The following paper was written five days before a precious Sister went home to be with Jesus. She left us suddenly and we felt her loss deeply. I had finished my paper and so, I understood the need to write it. While I did not learn anything new, all the Holy Spirit had taught me came into sharp focus. My heart told me I could not go beyond what the word of God says, so you will find the paper an overlay of scripture. I trust it will be a comfort to you.
In that blessed hope,
H.L. Roush, Sr.
I know you are saddened because I left you so quickly, but I desire that you know the rest of the story. If you understand what happened to me when my body fell asleep, perhaps vou will not sorrow without hope but, be comforted. My sudden departure was no tragedy, or accident, and could not have been avoided. This day was determined when I was conceived in my Mother's womb. Only God and His Son, Jesus Christ, knew the time in advance. The keys to my earthly life and death were always in the pierced hands of Jesus. I was not given a choice of time to be born nor a time to die. I did not die one day too soon or too late, for the very hairs of my head were numbered. My body fell asleep by Jesus' direct command, for He wanted me more than you needed me.
I saw no bright lights or dark tunnels. I saw no familiar faces or heard celestial music. Earth passed from my sight and I was quietly aware of deep peace in the presence of Jesus. No thoughts of earth, stress, or sorrow reached me. I was in a place prepared for me in a time of trouble--in the cleft of the rock and covered over by the Lord Jesus Himself. Jesus called me because I had finished my course on this earth. Though you who are left behind may view this day differently, Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. The Great Shepherd called me, His little lamb, because my earthly tabernacle was worn out and I was too weary to march another day. Jesus knew how I groaned within and He struck my tent and together, we went home. After years of being tied to this earthly harbor, Jesus simply loosed my moorings, weighed my anchor, and we sailed away together.
I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, but I feared no evil; Jesus was with me and His rod and staff comforted me. When I could walk no further, Jesus tenderly wrapped me in His arms and took me within Himself. My last earthly moment had come and death had no sting. The sting of death was sin and Jesus assured me He had taken all my sin away at Calvary. This moment was one of victory through my Lord Jesus Christ and all was my gain. When I departed I knew, with an eternal knowledge, that all I believed was true. The faith He had given me so many years before, had been the substance of all I hoped for, the evidence of what I could now see. I heard a voice talking with me and the voice said, Come up hither. In a moment I was in the Spirit and was instantly home!
I was at a higher elevation, in a new dimension, a universe beyond what I had ever known. As a mountain is to the plain--as a bird rises--beyond earth and sky, I passed from the visible present, to the invisible end of time, for I was in eternity. A door was opened in heaven for me, the veil was removed and I crossed the great gulf. As Jesus promised, Where I am, there ye may be also, I am now with and in Him. When I was taken to this higher elevation, I first saw Jesus as He is. He wore the outward expression of His inner being and His face shone as the sun. His raiment was white as the light and I saw, not with a voluntary or mechanical view, but I discerned clearly the saints talking with Jesus. I was fully acquainted with them and recognized them, for they were one with Jesus. As I looked at their faces, a bright cloud overshadowed me and the voice of God spoke, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Hear ye him. I fell on my face but Jesus touched me and said, Arise and be not afraid.
When I had lifted up my eyes, I saw no man save Jesus only. Before I left you I could only see through a glass darkly but now, I have full knowledge of the saints and I am recognized, fully acquainted with and known by them. I see their faces clearly, but they merge in the face of Jesus. Their voices, like mine, are blended in one celestial chorus. I reach out to touch them, but I only touch the hand of Jesus. I am at last at home with Jesus in the family of God, and I have been here since before the foundation of the earth.
I see the throne of God but I am not afraid, for I see the Lamb as if He had been freshly slain. I hear the angels saying to the Lamb, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. I also see and hear much people saying, Alleluia; salvation and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! I see the bride adorned and fit for her Husband and that Bride is me! I see a new heaven and earth and hear God say He will always dwell with me and I am eternally His. With His own hand, God tenderly wiped away all my tears. He assured me there would be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain; all had passed away. I see no temple, for God and the Lamb are the temple. There is no need of the sun or the moon, for God's glory is the light, and that light is the Lamb. I now walk in that light and there is no night here. I see a river of life and the tree of life with its fruit. Best of all, I see the face of my precious Lamb and His name is written in my forehead.
I now have a wonderful but temporary body. When my earthly tabernacle (in which I had groaned all those years) fell away, I was clothed with a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. This body was given me so I would not be naked until the resurrection. Though I am absent from my earthly body, I am present with the Lord Jesus and fully clothed. God wrought me for this and, while on earth, He sealed His promise with the earnest of His Spirit's witness in my heart. I walked by faith and not by sight. I could not see Him, but He could see me. Then, I was absent from the Lord in a bodily manner. Now I am in my real home and face to face, in the presence of Jesus.
Be not concerned about the body you took to the cemetery, for you took only an empty shell. It is like the remains of a summer locust, still clinging to its last earthly spot. That body will sleep until the trump of God calls it forth. When the Lord descends from heaven with a shout, my earthly body will be awakened and will be changed. My once vile body will be disguised or fashioned, by shaping and adjusting its parts, until it is like His glorious body. God created my body and it cannot be destroyed, only its manifestation changed. It will sleep and it will be held together by Jesus, that He might have the preeminence.
When my body comes out of the grave it will not be like it was. When I was on earth I knew I was a child of God. Though it did not yet appear what I would be I knew that when He would appear, I would be Like Him, for I would see Him as He is. When He comes to earth His glory will be manifest, and so will mine. I will, in that day, be fully conformed to the image of God's dear Son. My earthly body is asleep, but you will see it again when God brings me with Jesus. If you are still on the earth you will not get ahead of me, for my body will rise first. Then we shall all be changed and caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. Death has already lost its sting for me and in that day, the grave will have lost its victory.
At the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the corruption of my fleshly body will be changed to an unspoiled, unruined liberty of the glory. It will be undyed by foreign color and free from all that defiled me. The dishonour, shame, indignity, and disgrace will be gone and I will be naked and unashamed. My diseased, feeble and weak body will be filled with the power of His resurrection life. My body that was once fitted to, and controlled by nature, only responding to earth, will then only respond to heaven. It will be controlled by the Holy Spirit and be a perfect reflection of Jesus' glory. I will never be subject to death, nor held in bondage of the fear of it again.
Though I am beyond your touch and you cannot see me, I am still present with you. Jesus left a promise to His saints on earth, Lo, I am with you always and that where I am, there ye may be also. I am with Jesus wherever He is. You can't see Jesus now, but He is there and I am with Him. Were He to open your eyes for a moment, you would see Jesus and a great cloud of witnesses who testify to the truth. Our rest has been won and we will always have mystic sweet communion with you. Jesus promised, Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst. Whenever and wherever you gather, Jesus and I will be there.
Whether you will ever see me again, only you can decide. Hear what the Holy Spirit says, Come! Let him that heareth say, Come. Let him that is athirst, Come. Whosoever will let him take the water of life freely. Jesus is knocking as He stands at the door of your heart. Only you can let Him in, but it must be soon for He says, Surely, I come quickly. You must decide what you believe.
If you believe that Jesus died for your sins, took them into Hell in your stead and was raised to seat you in the presence of God, I will see you in the air when He comes. If you believe, we shall all be caught up together for a face to face meeting with Jesus. The precious blood of the Lamb will be your only resting place. Your hope will not be in seeing me, heaven, home, family or friends. You will know the love of God in Jesus, and long to see Him; your only righteousness. When every knee shall bow and every tongue confess the precious name of Jesus, the whole earth will admire, marvel and wonder at His glory in all His saints. As for us, we shall ever be with the Lord. Let these words comfort you, for they are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.