For John Chapman… It Is Better By Far

The much loved Australian evangelist John Chapman has died in Sydney, aged 82. He is now present with the Lord which is better by far. This dear brother blessed so many with his preaching and his writing (not least his books Know and Tell The Gospel and Setting Hearts On Fire).

Over at the Briefing, they have a powerful article John Chapman wrote in 2009. It is well worth a read, especially in light of his departing to be with Christ:

Do you know any Christians who can honestly echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Phil.1:21-24, about departing to be with Christ being so much better? I am hard pressed to think of any. We are well settled in this life. For many we feel that if the New Creation is really better than what we have it can only be marginal! I hope I am mistaken, but these verses are a shock for 21st century minds.

We seem to be not like the New Testament writers in this matter and therefore not having God’s mind.

That brings me to the verse in Romans 8:18. ‘I consider that our present suffering is not to be compared with the glory which will be revealed’.

Can I ask you if you ever give time to think about the glory which will be revealed? If you are like me, I suspect you give very little. Do you think the Bible writers are like this? What is the reason for this?

I wonder if we have been conned by the spirit of our age? If it is true, and I suspect it is, that Australians are hedonists we will have little time to think about death. Death laughs in the face of hedonism. Against all the evidence we persist in believing that it won’t happen to nice people like us. Trust me it will.

Do you ever think it might be time to get ready for eternity? It is obviously more important than life here and now.

The first step in preparation would be to see that I was ‘right with God’. I am not naturally right with God. If this were the case there would have been no reason for the Lord Jesus to come into the world and to die, taking the punishment our sins deserved. We need to repent of a life lived in independence of God and to trust in the death of the Lord Jesus as our only means of forgiveness and being ‘right with God’.

We should contemplate the New Creation where we will be ‘Like Jesus’. What a joy that will be. I will be perfectly in God’s image. That’s a thing to be longed for. ‘The glory which will be revealed’ will so dwarf our life here that it will take on the significance of our first day at kindergarten.

Trust what God says: It will be glorious. And long for it to come.

John Chapman

Source (pdf): Australian Church Record, # 1898, December 2009

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