Thursday, February 18, 2016

How Can the Dead be Well Off?

There is an old Puritan saying, "If you're born once, you die twice, and if you're born twice, you die once. What this means is that if you're born once, physically through birth and never accept Jesus during your life time you will die twice, once physically through your body and the second time spiritually in which you will inherit hell. However, if you're born twice, through physical birth the first time, and then accept Jesus, you become born again spiritually, when you die, it will only be your physical body that dies and you will inherit heaven instead.

The Bible is very clear on this subject even though it is one most people don't want to accept. It is simply because they don't want to come to terms with the fact, that there is judgment coming for the things we do wrong in this lifetime, most notable rejecting Jesus, the Bible and all that goes with it. Jesus makes people accountable, and they don't like being told what they're doing is wrong. There are even those who would argue that the portion of Scripture in Luke 16:19-31 is merely a parable. It is not an actual event, it's simply a story Jesus is telling.

In order to understand parables that Jesus spoke, He never used names when He told them. However in this portion of Scripture, He names names. He is giving us insight and He is warning us. People don't want to admit to a place called Hell or that at some point in their lives they will enter into a place of judgment so they simply cast off this portion of Scripture as a parable instead.

Luke 16:19-31 ~ "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed what fell from rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, "Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from her to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us. And he said, "Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house - for I have five brothers - so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, "No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent." He said to him, "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead."

The Lazarus mentioned here is not the same Lazarus we would affiliate with Martha and Mary. Notice that the rich man is burning but he is also not being consumed by the fire. When God refers to Moses and the Prophets, He is telling him to read the Bible, his brothers can read the Bible for the truth. It is in verse 31 that refers specifically to Jesus. He died and rose from the dead, and even today, people refuse to believe in Him and they refuse to believe the Bible or anything it has to say.

Every one has the right to choose where they will spend their eternity.

Revelation 14:12 ~ "Here is a call for endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus."

When you hear the word "commandments" it should not provoke a negative reaction in you. The commandments of God should never be burdensome, impossible, legalistic and the Bible is quite clear, they are not impossible to follow. Did you know that there are over 170 commandments in the New Testament alone? Things like to esteem others better than yourself, to bless others, feed the poor, care for widows and orphans, to believe in Jesus Christ, to love one another. Jesus fulfilled all the law of God on the cross. We are now free from the law because the Holy Spirit now dwells within us making obeying God easier to do.

What does God say to us if we are quiet and willing to listen? "I love you." "I forgive you."

You know if you fall away from God, one of the things you are likely to hear is you can never go back or come back to God. Even if you think you are forgiven and repent, God will never use you again. What church would have you? You're a loser!

You are living under a cloud and you want to know what the Bible has to say about that?

Romans 8:1 ~ "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ."

You need to simply let the cloud go. Jesus is faithful and just and willing to forgive us. Even if no one else will forgive you in your life, Jesus will!

1 John 1:9 ~ "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 

Start claiming that promise if you ask Jesus for forgiveness in your life. Claim that promise of God and begin to walk in faith and move forward in that victory, even if people in your life continue to remind you daily of your past sins. God forgets our sins when we ask for forgiveness. As far as the east is from the west. They are forgotten. We might not forget them when we confess them, but God does.

We need to have faith in Jesus just like Revelation 14:12 claims. Faith in our prayer is heresy. We need to have faith in God. Our prayers should be based on faith, but we can't hold God hostage by them, contrary to what some "Christian" pastors and ministries would lead you to believe.

Revelation 14:13 ~ "And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "That they may rest from their labors for their deeds follow them!"

This "voice" is not an angel. From what we have read whenever John hears the voice of an angel, he states that clearly. Anytime a voice is heard from heaven, it is referring to God the Father, The Almighty God, Himself speaking. When He refers to being "blessed," think of it as better, happy, better off, well off instead. How can the dead be well off? If you know Jesus, you can't be petrified of death. We know where we are going when we die, it's the physical aspect of dying or the dying process itself that we are fearful of. It's hard for us to believe, but why?

During the Tribulation Period, the things that are happening and will happen imply that the believer living during that time would be better off to die than to continue to live through the horrors that are coming to them. If you're a Christian now, we will not be a part of any of the Tribulation period. The Tribulation believers, however, death is better than living during that time. The Bible refers to believers as saints and we will dwell with Him in heaven forever.

Psalm 116:15 ~ "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of the saint."

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