Let’s make no mistake–death IS our greatest enemy. When we
experience the death of a loved one, we are sobered and reminded of the
certainty of death. We know that we will die. Ecclesiastes 7:1-2
challenges us to take to heart and to meditate about the fact that
death is real.
We mourn in the face of death. It is alright to
mourn. Jesus cried over the death of Lazarus. The ancients of the
Bible, including Abraham and Moses, mourned over the death of their
loved ones. We are in mourning right now over the death of our beloved
Senior Pastor, Edwin Pope.
But even though we mourn, we do not despair. Even though we reflect, we do not lose hope.
Because there IS hope beyond the grave.
the Christ abolished death and brought life and immortality to light
through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10). Even though we will die, we will
live again. Jesus tells us: “I am the resurrection and the [eternal] life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. We can find
comfort in these assuring words: “He Himself likewise shared in the
same [becoming a flesh-and-blood human being], that through death He
might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and
release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject
to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Death is man’s enemy. But Jesus
Christ conquered death. He was raised from the dead. He became
victorious over death (1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8). And He is
giving us that victory (1 Corinthians 15:57). When we believe and obey
Him, we will not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:15).
are tremendous promises–awesome words which prove God’s comforting
love for us. And while we wait for the resurrection of the just at the
time of Christ’s return, we consider these statements of truth:
righteous perishes… merciful men are taken away… the righteous is
taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest…”
(Isaiah 57:1-2). We also reflect on this reality: “Blessed are the dead
who die in the Lord from now on… that they may rest from their
labors, and their works follow them” (Revelation 14:13).
in the face of death, we meditate about our own lives–being reminded
that we should “number our days” (Psalm 90:12); knowing that we too
will die and have to give an account. But we are also assured that even
“if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all
things” (1 John 3:20). We may slip and fall, but as long as we remain
“in Christ,” and as long as His love remains in us, we will succeed and
conquer death. Paul exclaims with joy: “Who shall bring a charge
against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns?
It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at
the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans
We will not die forever. Victory will triumph over our
death. Paul was convinced that in all things, even in death, “we are
more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). We will
be awakened from the temporary sleep of death by the voice of Jesus
Christ–we will be raised to everlasting life. When we have become
immortal, eternal, incorruptible Spirit beings in our Father’s Kingdom,
then, truly, “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).
was persuaded that nothing, including death, “shall be able to separate
us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans
Because it is the certainty of Life–not death–which is our ultimate destiny.