Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Can We See Death as God Declares It? by John

CAN WE SEE DEATH AS GOD DECLARES IT? LET’S TRY!
Psalm 116:15, John 11:1-44

I. Once, Dolores and I visited at the hospital with a
dying lady. She stirred me to develop this mes-
sage. Garnetia’s death brought it to mind again.
2. Most of us don’t come face to face with physical
death very often.
(1) When we do, it generally affects us deeply.
(1) We may become depressed.
(2) We may become angry.
(3) We get scared as we consider our own future.
(4) We may even begin to grieve for someone
before they die.
(2) Death once was commonplace to people.
a. There were no morticians on the American frontier most of the time.
b. People usually had to take care of their own family members, dead and alive. Their neighbors helped when they could.
c. That meant children became acquainted with death at an early age and weren’t too surprised when it happened to people around them.
3. Today, we live highly insulated lives.
(1) Most people who are terminally ill die in hospitals away from the eyes of the family except the chosen few.
(2) Bodies used to be kept at home until burial. Now we have mortuaries that do that for us.
(3) We only speak of death in hushed tones, but children hear, and death takes on an ominous overtone to children exposed to our protective devices.
4. Does God view death like we do? If He doesn’t, can we begin to understand death the way He does?
(1) I want us to spend this time thinking about death.
(2) I don’t want to be depressing, insensitive, or scary.
(3) I do want us to be prepared for death when it comes.
(4) I want us to see death as God does if we can!

I. PSALM 116:15 AND JOHN 11:1-44 SEEM TO
CONTRADICT EACH OTHER ABOUT GOD’S
CARE.

1.This is a good time to note neither God nor His Word ever contradict each other.
(1) Make that a cardinal rule to guide you in Bible
study.
(2) Then look for ways both statements can fit together without contradiction.
(3) You may find more than one, but one will certainly be right.
2. It becomes obvious from these two statements in Psalms and John that God sees death quite differently from the way most of us see it.
(1) The death of His saints is precious to the Lord.
The Bible says so in our text!
(2) It’s obvious Jesus didn’t consider physical death anything to worry about.
a. He indicated that in John 11:4,14. He waited until Lazarus was physically dead before he responded to Martha’s and Mary’s call.
b. The world thinks life is all over when a person dies, but not to God! Jesus showed us!
aa. He planned to raise Lazarus from the dead!
bb. We need to know the One Who gives life originally controls it all the way through, and He can do whatever He wants with it!
3. If that’s all we see, we’ve missed the main point.
(1) If you miss the main point here, your suffering and fears will intensify.
(2) Jesus evidently allowed Lazarus to die physically so we would see two things.
a. First, Jesus would raise Himself from the dead just like He raised Lazarus.
b. Second, physical death ends nothing good for us.
c. Now don’t misunderstand me.
aa. I didn’t say a Christian and his family would feel no pain.
bb. And I didn’t say we wouldn’t experience physical death.
cc. Jesus didn’t say that either.
dd. Physical death is destined for human beings as a natural end of physical life. (Hebrews 9:27)
4. That leads us to say the inevitable.

II. DEATH IS NOT PHYSICAL. IT’S SPIRITUAL.

1. Let’s distinguish between the two kinds of death.
(1) Jesus called physical death “sleep.”
(2) He spoke of awakening Lazarus from his “sleep.”
2. He was speaking of an entirely different thing when He said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Mt 10:28.
3. Jesus came to free us from the power of death.
(1) God decreed every soul should die physically. Hebrews 9:27.
(2) He also decreed every sinner would die spiritually, and physical death ends our opportunity to be saved.
(3) Paul talked about the victory we have over the second death in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. (Let’s READ it!)
(4) In Revelation 2:11 and 20:14, Jesus speaks of the second death
a. As far as we can tell, “second death,” is another designation for spiritual death.
b. Note in 20:6 Jesus says the second death will have no power over those who are in the first resurrection.

III. GOD’S CHILDREN HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM DEATH

1. We are a long way from perfect in understanding as well as life-style, but we can still live by faith.
2. We probably will feel a number of disquieting things about prysical death.
(1) We never get done all we think we should, and that makes us have regrets.
(2) We dread the separation we may have from loved ones.
(3) Possibly our biggest dread is pain, and we may have a lot or a little.
3. Let’s look at the positive side.
(1) God is the One Who calls us home, and He knows what we have accomplished. He’s the only Judge. If He’s satisfied, we should be, too, shouldn’t we?
(2) We leave loved ones here, but don’t forget the loved ones we’ll be united with in God’s presence!
(3) We love our flesh, and we’ll have every kind of emotion when we face death, but behind all of those creeping fears, will be our faith, and underneath us will be the everlasting arms of Jesus!
(4) “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15.
4. Physical death will happen unless Jesus comes first, but either way, we have nothing to fear.

conclusion:

1. Don’t let Satan destroy your peace. God cares about us, His children.
2. Try to see physical death as it is. Ask God to help you see and understand death as it really is.
3. Trust His judgment about the time and way we are to leave this earth.
4. Make sure physical death only means you will be ushered into the presence of God. For many, it will be eternal destruction.
5. Trust Jesus right now, and He will take you through physical death into God’s presence.
6. Physical death for you is just a something you pass through on your way to eternal bliss with your heavenly Father, and it is over in a flash!
7. Have you trusted Jesus? You can right now while we pray.


Emmanuel Community Church 9/04/2005

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