Saturday, July 31, 2010

"We Shall Live"

"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15).
"Whosoever liveth and believeth on Me shall never die" (John 11:26).

Regardless of how much the unbeliever seeks to push the reality of death out of his conscious awareness, he remains a slave throughout his lifetime to his mortality and the Holy Spirit's witness of "judgment to come" (Acts 24:25).

Conversely, the born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is delivered from this slavery. We may still at times have nervous thoughts about the largely unknown quantity and experience of physical death. However, the bondage of fear and its countless expressions do not dominate us as the Holy Spirit bears witness to our immortality and joy to come. In the truest sense, the believer will never die because the person we most deeply are has already passed through death and resurrection. "Ye are dead (literally, "have died"), and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). We are even said to presently "sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). Any "death" we will experience, therefore, involves merely the putting aside of a mortal frame that becomes an ever-increasing burden as the years pass.

In the twinkling moment of our passing from this present world, we will be more "alive" than we've ever been. In "the valley of the shadow of death," our Lord will greet us and meet us in a way heretofore not experienced. In that holy place, "Thou art with me" will be the overwhelming awareness and sensibility (Psalm 23:4). Indeed, when a fellow believer's earthly life ends, we are far more accurate if we say "he lived!" rather than "he died." Again, the Lord unequivocally declared that we "shall never die." Any temptation to fear death, therefore, is exactly that. It is a temptation. Because in the context of the only definition of death that matters, God's definition, we will not die when our earthly breath ceases and our hearts stops beating. We shall live.

"Our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."
(II Timothy 1:10)

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