Grieving, Hope, and Solace: When a Loved One Dies in Christ, by Albert N. Martin
Endorsed by Steve Lawson, Joseph Pipa, Joel Beeke, and more.
Here is a tender blending of memoir and theology, a joining of heart and mind, a sober yet joyful consideration of Scripture in the face of one of life’s deepest and most difficult trials.
What exactly happens to those who die as Christians? What do they immediately experience? What is their existence like right now? What will happen to them when Christ returns to earth? These questions can be especially acute for grieving loved ones who remain. What comfort and assurance does Scripture offer you? What can you truly know and be confident of?
These are the questions and concerns that faced Pastor Albert N. Martin, a beloved pastor and widely respected preacher for half a century, following the death of his wife of nearly 50 years. This book is the product of his grief, his tears, his travails, his prayers, and his concentrated study of God’s Word.
Here is a tender blending of memoir and theology, a joining of heart and mind, a sober yet joyful consideration of Scripture in the face of one of life’s deepest and most grievous trials.
>What exactly happens to those who die as Christians?
>What do they immediately experience?
>What is their existence like right now?
>What will happen to them when Christ returns to earth?
These questions can be especially acute for grieving loved ones who remain. What comfort and assurance does Scripture offer you? What can you truly know and be confident of?
Following the death of his dear wife of 46 years, Pastor Al Martin knew that, if he were to grieve in a way that glorified God, he needed to know the answers to those questions, as clearly as possible, directly from Scripture. This book is the product of his grief, his tears, his travails, his prayers, and his concentrated study of God’s Word.
A beloved pastor and widely respected preacher for half a century, Albert Martin handles Scripture with the greatest of skill, care, wisdom, and respect. In this book, you will learn what God tells us with regard to the burning questions that so often accompany the death of a loved one in Christ.
There is comfort for the grief. There are answers to the questions. The Bible does offer hope, solace, healing, and confidence. Pastor Albert Martin has been there. Let him share with you the deep comfort, encouragement, and joy that he found, through Scripture, in the midst of his grieving.
Pastor Albert N. Martin shepherded the people of Trinity Baptist Church in Montville, New Jersey for 46 years. He was a Reformed Baptist at least a quarter-century before it became a movement. Now retired from ministry, he has written this book for Cruciform Press to recount what he learned from the death of his wife, Marilyn, at age 73. Grieving, Hope, and Solace is his second book, and his first for a lay audience. To offer a sense of the depth of Pastor Martin’s ministry, the late John Murray, Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, and author of several classic books, including Redemption Accomplished and Applied, once said regarding an upcoming conference, “If Al Martin is to be there I really think he should be asked to take the three evening services proposed for me. He is one of the ablest and most moving preachers I have ever heard…I have not heard his equal.”
“A priceless treasure”
—Steven J. Lawson
“Albert N. Martin is a seasoned pastor, skilled teacher, and gifted writer who has given us a priceless treasure in Grieving, Hope, and Solace. The sobering reality is that not a one of us is exempt from facing death. We are constantly confronted with the loss of loved ones at every turn in life. With this in mind, here is a book that walks us through the entire grieving process of death from an intensely biblical perspective. All who read these pages will, unquestionably, be pointed to Christ and find themselves greatly helped.”
—Steven J. Lawson, Senior Pastor, Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, Mobile, Alabama
“Al Martin weaves together personal tenderness and biblical teaching in this sweet book of comfort. He lifts up our minds to heaven to see the glory of the Redeemer and His beautified bride. He also brings insight and consolation to our experience here on earth. What a blessed gift to give to a grieving friend! Buy it and give it away, but make sure to get a copy for yourself, too. We can never be too prepared for the trial of losing a loved one.”
—Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Occasionally, serendipitously, we stumble upon a rare finding: turning the corner and being met by a glorious moonrise, discovering a painter or musician who touches us in the deepest recesses of our being, or reading a special book. This little book by Pastor Al Martin has been such an experience for me; written from profound biblical insight, tested by experience, Grieving, Hope and Solace: When a Loved One Dies in Christ is a delightful, edifying book, which you will want to read and re-read. Whether you are a pastor or counselor, one who is experiencing the pangs of grief, or a member of the church who wants to be useful to others, you need to read this book. Of particular use to me, is how the book helps one to train his mind and emotions for the ‘rough door of death.’”
—Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., PhD, President, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Taylors, South Carolina
“This tender book by a much-loved pastor, written after the death of his beloved wife, offers comfort to those in tears. Even our grieving should be disciplined by scripture and governed by the motive to glorify God. Here we have a rare guidebook to teach us how to grieve with godliness. It is relevant to us all — if not for today, then no doubt for tomorrow.”
—Maurice Roberts, Minister of Greyfriars Congregation, Inverness, Scotland; author of numerous books, and former editor of Banner of Truth magazine.
“’Experimental religion’ is what our forefathers called the intersecting of God’s Word with our life experience. For over 50 years, Albert N. Martin has preached the Word of God with ‘experimental’ power. He has effectively brought the Word of God and the truth of the Gospel to bear upon the life and experience of thousands. Now he does it in print.
“Nowhere in life is the truth of the Gospel more real than when a loved one dies in Christ. That time, above all other times, is when the believer needs to experience the consolation of Christ in the Gospel. In this tender, biblical, experiential, and even evangelistic book, Albert Martin brings his readers into a wonderful encounter with the Lord Jesus. He uses Scripture, pastoral wisdom, and the experience of his dear wife’s death to show believers how God sustains his grieving saints. This is a theologically solid and practically valuable little book.”
—Pastor Brian Borgman, Grace Community Church, Minden, Nevada, and author of Feelings and Faith (Crossway) and My Heart For Thy Cause: Albert N. Martin’s Theology of Preaching (Mentor)
“I am thankful that Cruciform Press has undertaken the project of printing materials that flow from the wealth of experience that Dr. Albert N. Martin acquired from his nearly half a century of faithful and richly God-blessed pastoral ministry in one congregation in New Jersey. It is rare, indeed, to receive the benefit of that kind of ministerial understanding and wisdom. In Grieving, Hope, and Solace, Dr. Martin combines an understanding of the best of theology and biblical exegesis with all the deep pathos that a deeply-sensitive redeemed man has as he experiences the death of a much loved spouse. Channel that through the mind and heart of a pastor who senses his divine commission to minister to others what the Lord has taught him in the crucible of painful human experience, and you will have the essence of this precious volume. For pastors and others who counsel the bereaved, and for those who are going through the bereavement process themselves, here is balm of Gilead that has its source in the all wise Father, the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ, and the unique Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Read it to learn, to weep, and to rejoice in the great victory of the death-Conquering Savior!”
—Rev. William Shishko, pastor, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Franklin Square, New York.
“On July 9, 2004, my wife Tricia and I sat beside Marilyn Martin’s deathbed. We hoped that our visit would encourage her and Pastor Martin, but it was they who encouraged us. They spoke of Marilyn’s imminent departure with serenity, even describing death as their ‘Dark Friend’ sent from the Lord for their sanctification (1 Corinthians 3:22). In their pain, they exemplified undaunted faith and instructed us. Thank you Marilyn, for showing us how to die well in the Lord.
“Jesus then led Albert Martin through the valley of the shadow of Marilyn’s death. Grieving, Hope and Solace will lead you through that valley as well. Pastor Martin’s instruction will enable you to grieve with overcoming faith, to experience the comfort of our triumphant Savior and to turn the doctrines of the gospel into the victory of resurrection life, hope, and joy. Thank you Pastor Martin, for instructing us how to grieve well in the Lord.”
—Alan Dunn, Pastor, Grace Covenant Baptist Church, Flemington, New Jersey
“I beheld gospel truth and grace on display while standing in line to express my deepest sympathies to Pastor Albert N. Martin. There he was, completely absorbed in promoting the spiritual and emotional benefit of others, consoling family and friends who were also grieving the death of his beloved wife, Marilyn. What made the deepest impression upon me was the evident gladness of his countenance in his appreciation of so many who had come to honor her memory and comfort one another, especially him. And this, despite the fact that I knew from his testimony that his own sorrow was immense, as if his heart were shattered into a million pieces, impossible to be mended.
“Having now read Pastor Martin’s teaching and exhortation in this book, I can understand better how the Lord was sustaining His faithful servant during his darkest hour. Combining simple exposition of important biblical passages with practical application and personal anecdotes, Pastor Martin has with the Lord’s help compounded a genuine balm for the wounded spirits of fellow sufferers. Here you will not find pious platitudes but solid evangelical truth delivered in an intensely personal manner. I recommend it heartily with prayers that the God of all comfort will augment the hope of his saints and introduce others to the risen Lord and Savior who alone is able to comfort them, too.”
—D. Scott Meadows, Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church (Reformed), Exeter, New Hampshire
“I enjoyed the privilege of knowing Pastor and Mrs. Martin intimately over many years, and even as their life together was a blessing to many, so in this book their separation by Marilyn’s home-going will be a blessing to many more. Pastor Martin reminds us that the death of a loved one is not just the end of an earthly course but also a beginning, both for the departed loved one and for ourselves. This is a book full of encouragement and sound counsel. In reading it and meditating on its contents, you will be greatly blessed.”
—Dr. Robert P. Martin, Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle, Washington
“Al Martin has been my pastor, mentor, friend, and now my stepdad. He has spent many years as a pastor who has ministered to saints who have lost loved ones, and he is a man who has personally experienced the loss of ‘the desire of his eyes.’ In Grieving, Hope and Solace, he explains warmly and plainly the Bible’s teaching about the intermediate state and the consoling impact of that teaching on the smarting, believing soul. May the prayerful meditation upon the truths enunciated in this book be God’s means of imparting ‘the comfort of the Scriptures’ to many grieving saints.”
—Dave Chanski, pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Montville, New Jersey
“Your heart will be warmed by the testimony of Marilyn and Albert Martin as you read of their six-year pilgrimage with cancer. This book is a testimony to her beautiful life, and the God-honoring response of her husband to her death. This book presents a sound biblical eschatology of death and clears up all fuzzy thinking of what happens to a loved-one who dies in Christ.
“It is the fruit of one man’s gut-wrenching question as he held his wife’s lifeless body: What has just happened to her?
“It is the fruit of sermons borne out of grief, tears, travail, and prayer; the fruit of that desperate search for clarity and comfort where I know it can be found, in the infallible words of Scripture.
“This is the man whom many of us have been privileged to know for decades, a man who seeks to bring his entire life, his thinking and his emotions, and later in life, his grief, to the God who clarifies and comforts through the Scripture. The desperate search for the God of all comfort led Pastor Martin to discover timeless treasures to deal with his grief to the glory of God. He passionately desires to help fellow-pilgrims. The consideration of what Jesus has gained, what our loved one has gained, and what we have gained, through the death of a loved one, is masterful in the outworking of grief.
“If you are dealing with grief or know someone who is, by all means meditate on these pages. This book is also a powerful evangelistic tool for unbelievers who are facing death or the death of a loved one. This book is theology coming forth as gold from the fire of personal loss, and lessons in grieving as those who have hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).”
—John Reuther, Pastor, Lumberton, New Jersey