life & spirit
Thursday, September 13th, 2018
”For this reason I also suffer these things; I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Tim 1:12
It is pertinent for God’s elect to believe there is hope beyond the grave since Jesus Christ has opened the door to Heaven through His baptism, death and resurrection. Hope is found in the promises God has spoken in His Word. God’s elect can always hold on to the hope in God no matter what trials, temptations or pain they may suffer in the world. Notwithstanding, allow me to assure further that every death of God’s elect is no accident. Do you think that the God whose watchful vigil notes the sparrow’s fall and Who knows the number of hairs on our head would turn His back on one of His elect in the hour of peril? With God there are no accident, no tragedies and no catastrophes as far as the elect are concerned.
The Apostle Paul, who lived most of his Christian life on the brink of death, expressed triumphant certainty about life beyond the realm of time and space. There are many triumphant affirmations in the Scriptures that rings with the immortal truth that the death of the elect is unlike the death of the unrighteous. Though God’s elect have no immunity from death, death is to them a friend rather than a foe, the beginning rather than the end. The death of God’s elect is not to be feared or to be shunned. It is the shadowed threshold to the palace of God.
Let us observe some of these statements in the Bible about the triumphant death of God’s elect who are established in the righteousness of faith in the Gospel Word.
Death Is A Coronation
The Bible says we are pilgrims and strangers in a foreign land. This world is not our home, our citizenship is in Heaven. To those who are faithful, Christ will give a crown of life. Paul said, “finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day and not to me only but also to all who
love His appearing.” 2 Tim 4:8 The picture here is that of a regal prince who, after his struggles and conquests in an alien land, come to his native country to be crowned.
Death Is A Rest
The Bible speaks of death for God’s elect as a rest from labor. The Word says “blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…they may rest from their labors.” Rev 14:13 It is as if the Lord of the harvest says to the weary laborer, ‘you have been faithful in your task, come and sit in the sheltered porch of my palace and rest from your labors – enter now into the joy of your Lord.’
Death Is A Departure
The Bible speaks of death as a departure. When Paul approached his valley of the shadow of death, he did not shudder with fear, rather he announced with a note of triumph, “the time of my departure is at end.” 2 Tim 4:6 The word ‘departure’ literally means ‘to pull up anchor and to set sail.’ Everything that happens prior to death is a preparation for the journey. Death marks the beginning not the end. It is a solemn and dramatic step in our journey to God.
Death Is A Transition
The Bible speaks of the death of God’s elect as a transition. Paul wrote “for we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Cor 5:1 Death of God’s elect is the exchanging of a tent for a building. Here we are as pilgrims or refugees, living in a frail, flimsy house – subject to disease, pain and peril. However, at death we exchange this crumbling and disintegrating tent for a house that is perfect and eternal.
Do you think that the God Who has provided so amply for living has made no provision for dying?
Bear this in mind : the hope of eternal life rest solely and exclusively upon our faith in he Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection.
Make no mistake with this. When God’s elect die, they go straight into the presence of Christ to spend eternity with God in Heaven. An unsaved sinner who rejects the gift of salvation bestowed by the righteousness of God attained by Jesus’ baptism and death is destined to be separated from God’s presence for eternity.
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