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Monday, May 11, 2009

Graduation Days

By Jimmie Z. Gribble

Tis the season! No, not that season. It is the season for graduations. Most colleges and universities have already had their graduation ceremonies. High schools are in the process of graduating seniors. Our grandson graduated from fifth grade, and is going into sixth grad. He said that he is no longer an elementary student, he is now a middle school student. For most graduates it is a happy day, and rightly so. They have completed the necessary subjects and assignments, so they are able to either move out of school, or move up in grades. Do you remember your graduations days?
Beloved, there is a "graduation day" coming for all of us. It is a day, the day, when we will move out of this physical life and move into that spiritual realm. God’s word says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die…” (Hebrews 9:27a). Either we will die, as this scripture says, or we will be changed as the scripture says. Paul wrote, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). This graduation day, whether we are ready or not, whether we have completed “everything” that we want to accomplish, this graduation day is coming.
There is also another “graduation day” for all of us. It is the day, the day of judgment, when all of us will stand before the great Judge. Jesus said, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32). It is a “graduation day” because we will move on that day, move to either come or depart. Jesus said, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:34, 41).
Beloved, just as a student has to complete his assigned subjects and work, we have to do what the Lord instructs us to do. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). This has been written to say this, “Are you ready for graduation day?" Both of these “days” will come whether we are ready or not. They will come whether we are prepared or not. Since these statements are true – if you are not ready – get ready now!
Beloved, listen to all of God's word; God will do thee good!

- Jimmie Z. Gribble, Portsmouth, VA; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website:
http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org or e-mail: church@belvederechurchofchrist.org


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