DEVOTIONAL – JULY 1
DEATH IS NOT CESSATION OF LIFE
Leslie M. John
Death of believer should not be compared with that of unbeliever to say that the death is cessation of life for all.
The first evidence that the soul of a believer in Christ shall not lie dead in the grave is seen in the words of none other than our Savior Lord Jesus Christ, who said to the repentant thief that he will be with the Lord in paradise the same day.
The prophecy of crucifixion of Jesus and that he will be numbered along with two transgressors was recorded in Isaiah 53:12. Rightly so, when Jesus was crucified two thieves were also crucified on his either side. While one of the two thieves mocked Jesus another prayed to Jesus to remember him when He comes in His kingdom but the thief who repented before the Lord he was promised of his presence with the Lord Himself.
Lord Jesus Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but He took the form of a servant and was made likeness of men. He made himself of no reputation and humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the most wretched death on the Cross. It is because Jesus, the Son of God, who was manifest in flesh, humbled Himself so much that He was exalted by God and exalted Him.
Jesus was given a name that is above every name and every knee shall bow to him. The authority of Jesus is over every thing in heaven, every thing in earth and every thing under earth (Cf. Philippians 2:6-10).
Instead of taking on him the nature of angels, Jesus took on him the form of servant in the likeness of man, of the seed of Abraham and of David, in order that he might destroy the power of death, which is the devil.
The death, which had sting to hurt men and the sin that caused death, which reigned from Adam to Moses, was defeated at the cross. The devil is defeated and the power of death is destroyed, thus rendering Satan with no power over believers in Christ.
In the death and resurrection of Jesus there was a way made for the deliverance of them that were subject to the fear of death.
“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. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham”. (Hebrews 2:14-16)
As Jesus had promised He laid down His life for the sake of sinners that they may believe in Him and be saved and He took it back in His resurrection. In Revelation 1:18 Jesus said…
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death”
Jesus holds the key to the hell and death and no one can put any one in hell or subject one to death without the permission from Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the key to the hell and death.
“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise”. (Luke 23:43)
Apostle Paul wrote that when our bodies groan and are laid to be decayed in the dust our soul will be with the Lord and at the first resurrection we will rise to meet the Lord in the air.
It is this great hope that a believer in Christ has that his soul will not perish but will be with the Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1)
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord”. (2 Corinthians 5:8)
Those believers in Christ who have gone before us will rise first to be with the Lord for ever and ever, and those that are alive when the Lord shall come with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air to be with Him for ever and ever.
The sinner will rise, at the end of the age, to be judged at the Great White Throne, and condemned and will be cast into ‘lake of fire’ along with Satan and his fallen angels where there is gnashing of teeth and torment for ever and ever.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)