Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
The statistics on death are as follows. 100% of us will die. Dr Kent Hovind says he is going to make it the last thing he does, but we will all die. Arguably, we began to die when we took our first breath. God's word puts it like this: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Heb. 9:27.
None of us likes to talk about it, and we all seem surprised when it hits our family, but deep in our heart we know it's coming. Few of us plan for it in this life, and fewer take measures to insure what comes in the next. Most of us believe in some form of afterlife, but don't address it. Hmmm?
If you were going to take a trip to Europe, wouldn't you research it? You might obtain lodging and activity information. You would commit vast amounts of energy learning all about your destination, and would of course Get Your Ticket.
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch. At a commencement ceremony, I heard a man speak on "The Dash". He was referring to the line between the dates on a headstone. Mine will read 1957~20-whatever. The dash represents our life here, and his question was, what will it stand for. He did a good job of admonishing his audience to make his or her life count for something, but here is an angle you may never have considered. Jesus' might rather look like this --- 33AD ~ (His return).
And what has He been doing? "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Heb. 7:25 Is that it? Not by a long shot. Next week we will camp out on what He is doing in His people right now, but today I want to do a fly-over on death; particularly for a Christian. Today folks trust in everything other than God w/regard to their future. We exhaust vast amounts of time and money on diets, exercise machines, pills for every imaginable ailment (real and imagined), and when we reach the innevitable end, we cry out - "Oh No!!! Don't let them die" as though it were the worst thing that can happen.
Nugget: For a lost person, it is. But for a Saved person, it is the ultimate liberation. Our physical bodies containing the original seeds of sin are the final obstacle to our ultimate union with Christ. How did Paul put it? "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:23-24
Our sinful bodies cannot enter into glory. This is what 1st Cor. 15:52 and following is talking about. Listen to what Robert Haldane said about it. "The nature, then, of death, is changed to believers by Jesus Christ, so that the day of their death is better than the day of their birth. Death to them is no more a curse, but a blessing, which puts an end to their sins and troubles, causing them to pass to perfect holiness and happiness, and from being absent from the Lord to carry them into His presence in Paradise. From being strangers on earth, it introduces them into their heavenly inheritance. From their wanderings and agitations here below, it brings them into the haven of everlasting rest." All of us have lost someone dear to us. Many friends of mine have lost spouses, siblings or worst of all, children. Two things. 1) 1st Thes. 4:13 and following says that for the Christian, or more accurately for those of us who have lost Christian loved ones, "We do not grieve as others who have no hope". We grieve all right, but there is another side which is celebration. Much like graduation day.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Bible tells us: "Jesus wept". Could it have been because He knew firsthand what he was bringing him back from and to? Is this a stretch? Point 2) when Jesus kept telling His disciples He was going to die, be crucified, and leave them, they argued with Him. They kept telling Him not to talk that way. He responded in John 14:28- "If you really loved me, you would be glad for Me that I go, because the Father is greater than all". This is what awaits us In Christ. This is what your loved ones are experiencing now if they Savingly Believed in Him. "Therefore, comfort one another with these words." - 1st Thes. 4:18 God Bless.