FROM THE PREACHER'S LENSES
|Sunday, April 16, 2023|
oday and for several broadcasts, I will be addressing the question of what next after death. Everyone knows that one day is one day, when he will die. So, it is important to address this question so that everyone will know what awaits him after he ceases to breath. The understanding of this subject should help everyone to amend his ways where need be when he still has life. For now I intend to concentrate on what happens to the people, who die but who have pleaded for the forgiveness of their sins through the blood of Jesus i.e people who God has made righteous. So, the topic of this exposition is "The Resurrection of the Saints" At the end I will talk about the position of people who die without Christ. So announce to your friends and relations to listen to these broadcasts for the next five weeks.
When we say someone is dead, we are referring to someone who stopped breathing and we can no longer relate with in the physical. The question is "Is that the end of him or her?
I suppose that if once someone is lowered into the grave, that is the end of him or her, then it is pointless preaching to anyone to behave right. People can just behave the way they like, they can be brutal and careless, unconcerned about the fate of the other fellow but themselves alone, people can enjoy themselves as much as possible, not bothering about how their lifestyle affect the other fellow. They can even go any length including murder to achieve their goals to enjoy life fullest. We can just live like in the animal kingdom where whoever is more strenuous devour the weak.
If they attain any political office or are in any position where they have access to the commonwealth, they can just stack it for themselves and decimate the whole populace. It will serve no purpose to preach repentance to them if death is the end of man.
So in the next several meetings, I will be addressing the question, where those who are lowered into the grave are, in what I title "The Resurrection of the Saints".
Let us pray.
The Resurrection of the Saints. Where are those lowered into the grave? Where are they?
Who is a saint? What is the meaning of "Saints"? The word "Saint" means "holy" But who is holy, when we read severally in the Scripture that none is holy.
The Bible in Romans chapter 3 says: There is none righteous, no, not one (vs 10)
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their talk is foul and filthy like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are loaded with lies. Everything they say has in it the sting and poison of deadly snakes.
fi 14 Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
15 They are quick to kill, hating anyone who disagrees with them.
16 Wherever they go they leave misery and trouble behind them,
17 and they have never known what it is to feel secure or enjoy God's blessing.
18 They care nothing about God nor what He thinks of them.
The Bible says elsewhere in Isaiah 64: 6 that the best of our righteous deeds are like filthy rags in the sight of God.
Who then is holy? Who is a saint?
A saint is someone who while on earth, while still having his breath, realizes that, there is nothing good in him, acknowledges that no efforts of his good work, not his religious zeal, not his zeal to keep the religious obligations, not his zeal to keep prayer times or fast can meet the righteousness as demanded by God but has worn the righteousness of God provided in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
The saint is the one who by faith has asked for the cleansing of his sins by the blood of Jesus Christ and started to live consistent like someone who has a goal of heaven.
The Bible in the book of Hebrews chapter 9 says that "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins"(Heb.9:22).
The saint is someone who has had his sins covered by the blood of Jesus and starts to live his life consistent with the Scripture.
So it is the resurrection of those people I want to go into today.
When someone is lowered into the grave, whoever, saint or no saint, is that his end?
Where have been those that have been lowered into the grave?
Let us search the scripture.
The Jews were offended with Jesus after He referred to Himself as God and they wanted to stone Him to death. Jesus responded by referring them to the Scripture in Psalms 82:6 where it says that they, themselves, though humans, are 'gods' but small 'g'(st. John 10:29-35;), meaning 'little gods'
Jesus said that God is Spirit (St John 4:24). If God is Spirit, and we are 'small gods' then we too, are spirits.
Let us go to the beginning. God said "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness---" (Gen. 1:26) "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God, created He him; male and female created He them" (Gen. 1:27)
But does God have a physical image?
One of the days after Jesus had resurrected, the disciples were meeting in a room under lock and key when Jesus stood in their midst. The disciples were sore afraid, thinking they were seeing a spirit. Jesus asked them to touch Him and said "ghosts don't have bodies, as you see that I do" (Lk.24:39).
If God does not have a body, then the figure, which God made from the dust is not God's image.
After God took dust from the ground and molded the man, it was only a carving He made. The carving had no life. The carving was not different from any carvings of the carpenters until He, God breathed into the carving's nostrils. And "Man became a living soul" (Gen.2:7) This is now the image of God. The flesh is not God's image. It is the spirit or soul, which is God's image because God is spirit.
The Bible says that no man has seen God (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; 1John 4:12; 1Tim. 6:16). No man can see God because God is Spirit. So also can no one see the soul or spirit in man. What we see of man is the, housing or the tent in which his soul or spirit is enveloped.
What we see of man is mere dust in which the soul dwells. And for anyone who can, he can go and observe in any grave, few months after a dead is buried. All he sees is dust and bones, which itself will become dust later.
So when someone ceases to breathe in what we refer to death, he/she does not die per say because we are spirits and spirit does not die but the spirit starts to operate in a different environment and mode. It has only transited.
When our breadth is taken away from us in what we call death, it is the envelope, the tent, which houses the spirit when on mission to the world that is dissolved or pulled down. The envelope or vessel returns to dust from where it came. But the spirit lives on.
Herod had planned to kill Peter. But God sent His angels into the prison the very night he planned the execution and got Peter released. Prayers were going on in the house of Mary, the mother of Mark. Peter knocked and a young damsel by the name Rhoda recognized it was Peter. She ran back in excitement but the 'prayer warriors' thought otherwise. They concluded that Herod had killed Peter and it was Peter's angel, who was returning to heaven. This indicates that the people of old recognized that though, the body or the tent of Peter might have been pulled down but not his spirit because spirit does not die (Acts 12).
And where is the spirit of man after the envelope, the house or tent, where it has lived all his years on earth returns to dust and lowered in the grave?
I will continue with this discussion next week God willing. You cannot afford to miss it. Invite your family members, neighbours, co-workers and friends to tune to us same time.