THOSE WHO DIE IN THE LORD

by Steven Chan

In 2 Tim 4:6-8, the apostle Paul wrote about his imminent transition from this world to that beyond the grave:  
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

2.  Looking back on his life, he could say that he had fought the good fight of faith. He told the elders of the church at Ephesus: “I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27).  Paul had been very diligent to teach the complete will of God to them. He reminded them: “that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” That was diligent he was in “fighting the good fight of faith” and to “finish my race with joy” (Acts 20:24). He could say that he had “kept the faith”.

3.  Looking forward, Paul said that he anticipates receiving the crown of righteousness from the Lord, the righteous judge who had promised: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev 2:10)

4.  The writer of Revelation revealed thus: “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them (Rev 14:13).
5.  All of us will die: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).  But there is a difference between those who die and those who die in the Lord. Those “who die in the Lord” are blessed. They are the ones who have put on Christ in baptism (Gal 3:27) That is because “the dead in Christ will rise first” at the coming of the Lord (1 Thess 4:16c) and can look forward to receiving the crown of life.

6.  They can look forward to “rest from their labors” for the Lord: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”(1 Cor 15:58). “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Gal 6:7-8). Eternal rest awaits for those who have laboured fervently for the Lord.

7.  The “works” that they have done for the Lord will follow them – meaning that their works for the Lord will be remembered beyond the grave.

8.  Our bro Tan Chin Han passed on to glory this past Friday, Dec 4, 2020 after 77 years in this life.  For 45 of those years he faithfully and diligently worked for the Lord. Bro Chin Han had been a bible teacher for the Boys Brigade at the Methodist church before bro Charlie Chan introduced him and his wife, sis Siu Hwa to bro Charles Bishop who taught them and helped them to have a more accurate understanding of the gospel. I recalled him telling us after his studies with bro Charles, that he had never understood the scriptures as clearly as was shown by bro Charles. He and his wife were baptized on Feb 2, 1975.


9.  Bro Chin Han was very diligent in sharing the gospel with all his family members and his friends – many of them were taught and baptized. He and sis Siu Hwa were also instrumental in teaching the siblings of sis Siu Hwa and bringing them to the obedience to Christ. Their two sons have been brought in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Bro Sam Tan was a former deacon in Klang and is now a deacon at the Kota Kemuning congregation. Bro Jim Tan is now working in Hong Kong. Bro Chin Han and his wife, have been faithful to the Lord throughout their 45 years in the Lord.

10.  When bro Chin Han became a Christian, most of the members of the Klang congregation were teenagers. He and his wife, together with bro Charlie Chan, bro Ron Ying, the late bro Simon Lopez, and their wives were the adults in the church. They were important to the church as they provided credibility (in the eyes of the community) as the congregation comprised mainly of teenagers/students.

11.  A quiet and unassuming couple, Bro Chin Han and his wife were very supportive of the work of the church and they were very active in helping with all the activities of the church. Bro Chin Han would have also accepted the work of an elder had he been in better health. Elsewhere in this bulletin, bro Kay Yeow has penned a tribute to bro Chin Han on his work as a bible class teacher for the new converts. Bro Charlie Chan has also penned a tribute to bro Chin Han on his remembrance.

12.  As we reflect on the life of bro Tan Chin Han, we are reminded by the statement in Rev 14:13:  ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” We shall miss bro Chin Han but we can look forward to the great reunion at the coming of the Lord.

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