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A Congregation of the United Church of God


Earlier this week, I learned about the death of Todd Carey, a good friend and our former pastor. Mr. Carey was pastor of the Williamsburg, VA congregation, and later added the Greenwood, DE congregation (which then relocated and became the Delmar, DE congregation in 2002) to his circuit. He became pastor of the COGWA congregations in Williamsburg and Delmar in 2011. Although recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, he continued to serve as pastor in these areas. Unable to stand for extended periods, he began giving sermons while seated. His last sermon was given the day before he died.

This morning I learned of the death of Andy Jackson. Andy was a deacon in the Baltimore church when I started attending in 1969. An extremely likeable personality, he was a bright spot in the congregation. His enthusiasm was always evident, and I don’t ever remember seeing him when he wasn’t smiling. I was there when his son David was ordained as an elder in the church.

This evening we were informed by Mr. Victor Kubik that Dr. Roderick C.Meredith died yesterday. Dr. Meredith, the presiding evangelist of the Living Church of God, was a pioneer in protecting and providing for church members who were opposed to the doctrinal shifts that were just beginning to take place in the Worldwide Church of God. He founded the Global Church of God in 1992, giving some members, who were looking for a place to worship God in spirit and in truth, a place to go.

Here were three of God’s servants who died within days of each other. I never met Dr. Meredith personally, however I knew Todd and Andy quite well. While we feel sorrow at the loss of someone we knew well, we know that God sees it differently. Psa. 116:15 says “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints”. We know about the resurrection, and that gives us hope and comfort. Why then do we feel sorrow when someone we love dies? Perhaps it’s because we know that we will not see or speak to them again in this life. We have to go for the rest of our lives without them.

Why does God consider the death of a saint to be precious? A saint (one sanctified by God) is a converted individual who lived a godly life, and endured to the end. Once he has died, his future is sealed. God knows that eternal life awaits him. Satan can no longer deceive him. And nothing makes God happier than to be able to give eternal life to a future son or daughter in the God Family! Those of us who are still alive, potentially could still fall victim to Satan. We could still “fall away”. Unlikely as it may seem, it has happened to many in the past. But as long as we stay faithful and endure until the end, Satan will not have a chance.

Don’t ever think you’re exempt from Satan’s attacks. He is stronger than all of us put together. Except for the fact that we have God’s Spirit which strengthens us. As long as we keep the Spirit stirred up, he has no chance. If we endure to the end, we will have eternal life waiting for us. It’s no wonder God considers the death of a saint precious. He knows the value of a life that has endured to the end, a life that Satan cannot influence any longer. He has no greater joy than to be able to give eternal life to yet another person.

That’s why God sees death differently from the way we see it. Let’s make sure we all continue as faithful saints, enduring to the end, so that when we come to the end of our physical lives, God will consider our death precious as well!

Don McCoy
May 20, 2017