Going Home Of Lonnie Harrington. (Audio File)

By: Bible Teacher - Herman Parks

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the going home of Lonnie Harrington. First but not foremost, Lonnie went home on Friday 20 June. The body of Christ lost a wonderful man of God. His life was celebrated on 28 June at 1100 at 914 Scenic Hwy in Lawrenceville Georgia. The church was packed with standing room only. Nevertheless, as people left others came in to take their place. He was remembered by many.

Our brother Lonnie was a former pastor, church elder, master musician, who helped many church bodies with music, he was a member of the board of directors of the Whole Body of Christ Alliance, a teacher, a speaker, a husband and father. He will never be replaced, but he will always be missed. "He was the one that was always so gentle and sweet," said an older lady who knew him well. I tell you these things so that you might know what things were important to Lonnie.

Nevertheless, and foremost, the primary purpose of this gathering was not to comfort the family, nor was it to celebrate Lonnie's life. It was for those of us who are among the living. It was, to cause us to reflect more seriously of our own inevitable end. Lonnie went home to be with the Lord. One day I pray that you too will do the same. His destiny is written in stone. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: What judgment? Christians are not judged unto salvation at the "Great White Throne Judgment". They have already been judged righteous. That is why they are home with the Lord. Nevertheless, on the Day of Judgment, they will be judged as to what rewards they will receive.

Securing a place with the Lord is just the beginning of our journey. At the point of salvation we are accepted of the Lord. After that comes the rest of our lives. What do we do now? Paul said it this way in 1 John 5:13.

1 John 5:13.
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."

The knowledge of you having eternal life doesn't come when you get to heaven. It comes now in this world. To be more precise, eternal life itself starts in this world, but that is another story for another day. I am trying to get to our reflecting more seriously on our own inevitable end.

Paul went on to say in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10:
1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
3. If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
5. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Paul went on to say in 1 Corinthians 3:8-15:
8. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Paul was using a physical truth to illustrate a spiritual truth.
In building a house, there must not only be a good foundation, but there must also be good materials used to build on that foundation. In the spiritual realm, faith in Christ is our foundation. Once we are saved, we can either have works of the flesh (wood, hay, stubble) or works of the Spirit (gold, silver, precious stones).
We as Christians will one day stand before the Lord for the purpose of receiving rewards, and all our actions will be revealed, whether they were our own doings or directed by the Spirit of God. If they were spiritual (gold, silver, precious stones), we will be rewarded. If they were carnal (wood, hay, stubble), we will suffer loss. Notice that the fire will reveal what "sort" our works are, not what size they are.

Matthew 10:42.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

This verse shows that even our smallest acts of kindness will be rewarded. As revealed in 1 Corinthians 3:13, every person's work shall be tried to determine "what sort it is," not what size it is. Many people who have never done anything to gain the attention of the masses will shine bright in the day when the Lord passes out His rewards.

Some of the Lord's rewards for our actions come in this life, such as children, financial blessings, health, etc. However, some of our rewards will not be realized until we stand before God. This is the case with the reward for enduring persecution (Matthew 5:12 and Luke 6:23).

Hebrews 10:35 says "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward". Hebrews 10:35 says "For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me." As stated in Matthew 10:41; rewards can be shared by those who aid others in their righteous tasks. Again many of the rewards for ministering the Gospel will not come until we appear before the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:8-13, which speaks to works will be tested by fire, and above 1 Corinthians 9:17, which speaks to what was the motive behind the works.

Our good deeds that would normally be rewarded by our Father can be voided if we do them seeking the praise of people (Matthew 6:1-4). We can also receive a partial reward (2 John 8).

Those (ungodly) who are not in the kingdom of God will receive no rewards even though some of their actions might have been good (Proverbs 24:20). Rewards are only for those who have been cleansed from their evil deeds by the blood of the Lamb. Regardless of what these rewards shall be, there will not be any exalting of self over another. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" The twenty-four elders in Revelation 4:10 are shown casting their crowns (which are rewards) down before the Lord and giving all their praise and worship to Him.

Most people today are preoccupied with quantity of ministry instead of quality of ministry. Yet Paul said that the Lord is going to reward us based on how well we did, not how much we did.

In keeping with Paul's illustration, some people will stand before the Lord with huge houses that will be reduced to rubble after God rejects the building materials they used (works of the flesh). Others who never gained acclaim here on earth because they never did any big, important works will be greatly rewarded because they faithfully fulfilled what the Lord called them to do (Luke 12:48).

In summary, the primary purpose of the funeral gathering was not for Lonnie nor was it to celebrate his victory, nor to console the family. Rather it was to cause us to reflect more seriously on our own inevitable end. How often do we watch funeral processions going through the streets or even take part in the funeral procession and carry the casket and then go home and fuss and fight with our brothers and sisters and even our spouses. Why are we Christians so easily offended? Why do we not realize that our unwillingness to suffer loss now, will only result in our suffering the loss of our rewards in the world to come? By and by Lord when the morning comes, we'll tell the story of how we have overcome. Blessed be the name of the Lord.