|FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
||The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
This week's timely Bible study (below) places a front-sight focus on the oft-MIS-used and misunderstood phrase, "Rest in Peace" or "RIP." It is by no means "automatic." Can't encourage you enough to take it in!
Miss last week's
newsletters/Bible study? It has a great nexus to this week's -- here again is
A Cop's Narrow Way
Don't forget that I also always
re-post past editions on our
pages as well.
As always, don't forget to check out the latest batch of resources, prayer requests and announcements are posted for you below!
"Run to the Battle"
with a front sight (
) focus on Christ our Captain ("aim small, miss small," as we say)! Hope you're having a good week.
a cop's dad (and the father who understands what it is like to lose a child) has a great blog that is chock full of resources on life, ministry, grief, suicide and more:
PRAYER REQUESTS/PRAISE REPORTS
(2) Pray for our many wounded and for the families of our slain (coming at an accelerated rate, to be sure.
(3) Continue to pray for our fire fighting colleagues battling the raging forest fires across Colorado, California and the West in general. Many officers have lost their homes in CA.
(4) Pray for our police brothers and sisters who are facing down domestic terrorism and lawlessness across the country (and doing so with their hands often tied by leftist politicians).
Have a prayer request or announcement you would like included here? Need prayer?
! I also post prayer requests on my Facebook page ("friend" me).
(1) Fallen Project Event! Mission Hills Church, August 24th, 6:30 PM. Click on Fallen for complete details.
(2) The Sheepdog Seminars is led by my friends Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer/Minister Jimmy Meeks and fellow church safety expert Carl Chinn (among others). Outstanding, highly recommended training for every sheepdog (sworn and unsworn alike)!
The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
is a national, FCPO-affiliated, evangelical Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our
and our social media
) feeds. As always, feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and please share them with others.
The Centurion LE Ministry is lead by Police Officer and Chaplain/Evangelist Michael "MC" Williams, a 32-year (and counting) law enforcement veteran and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches [including the well-received Centurion Church Security Seminar], retreats and both law enforcement and civilian conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via email for more.
Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers
FCPO-USA exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and iron sharpens iron fellowship to Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our metro-Denver chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers -- (aka FCPO Chapter 217) -- is a Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry affiliate. We meet most 1st and 3rd Tuesday evenings starting at 7 PM in the Denver-Metro suburb of Highlands Ranch (email me for address and details) for profession-focused and life-focused
Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior/sheepdog fellowship (the iron sharpens iron kind). Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO.
Our next meeting is set for Tuesday, August 21st.
Rest in Peace?
"Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death"
With the latest rash of line of duty deaths and police suicides, the phrase "
Rest in Peace" or "
RIP" is again being used both incorrectly and all too frequently. What does this phrase actually mean, and to whom does it apply? While I taught on this subject here back in 2013, some new questions and inquiries merit a fresh look.
"Rest in Peace" or the corresponding initialism "RIP" come from the Latin equivalent,
requiescat in pace (an unbiblical prayer for the dead that is literally translated, "May he begin to rest in peace."). The phrase is likewise used in certain extra-biblical and even unbiblical religious rites, but is
never expressly stated in Scripture (and thus outside of God's standard).
That said, there is a slight biblical nexus to the expression. At the end of the book of Daniel, an angel speaks of Daniel's death, saying, "You will rest" (
). And the prophet Isaiah says, "Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death" (
). These two passages are the closest the Bible comes to the idea behind "rest in peace."
Because the thought of death can be frightening, people through the years have invented some platitudes with which to comfort themselves (and, in particular, when it involves the death of a peace officer, firefighter or soldier). When someone dies, we often hear unbiblical (FALSE) statements such as "She's an angel now" and "God needed another angel in heaven." With police officers, we get the unbiblical expression, "He's patrolling the streets of heaven" (NOT). We also hear, "He's in a better place..." with no thought that the deceased might actually be in a
place. People who never have time for God suddenly grow religious at a funeral. They try to assure themselves and others that, regardless of the deceased's relationship with God while on earth, he or she is now in heaven. Yet it is ESSENTIAL that we not ignore what God teaches us in His wholly inerrant "policy and procedure manual," the Bible. .
There we find that physical death is not the end (
Hebrews 9:27; John 3:16-18
). Jesus -- God in the flesh -- taught that there are only two options for every human being: heaven or hell (
Matthew 10:28; 25:46; Mark 9:43
). He also gives us a vivid picture of those two options in the story of
the rich man and Lazarus
, found in
. In this account, the rich man, who had given no thought of God during his earthly life, went to hell when he died. Lazarus, who possessed nothing on earth but a pure heart, was taken to paradise. Our Lord describes hell as a place of eternal torment (verse 23), not a place of rest or peace. According to Scripture, a person who dies without a genuine, saving relationship with Christ will NEVER "rest in peace" (see
). Isaiah rightly adds, "There is no peace,' says my God, 'for the wicked'" ("the wicked" being unredeemed sinners -- I
However, death is entirely different for those who have been born again "in Christ" (John 3:1-21,
Romans 8:1; 1 Corinthians 1:30
). In 1
God, through Paul, reminds us that, while it is natural to grieve for loved ones who have died, we do not need to grieve for born again believers in Christ as though we will never see them again. There is sure
mixed with the temporary sorrow. The Bible often refers to the dead in Christ as "those who are asleep" (
1 Corinthians 15:20; Acts 13:36; 1 Thessalonians 5:10
). The biblical writers used sleep as a metaphor because death for a Christian is only temporary. Paul said that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (
2 Corinthians 5:8
). Those receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior are with Him in paradise when they die (
). So, after death, Christians do enter a "rest," and it is most certainly "peaceful." However, it also likewise NOT the case for those who die outside of a saving faith in Christ.
As stated, those who say, "rest in peace" often frame it in the form or a prayer. Of course,
praying for the dead
is unbiblical. At the moment of death, a person's fate is sealed for eternity. The Bible never teaches or even suggests that we should pray on behalf of those who have passed away. Saying, "rest in peace" and other forms of prayers for the dead are rooted in unbiblical (false) religious traditions, not the truth found in the Word of God.
It is for the true Christian alone that we can say with confidence, "rest in peace" while there will NEVER be peace or rest for that person who rejects God's offer of a life-saving/life-changing personal relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Understanding that God's desire is that no one end up in hell (
2 Peter 3:9
), He has called us (all Christians) to have a lights and siren "
" sense of urgency in sharing His love and
plan of salvation
with the lost (including our brethren in law enforcement) so that they can have every chance to
repent and believe
(Mark 1:15) and thus be assured of having eternal peace in heaven vs. a just and equally eternal punishment in hell. As I say in every one of these studies, we can never be "good enough" for heaven or "badge" our way out of hell.
Jesus is in fact the ONLY way we can be saved (John 14:6, Acts 4:12)!
So where do you stand? When your time comes (and it could come at any time -- especially in our profession), will "rest in peace" have any weight or will it be just another empty, "feel good" platitude? Folks, ONLY those who are born again into a right-relationship with God in Christ (what it means to be a Christian as God defines it) will be able to have real rest and real peace. If you've never repented of your sins and trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, then I plead with you to do so TODAY (scroll down for the "how to"). Because of God's mercy, love and grace, He has given us every chance to say "yes" to Him now but once this life ends the opportunity for "second chances" ends forever.
Our loving God is not short of warnings. Take
Colossians 2:8 for example:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
So it is in the vein of seeking to provide
backup to my own that I again ask, "Where do YOU stand today?" If you died today, will you in fact "Rest in Peace?" Are you sure? Consider then the following:
(1) Do you cling to the false hope that you can "earn" or otherwise "badge" your way into heaven and escape hell because you are a so-called "good" cop or "good" person? Take
Good Person Test
and see how you do.
esus' first recorded words in His earthly ministry were and remain, "
Repent and believe in the Good News
is a "180" -- a complete, radical change of mind and heart as it relates our sin. To
(pisteuo in the original Greek) as Jesus intends it here is to cry out to God for your salvation and wholeheartedly
surrender in faith to Christ
in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job against the rounds it is intended to stop, that our weapons will function properly in when facing criminals intent on destroying us, or that a jumper's parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! And the "Good News"? That is simply the Gospel of Christ!
(3) This same concept of "
" (the saving kind) is further revealed in
where Jesus says, "...
you must be born again.
" Note our Lord's emphasis on the word "
" (not "may" or "should"): this is ultimately the
personal relationship (and NOT "religion") with Jesus Christ that I stress here every week (see
What does it mean to be a born again Christian
?) through which we are in fact made "righteous" before a just and Holy God.
(5) Need more? Then check out this powerful, short video message by my friend, fellow officer and noted trainer,
Cops and Salvation.
(6) Have you said "yes" to Jesus but are wondering what to do next? Then
Understand that the "Now what?" MUST include regular "iron sharpens iron" fellowship with other believers -- including (for us cops) other mature Christian officers -- who can help support you, encourage you, disciple (help you grow) you in the faith and yes, hold you lovingly accountable. Message me for how you can do that!
My prayer is that you will in fact choose "the narrow way" (last week's message) that leads to eternal rest and peace.