Friday, April 1, 2022

 Life or Death - Which?

Anita Clark – Pastor, Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas


“And many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:2,3.  

Old Testament believers believed in the resurrection of the dead and a life hereafter. Daniel was told by the Lord that there would be a resurrection of the just and unjust. Resurrection and everlasting life was promised to the righteous, and everlasting contempt would be upon those unbelievers who will be resurrected also, but to eternal punishment. The word “contempt” means “an object to be abhorred, to loath, or dislike.”  Why would the Lord express it this way?  Think about it.  Even in the Old Testament times, God provided a way of salvation.  By accepting that salvation, which looked forward to Jesus’ sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, provision was made so that although those believers died they could rest in hope of being raised to live in heaven forever.  On the other hand, those who did not believe, would also be raised up in resurrection, but to a very different purpose. They would suffer God’s “contempt.” The New Testament teaches us that they will suffer forever in the lake of fire. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:15.    

Jesus said in John 5:28-29, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”  The phrase “done good” or “done evil” is not really speaking of some work that a person could do, but rather to believe is to do good, while rejecting salvation is doing evil. The Scripture teaches that the only way we can have eternal life is to believe, and the only way to have eternal death is to go on in unbelief.

Jesus spoke to Martha, when her brother had died, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believeth thou this?” (John 11:25.)   John says in I John 5:12, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life and this life is in His Son.  He that hath the Son of God hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”  Praise God!  By believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, we partake of His eternal life.  Christ is in us, and we are in Christ, and that is for eternity.

The Apostle Peter says in I Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein we greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried by fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

Our resurrection is made possible because Christ Arose. I Cor. 15:20,24 states, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept...Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” The time is short.  He is going to come soon. The signs of the times of the nearness of the coming of the Lord are very prominent at this time.  Look up your redemption draweth nigh!  We are made alive through the new birth and we are alive forevermore.  This transaction, changed into His likeness, is going to take place very soon.