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  • Writer's picturePaige Patterson

Another Wonderful Anticipation of Heaven

Differences among people on earth are inevitable and, in some cases, even necessary. Occasionally these differing perspectives inhibit earthly fellowship. So, one of the delights of heaven will be that everyone there will see all things through the understanding of our Lord, and fellowship will be forever perfected.

Yesterday, Dr. Russell Dilday experienced the lightning-fast journey from earth's uncertainties into heaven's glories. On this earth, I frequently disagreed with Dr. Dilday, as he also differed with me. Consequently, one of the delights of heaven will be eternal fellowship and agreement at Jesus’ feet. The church has lost a warrior who had the courage to act according to his convictions. Tributes from life-long friends are not uncommon. But perhaps a word from a fellow Pilgrim who often opposed Dr. Dilday could be tolerated and, with God's help, breed hope in the hearts of God's people.

Russell Dilday was the son of the gracious and godly Hooper Dilday. Growing up in the home of one of my father's closest friends, Russell came early to Christ. Serving God's people in some of the most prominent Southern Baptist churches, for Russell Dilday to have been chosen and elected to be the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, was no surprise. Not only did the seminary reach the largest enrollment in its history under Dr. Dilday’s direction, but also in the process this president exhibited in multiple ways his love for missions and his devotion to the Baptists of the world.

Although Dr. Dilday lived through a time of social and religious upheaval, he remained resolute in his convictions and faithful to his commitments. Yes, I, together with our family of Southern Baptists, miss him already. But soon I will join him in heaven. While I do not know all that heaven has to offer its citizens, we will sit with the greats of yesterday imbibing our ambrosia while we enjoy fellowship with one another for eternity. Even so – come Lord Jesus.

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