THE EXTRA TIME OF KING HEZEKIAH (Part 2)
I heard about a man of God who prepared his sermons for several years in his journal till year 2005, and in year 2005 he died; meaning God had given him messages and mission for the period He purposed for him and the same thing is applicable to all children of God. God takes us home when we finish the mission He gives us to fulfill on earth, and asking for extra time is like a football team who is leading its opponent by 4-3 at the world cup, to the last minute of the game and when the referee blows the final whistle, the winning team by 1 point then asks the referee to extend the game by extra 15 minutes. You may never see such a sport team, because that sounds so stupid. But that was the case with Hezekiah, asking for an extra time.
Hezekiah lived for 39 years to fulfill God’s purpose and God told him to prepare to die, but to Hezekiah, it seemed as if God has forgotten his good deeds, as if God was not happy with him, as if God was depriving him of life, and then he prayed and begged God to allow him to stay more on earth. God granted his prayer and gave him extra time of 15 years, and the extra time of staying became a useless and terrible time for him and his generation and unborn generations, even till today.
The first time I shared the story of Hezekiah with my family – my wife, kids and my mother during our family devotion, I said Hezekiah asked for extra time against God’s plan and the extra time became a useless time. Then my mother added that, it was during the extra time that he gave birth to the son that destroyed everything (I did not even know about it before). She sounded like God’s time to die is the best. I did not know that was her last week on earth. She died the following week. It was so painful to me, because we just had her 74th birthday. I cried to God, “God, why did you take my mother away from me?” Then God said to me, “Which one is better, to have your mother with you there or with Me here?” Then I asked myself, which one is really? I knew it is far better to be with the Lord in heaven than to be on earth. Then I began to thank the Lord for taking my mother to heaven.
Hezekiah had come, he had saw, and he conquered and fulfilled God’s purpose and plan, and then God said to him, “Come home to rest, come home to receive rewards, come home to reign”, but he said, no, please let me still fight more. But unfortunately during his extra time, everything he saw before sank, everything he came to fulfill was destroyed because of his extra time and everything he gained and won before was lost as a result of his extra time.
DEATH TO CHILDREN OF GOD: A PRIVILEGE, NOT LOSS
When we give our lives to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, death is not a loss but a privilege. To children of God who have given their lives to Jesus Christ, death is not like “God cut short” the life of somebody from enjoying life, but it is really God favorably cutting short the length of sorrow, temptation, hard labor, toiling and suffering of somebody on earth and connecting him to eternal enjoyment in heaven.
When a child of God dies, especially a young person, we feel like, “God, why? Why will you allow this young person who really served You well to die?” Some people because of death of their loved ones, they even stopped serving God, blaming God for taking their loved ones or allowing them to die.
Few months ago, when my mother was sick at the hospital, her condition was getting worse, but then I had peace like a river in my heart and I had faith in God that her life was in God’s hand. So I believed within me that she would be okay. My wife said, on normal days, by that time of the day, my mother would busy praying in her room, and that God would look at all her prayer and heal her. But within 4 days of sickness, she died. So why? Why would God allow this? With all her serving God and prayers? That was how Hezekiah felt also when God said he would die. “Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, 3 “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” 2 Kings 20:2-3.
When God allows a child of God to die, it is not because the child of God sins against God, it is not because that child of God is killed by devil, it is not because the child of God is unfortunate, but it is because God specially favors the person and the person is very fortunate.
Now, let me ask you, how will God allows someone to live for 90 years, to labor and suffer trials and temptations on earth before He will let him to come to heaven, and then allows another person to labor for just few years and come to the same heaven? It is like the story of the Parable of the Workers in Vineyard in Matthew chapter 20. Let’s check it together for better understanding:
““For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’
8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.”
Can you imagine? Some people worked for 8 hours and some worked for only 1 hour and yet they received the same reward. In the same way, it is applicable, some lived for 90 years to labor, to face trials and temptations, to serve God and another only lived for 19 years to serve God, and God called both of them to the same heaven! The same heaven that someone who suffered for 70 years to serve God went is the same year the other who only spent 7 years went.
But we complain and become angry with God, “Why will You take my young loved one home, why?” Like the other workers in Matthew 20:11-12, “And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’”
You know what God’s response to us is when we complain about the death of our loved ones who are children of God? It is like the response of the landowner in this Bible passage in Matthew 20:15,16, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
3 Things We Need To Understand From This Response:
1, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things” All men and women, young and old who give their lives to Jesus belong to God, we are God’s own and He does what He likes with His own, if He likes He let us stay on earth for 100 years, and if He can’t wait to have us with Him in heaven, He takes us home. We are not to complain when God’s children die, because the funny thing is that those children of God who died and went to heaven, they will never want to come back again. No one, who spends just 1 minute in heaven, will want to come back to the world again even if he is promised to become the richest person on earth. Because a single minute’s enjoyment in heaven is more than a year’ best enjoyment you can ever get on earth. That is the reason the Bible says a day is like a thousand year in heaven.
Another funny thing about children of God who died is that they don’t even remember anyone on earth again, because they have been overwhelmed by the beauty, enjoyment and glory of heaven that they have forgotten everything and everyone they left on earth. Until you get to heaven before they will recognize you and rejoice together forever. So if you are angry because your loved one who is a child of God dies, and you go to commit physical suicide by killing yourself or spiritual suicide by forsaking God, it means you will never be able to connect with your loved one in heaven forever, and you will live in hell to regret it forever, while the person you kill yourself for is in heaven having angelic enjoyment and entertainment – drinking, wining, eating heavenly foods and living gorgeously on the street of gold.
2, “Or is your eye evil because I am good?”
We should not allow sorrow to overwhelm us when a child of God goes to heaven, because God actually does a good thing. When my mother died, I was sad, crying and weeping day and night, ask God why? Then God spoke to me, “Which one is better, for your mother to stay with you there or for her to be with me here in heaven?” Then I began to ask myself, which one is better? Which one is good? Did God do me wrong or good by taking my mother to heaven? That was the reason the landowner asked the workers complaining, “Or is your eye evil because I am good?” And God is asking you the same question, “Is your eye sad because I am good to your loved ones? If I should open your eyes to see where they are, you will not be sad. If you should open your eyes to the Word of God to know where they are, you will not be sad”
God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good! Even in a sorrowful situation, we should not think evil of departing from the Living God. The Bible says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” Hebrews 3:13. Do not fall away from the love and service of God because of the dead of your loved ones who are actually in heaven, you will connect with them in heaven if you continue with God on earth.
3, “So the last will be first, and the first last”
Do you know that it is he who gets to heaven first that takes the first not he that gives his life to Jesus first? That was the reason Jesus said in Matthew 11:1, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Meaning the least child of God already in heaven is greater than the greatest child of God on earth. The greatest experience of God you can have on earth is the least you will experience in heaven.
HEAVEN IS SURE FOR EVERY CHILD OF GOD
So many children of God are living in fear of death because of fear of standing before God, maybe God will throw them to hell and then you are living in fear. You have been serving God by fear than by faith. When you surrender your life to Jesus and ask Him to be your Lord, you are automatically a candidate of heaven, you are not going to hell, and your name has been written in the Book of Life.
Thereafter, you must live by faith in God that you are going to heaven and not by fear of hell. Faith of making heaven helps us to please God than fear of missing heaven. You will have Peace when you have faith that you are going to heaven than when you have fear of hell.
Faith in the righteousness of Jesus will not lead to live a careless Christian life but it will help you to please God better than when you are having fear of hell or of missing the rapture. The Bible says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him” Hebrews 11:6.
Do you want to please God with your life? Then have faith that you are going to heaven than you have been having fear that you are going to hell.
As children of God, it is the hope and certainty of going to heaven that will help us purify ourselves, not the fear of going to hell. You are never a candidate of hell after your surrender your life to Jesus. Don’t serve God out of fear, that is not gospel of Jesus. Have this hope in you, that you are going to heaven, you are making the rapture anytime it happens, since you have given your life to Jesus.
Listen to what the Bible says in 1 John chapter 3:1-3
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
You will please God better when you have faith that you are going to heaven than when you have fear that you are going to hell after you are saved.
If you are not sure of your salvation, then ask Jesus to come into your life afresh and silence the mouth of the devil and you begin to serve God with hope of heaven and peace of mind.
If you have fallen into sin, ask Jesus to forgive you as you turn away from those sins.
If you are struggling with any sin, ask Jesus to help you, He is there to help us. Amen
Continue in Part 3 of EXTRA TIME OF KING HEZEKIAH
You can read Part 1 on www.rtemoutreach.org