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RTM Magazine

May Edition

Our monthly magazine, designed to help Christ's people grow in their knowledge of Christ and share in God's activities through RTM.

Anchor 1

Memoirs of Grace

A great deal has happened since our newsletter in February. In early February, I was in Toronto, Canada, with Toronto Christ Gospel Church, a Chinese church of some of the dearest saints I know. I have been preaching at this church yearly since 2016 when Paul Washer called and asked me to fill in for him when he could not go. I have witnessed the enormous spiritual growth this church has experienced since then. They are an extremely dedicated church to reaching their Chinese kinsman near and far, especially laboring to strengthen the house churches of China. Each time I go, I pick up where I left off in the Epistle to the Romans. On this trip, I expounded Romans 8:17-25 in eight sermons.


I returned and, within a few days, came down with a cold or the flu. A few days later, my mother-in-law, Barbara Perry, caught it and became terribly congested. At first, she resisted any suggestion of going to the doctor, but in two days, she developed pneumonia. We admitted her into the hospital, where she was immediately put into the intensive care unit. Within days, the medical staff told us she would not survive. All efforts had failed, and she only worsened. She was enrolled in hospice, and family members were called. The word was she had only 24 to 48 hours to live. Too sick to come home, she would die in the hospital.

On Monday, the second day of hospice care, I entered her hospital room and noticed the oxygen that was so necessary the day before had been removed. The nurse said she was more alert and ate a good breakfast. By Wednesday, she had made such remarkable progress that they could not keep her in the hospital. So, she was dismissed with hospice to come home and hopefully improve. After another two weeks, the hospice nurse said she had so improved that a decision needed to be made to take her off hospice. However, the very next day, she made a turn for the worse, and five days later, she passed into eternity and was with the Lord.


Mom had lived with us for twenty-four years. She retired and helped us with the children right after Victoria, our special needs daughter, was born. She was a tremendous help to Karen until 2014 when she completely lost her eyesight and required our care. For the last ten years, Karen has been the caretaker for both mom and daughter.


There is a large hole in our family now, and a new normal is developing. One new thing that is happening is both Karen and Victoria will be able to travel with me to some preaching destinations.


After Mom’s funeral in Kentucky and a memorial service here at Providence Chapel, I preached at our Fellowship Conference in Denton, TX. Two days later, I was on a plane to an undisclosed location in the 10/40 window, preaching to churches and visiting one of our missionaries.


My associate evangelist, Nate Freeman, has also been busy teaching and preaching in the Nowata, Oklahoma area. I am so thankful for this dear brother. Nate is available for preaching, and if you would like to schedule him, use our contact form on our website.


We desperately need your prayers. Real Truth Matters is preparing to launch new content, including a new video podcast and an exciting new publishing venture, which we can’t wait to share with you at the appropriate time. This ministry is supplied by faith without ever telling anyone our needs except the Lord in prayer. Please join us in prayer for both His power and provision to serve Him in His great redemptive enterprise.

Anchor 3

The Staff and Scroll


Firefly beautiful graveyard with sun shining on it, full of crosses and green grass 7933.j

Precious in the sight of the lord

By S. Michael Durham

Have you ever wondered what holds the most value in the eyes of the Lord? The Bible reveals four instances where something is deemed precious to Him. The very first one is found in Psalms 72:14; it is the life of His people.


He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;

And precious shall be their blood in His sight.


In Isaiah 43:3-4 we read of something else considered precious in the eyes of God. It is the people of Israel.


For I am the LORD your God,

The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

I gave Egypt for your ransom,

Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

4 Since you were precious in My sight,

You have been honored,

And I have loved you;

Therefore I will give men for you,

And people for your life.


Next, in the New Testament, we find someone who is called precious to God: the Lord Jesus Christ.


Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious. (1 Peter 2:4)


And lastly, we read in Psalms 116:15 yet one more thing precious to the Lord.


Precious in the sight of the LORD

Is the death of His saints.


We can readily understand the first three being the treasure of divine vision, but why the fourth, the death of His saints? Before I propose five reasons why the Lord would consider our eventual death and the death of any child of God precious, allow me to state that the reason is not that the Lord has anything to gain in the death of a saint. He already owns the believer, having purchased them with His blood. The reason the death of the saint is precious to Him is the saint gains in every way at death. As the Apostle Paul states, “to die is gain.”



Present with the Lord


The first precious benefit is to be present with the Lord. This means everything to the Christian. The greatest longing of the mature Christian heart is for faith to give way to sight, to no longer peer through the dark glass, and to see Christ face to face. Jesus promised, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). As it is written, “To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).


It is not just our desire to be with Him, but He also longs for our bodily presence to be with Him in the place where His glory is revealed without limit. Jesus prayed, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).


More Alive


Death is not the end of existence but the transition to a different or new existence. After death, you will still be a thinking, feeling person with the ability to experience all that consciousness entails. For the believer that awareness will be more exhilarating than life here in these mortal bodies in this fallen world. Earth, compared to heaven, is like living in a world of drab grays, a monochromatic environment that leaves the soul longing for more.


The famous 19th century evangelist D. L. Moody said of his own death,


Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield, is dead. Don't you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal—a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body.


More Happy


With that glorious transition from this body to the spiritual realm of God, happiness will expand and increase because the soul’s capacity for happiness will enlarge. Not only that, the departed saint is no longer in a world of sin, suffering, and sorrow. They are free of the pain that life in this world dispenses.


We should not pity the saint that is with the Lord; if there is to be any pity, it will be on the part of the saint who will have pity for us that we are not there to enjoy what they experience.



More Intelligent


Many of the questions of this life are undoubtedly answered in heaven. The things that perplex us now will no longer needle us in our glorified state. I am not saying that the saint becomes omniscient because they do not. Only deity has that feature. But the understanding of the child of God is enlarged and many things that brought confusion are resolved.


More Beautiful


Finally, the saint that has passed through the valley of death and through the gates of splendor has experienced a transformation that will be finalized at the final resurrection. C. S. Lewis is not a man that I would say is orthodox in every area, but he did speak truth when he tried to convey in words the future glory of the child of God. He said in a sermon,


It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses—to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship.


The beauty of a justified spirit made perfect exceeds human categories of attraction. If the Apostle John was tempted many times in the Book of Revelation to worship his angelic guide, how beautiful must the saints in heaven be?


For these few reasons, and I am sure there are more unknown to us here on earth, the death of the saint is precious in the eyes of the Lord. Perhaps it is the sheer delight He receives in watching a trembling child pass through the stormy and chilly waters of Jordan and beholding their wonderment as they enter the paradise He has created for them. Surely, it is so that His heart fills with the greatest delight over the delight of the saint in His presence. Our first moment in glory is glorious to Him, our precious Lord and Redeemer.

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