Another Saint Goes Home!!!

On Tuesday, April 7, 1998 at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon, Pastor Donald R Porter left our California hotel room and this world far behind and went home to the reward and lot prepared for him by Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Pastor Porter lived the faith he preached, trusted the God  he served and held fast his confidence, not in his own works but in the saving grace and finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. He died like he lived, in faith. The work of God: “to believe on him who he hath sent“, he unswervingly abode in. He preached the word of God faithfully all the years of his pilgrimage. Turning the hearts of many men and women to God. The testimony of his life is this: He loved God!

It occurred to me that many people are unaware of his departure when I received responses to our latest newsletter which addressed him personally. I felt impressed upon by the Lord to write not an obituary or a eulogy but to admonish and exhort you to keep the faith. “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will  bring with him.”                    I Thessalonians 4:13-14.

This is the end of the faith! Our hope in Jesus is eternal life. The last victory to win is over death. Christ in us the hope of glory! What is this glory? Verse 14 holds the key . “For if we believe” anyone can preach, prophesy, sing, give out tracts, clothes, food… but very few people believe .  “Nevertheless when the son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. “For if we believe“… then we will  …“Sorrow not“… because we who have Christ are not  …“as others which have no hope“.

We who were closest to him stood in that hotel room with the whole of our profession put to the test.

Did we truly believe the Gospel?

You see, the hope of eternal life IS the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of our faith was on trial this moment. Sorrow gave way to faith! Weakness and loss gave way to hope! Right there in that room despair and fear and defeat were swallowed up in victory!

We could have insisted on sorrowing in unbelief or we could rejoice in hope of eternal life in Christ. The choice was ours.   “Christ in you the hope of glory!”                        Colossians 1:27

“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among
you that there is no resurrection of the dead“. I Corinthians 15:12. Our walk
talks louder than our talk talks, if I sorrow for the dead in Christ I would be“saying” there was no resurrection. If I preach Christ crucified and resurrected, how then can I sorrow? Before all the world I would show that there is no hope in Christ and the hope I have preached is a passing whimsy or just philosophical sport without any practical reality. But “if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen and if Christ be not risen then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea and we are found false witnesses of God because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished“. I Corinthians 15:13-18.

If the dead rise not then we have cause to sorrow because there would be no hope. You see, our faith is vain if there’s no hope of resurrection, but beloved, there is hope of resurrection in Christ.“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept“.  I Corinthians 15:12-20

But Do You Believe?

“Beloved,  Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you“.                                   I Peter 3:15

If the Christians who profess they know God and are saved react to death the exact same way as the world, how then can the world ask you about the hope of Christ which is in you? I believe His word. In this I’ve made my choice to continue in the strength and comfort of the Lord. He has not failed me one day since, to strengthen and provide and be for me what I need. I may have lost a father in the faith, but the words he spoke were from Our Father in Heaven, who is eternal never leaving nor forsaking us. Those words are alive in all who heard and believed. As for the ministry, we will not defer but to teach, preach and keep the words of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead“.                         Philippians 3:8-11. Amen.

Keep the Faith and give some away!