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Friday, May 25, 2018

Texas Shooting and the Subject of Death

I will resume on the parables of Matthew 25 next time.

I briefly wanted to touch again on the subject of death.

After the Texas shooting, a student said this:

"I'm so grateful and blessed that God spared me today."

This seems like a natural response. But in light of traditional Christian teaching on this topic it should seem odd. Imagine the following:

"If you go through this door you will be taken to a villa in the south of France where every need will be met. Food, comfort, companionship, bliss beyond imagination will be yours. About your loved ones? Well, they'll be along in the next few years."

How many would run through those doors? How many would say they were "spared" going to the villa?

E.W. Bullinger gives a quick summation of this reasoning:

God speaks of death as an “enemy” (I Cor. 15:26)
Man speaks of it as a friend.
God speaks of it as a terminus.
Man speaks of it as a gate.
God speaks of it as a calamity.
Man speaks of it as a blessing.
God speaks of it as a fear and a terror.
Man speaks of it as a hope.
God speaks of delivering from it as shewing “mercy”. 
Man, strange to say, says the same! and loses no opportunity
of seeking such deliverance by using every means in his
power. 
In Phil. 2:27 we read that Epaphroditus “was sick unto death;
but God had mercy on him”. So that it was mercy to preserve
Epaphroditus from death. This could hardly be called “mercy” if
death were the “gate of glory”, according to popular tradition. 
-E.W. Bullinger, D.D. DBG, (Excerpt, "The Rich Man and Lazarus: An Intermediate State?")

Scripture consistently speaks of the dead knowing nothing, praising nothing, hearing nothing. The only hope is resurrection, and seeing him in our new, incorruptible, immortal tent!

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns [groans] within me!
-Job 19:25-27

Our hearts should groan for resurrection just as Job and Paul groaned. (2 Cor 5:1-8)

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NOTES:
"For in this we GROAN, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent GROAN, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. -2 Cor 5:2-4  
"Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves GROAN within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." -Rom 8:23 
Jesus said Abraham will rise, no other thought is here concerning Abraham's life, "Moses showed in the burning bush passage THAT THE DEAD ARE RAISED, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the LIVING, for all live to Him.”" -Luke 20 
[I have heard this verse used to teach Abraham being alive after death, but it only knows of life in resurrection.]

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