and con­ sidered especially the words, “ the things done in his body.” The whole verse reads, “ For we must all appear before the judgment seat o f Christ ; that every one may receive the things done in his body . . . whether it be good or bad.” Have you made such provision for the Lord and for your own, or would a sudden home call leave

2 . SERVICE The problem of service was not so easily faced. There was the awareness that so much had been left undone in the past and in the present, and there were many things I so desired to do for the Saviour in days ahead. Perhaps there would be no opportunity to accomplish any of these desires. I recalled having read the ex­ perience o f the late Dr. A. J. Gordon, a pastor in Boston and the founder of Gordon College. He was called into the Lord’s pres­ ence in middle life. As he was dy­ ing, he expressed desire to be alone with his Lord for a time. Those outside his room could hear his earnest prayer and the sob­ bing of his great heart as he was utterly humbled in his Lord’s presence. He was not afraid to die but he felt that his life, which we regard to have been so emi­ nently useful, was of little service in the sight of his Lord. I remembered the Saviour’s word to His disciples that when they had done all required of them they would still regard themselves as unprofitable servants. We have no merit or worthiness o f our own. There was reflection long and serious on the searching words of I Corinthians 3:12, 13: “ Now if any man build upon this founda­ tion gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” How much of service would prove to be in real­ ity but “wood, hay, stubble” ? 3 . STEWARDSHIP The third problem, namely that of stewardship, was in reality a source of real joy to me. Over the years I have loved our Lord’s work and have been glad to share with many of His people in His service. Prayer and planning went into stewardship, and there was much gladness in giving. Further­ more, to the best of my knowl- MAY, 1969

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