Life After Death? Or Death Before Life?

 

Many people are obsessed with the “after life” –life after death.  Cultural practices of many countries include the placing of worldly goods and riches in the tomb of their departed ones, in the hope that the dead will be amply provided for in the “next life.” It’s a vain practice that ignores the old saying, “No, you can’t take it with you to your grave.”

In the Philippines among the archeological finds in Tabon Cave on Palawan Island is a clay piece believed to be a burial jar, the cover of which has an image of a man and his companion riding a boat – supposedly to transport them to a “better place.”

People have many mistaken ideas about What Happens to Man After Death?  However, God’s word – the Holy Bible – has a definite and unequivocal say on this matter, among others.

Another matter that the Bible is concerned with, but which only a few people think about is death before life.  There are several facets to this matter.

The most crucial facet is the death of Jesus Christ before we human beings can have life – not just physical life in this present world — but everlasting life, or immortality, as we may call it.  The second Person in the Godhead – called the Logos [Greek for “Word” or “Spokesman”] had to empty Himself of His divinity in order to become a mortal human being, so He could die to pay the penalty [“wages,” Romans 6:23] of mankind’s sin: the penalty of death. Thus man would not die or “perish” but instead have everlasting life (Philippians 2:5-8; John 3:16). Jesus offered His life on Calvary’s cross as a “ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6). [See:  The True Christ, Forgiveness in the Bible, and The Ransomed of the LORD.]

The next facet of death before life is embodied in Christ’s saying in Luke 9:23-24 – “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life [by following one’s own ways contrary to God’s] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”

The cross was the cruel Roman device to execute criminals through slow but sure death.  Christ commands that anyone who will follow Him needs to take up his own cross daily – to die to his old, sinful self every day, in order to find everlasting life [be saved].

The apostle Paul, whom Jesus especially ordained to preach His gospel, put it this way:  “Shall we continue in sin [so] that grace may abound?  Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?  Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism unto death, [so] that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Paul explained that “our old man [our previous sinful life] was crucified with Him, [so] that the body of sin might be done away, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.  For he who has died [to sin] has been freed from sin.  Now if we died in Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that /Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.  Death no longer has dominion over Him.  For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.  Likewise, you also reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Verses 8-11).

Paul admonished:  “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your [bodily] members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Verses 12-13).  We are to become “slaves of righteousness” instead of slaves of sin or unrighteousness – uncleanness or lawlessness [Verses 17-19).  Thus we will have [the] “fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life (Verse 22).

It is such people – true Christians – who, though now physically dead [who “sleep in the dust”] will “awake… to everlasting life” and “will shine like the brightness of the firmament…like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).

Jesus spoke of this same event:  “…all who are in the graves will hear His [Christ’s] voice and come forth [arise] – those who have done good [the righteous], to the resurrection of life [everlasting]” (John 5:28-29).

Paul confirmed these words when he wrote about the “coming of the Lord,” when “He will descend from heaven with a cloud, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord [in His kingdom on earth]” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

Paul also wrote about this in his famous “resurrection chapter” – 1 Corinthians 15, especially Verses 51-55.

Another facet of the matter of death before life concerns everyone.  Paul declared:  “…it is appointed [by God] for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  That judgment comes when Christ, the Judge of both the living and the dead” returns to judge the earth (Psalm 98:9; Acts 10:42).

Those who have died without Christ in their lives will be resurrected to mortal life at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign on earth (Revelation 20:5).  [See:  This Is not the Only Day of Salvation.]  This will be their opportunity to have God’s book [Greek biblia] – the Holy Bible – opened to their understanding (Verse 12), so that, as they would, their names would be written in The Book of Life (Verse 15), assured of receiving everlasting life.

Death before life will be celebrated by faithful Christians this year as they observe God’s commanded festival of the Passover, picturing Jesus’ supreme sacrifice at Calvary’s cross.  This ceremony will be observed in the evening of April 9.  The rest of God’s “spring festivals” – the Days of Unleavened Bread – pictures the Christians’ need to put away sin in their lives, to be observed on April 11-16.

May all of you who read this article become true participants in this arduous journey from death to glorious life!

 

Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.
19032022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life After Death? Or Death Before Life?

Many people are obsessed with the “after life” –life after death. Cultural practices of many countries include the placing of worldly goods and riches in the tomb of their departed ones, in the hope that the dead will be amply provided for in the “next life.” It’s a vain practice that ignores the old saying, “No, you can’t take it with you to your grave.”
In the Philippines among the archeological finds in Tabon Cave on Palawan Island is a clay piece believed to be a burial jar, the cover of which has an image of a man riding a boat – supposedly to transport him to a “better place.”
People have many mistaken ideas about What Happens to Man After Death? However, God’s word – the Holy Bible – has a definite and unequivocal say on this matter, among others.
Another matter that the Bible is concerned with, but which only a few people think about is death before life. There are several facets to this matter.
The most crucial facet is the death of Jesus Christ before we human beings can have life – not just physical life in this present world — but everlasting life, or immortality, as we may call it. The second Person in the Godhead – called the Logos [Greek for “Word” or “Spokesman”] had to empty Himself of His divinity in order to become a mortal human being, so He could die to pay the penalty [“wages,” Romans 6:23] of mankind’s sin: the penalty of death. Thus man would not die or “perish” but instead have everlasting life (Philippians 2:5-8; John 3:16). Jesus offered His life on Calvary’s cross as a “ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6). [See: The True Christ, Forgiveness in the New Testament, and The Ransomed of the LORD.]
The next facet of death before life is embodied in Christ’s saying in Luke 9:23-24 – “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life [by following one’s own ways contrary to God’s] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
The cross was the cruel Roman device to execute criminals through slow but sure death. Christ commands that anyone who will follow Him needs to take up his own cross daily – to die to his old, sinful self every day, in order to find everlasting life [be saved].
The apostle Paul, whom Jesus especially ordained to preach His gospel, put it this way: “Shall we continue in sin [so] that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death? Threfore we were buried with Him through baptism unto death, [so] that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Paul explained that “our old man [our previous sinful life] was crucified with Him, [so] that the body of sin might be done away, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died [to sin] has been freed from sin. Now if we died in Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that /Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise, you also reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Verses 8-11).
Paul admonished: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your [bodily] members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Verses 12-13). We are to become “slaves of righteousness” instead of slaves of sin or unrighteousness – uncleanness or lawlessness [Verses 17-19). Thus we will have [the] “fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life (Vewrse 22).
It is such people – true Christians – who, though now physically dead [who “sleep in the dust”] will “awake… to everlasting life” and “will shine like the brightness of the firmament…like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).
Jesus spoke of this same event: “…all who are in the graves will hear His [Christ’s] voice and come forth [arise] – those who have done good [the righteous], to the resurrection of life [everlasting]” (John 5:28-29).
Paul confirmed these words when he wrote about the “coming of the Lord,” when “He will descend from heaven with a cloud, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first, b Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord [in His kingdom on earth]” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
Paul also wrote about this in his famous “resurrection chapter” – 1 Corinthians 15, especially Verses 51-55.
Another facet of the matter of death before life concerns everyone. Paul declared: “…it is appointed [by God] for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27|). That judgment comes when Christ, he Judge of both the living and the dead” returns to judge the earth (Psalm 98:9; Acts 10:42).
Those who have died without Christ in their lives will be resurrected to mortal life at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign on earth (Revelation 20:5). [See: This Is not the Only Day of Salvation.] This will be their opportunity to have God’s book [Greek biblia] – the Holy Bible – opened to their understanding (Verse 12), so that, as they would, their names would be written in God’s Book of Life (Verse 15), assured og receiving everlasting life.
Death before life will be celebrated by faithful Christians this year as they observe God’s commanded festival of the Passover, picturing Jesus’ supreme sacrifice at Calvary’s cross. This ceremony will be observed in the evening of April 9. The rest of God’s “spring festivals” – the Days of Unleavened Bread – pictures the Christians’ need to put away sin in their lives, to be observed on April 11-16.
May all of you who read this article become true participants in this arduous journey from death to glorious life!

Pedro R. Melendez, Jr.
19032022

Life After Death? Or Death Before Life?

Many people are obsessed with the “after life” –life after death. Cultural practices of many countries include the placing of worldly goods and riches in the tomb of their departed ones, in the hope that the dead will be amply provided for in the “next life.” It’s a vain practice that ignores the old saying, “No, you can’t take it with you to your grave.”
In the Philippines among the archeological finds in Tabon Cave on Palawan Island is a clay piece believed to be a burial jar, the cover of which has an image of a man riding a boat – supposedly to transport him to a “better place.”
People have many mistaken ideas about What Happens to Man After Death? However, God’s word – the Holy Bible – has a definite and unequivocal say on this matter, among others.
Another matter that the Bible is concerned with, but which only a few people think about is death before life. There are several facets to this matter.
The most crucial facet is the death of Jesus Christ before we human beings can have life – not just physical life in this present world — but everlasting life, or immortality, as we may call it. The second Person in the Godhead – called the Logos [Greek for “Word” or “Spokesman”] had to empty Himself of His divinity in order to become a mortal human being, so He could die to pay the penalty [“wages,” Romans 6:23] of mankind’s sin: the penalty of death. Thus man would not die or “perish” but instead have everlasting life (Philippians 2:5-8; John 3:16). Jesus offered His life on Calvary’s cross as a “ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6). [See: The True Christ, Forgiveness in the New Testament, and The Ransomed of the LORD.]
The next facet of death before life is embodied in Christ’s saying in Luke 9:23-24 – “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life [by following one’s own ways contrary to God’s] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
The cross was the cruel Roman device to execute criminals through slow but sure death. Christ commands that anyone who will follow Him needs to take up his own cross daily – to die to his old, sinful self every day, in order to find everlasting life [be saved].
The apostle Paul, whom Jesus especially ordained to preach His gospel, put it this way: “Shall we continue in sin [so] that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death? Threfore we were buried with Him through baptism unto death, [so] that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Paul explained that “our old man [our previous sinful life] was crucified with Him, [so] that the body of sin might be done away, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died [to sin] has been freed from sin. Now if we died in Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that /Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise, you also reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Verses 8-11).
Paul admonished: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your [bodily] members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Verses 12-13). We are to become “slaves of righteousness” instead of slaves of sin or unrighteousness – uncleanness or lawlessness [Verses 17-19). Thus we will have [the] “fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life (Vewrse 22).
It is such people – true Christians – who, though now physically dead [who “sleep in the dust”] will “awake… to everlasting life” and “will shine like the brightness of the firmament…like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).
Jesus spoke of this same event: “…all who are in the graves will hear His [Christ’s] voice and come forth [arise] – those who have done good [the righteous], to the resurrection of life [everlasting]” (John 5:28-29).
Paul confirmed these words when he wrote about the “coming of the Lord,” when “He will descend from heaven with a cloud, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first, b Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord [in His kingdom on earth]” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
Paul also wrote about this in his famous “resurrection chapter” – 1 Corinthians 15, especially Verses 51-55.
Another facet of the matter of death before life concerns everyone. Paul declared: “…it is appointed [by God] for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27|). That judgment comes when Christ, he Judge of both the living and the dead” returns to judge the earth (Psalm 98:9; Acts 10:42).
Those who have died without Christ in their lives will be resurrected to mortal life at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign on earth (Revelation 20:5). [See: This Is not the Only Day of Salvation.] This will be their opportunity to have God’s book [Greek biblia] – the Holy Bible – opened to their understanding (Verse 12), so that, as they would, their names would be written in God’s Book of Life (Verse 15), assured og receiving everlasting life.
Death before life will be celebrated by faithful Christians this year as they observe God’s commanded festival of the Passover, picturing Jesus’ supreme sacrifice at Calvary’s cross. This ceremony will be observed in the evening of April 9. The rest of God’s “spring festivals” – the Days of Unleavened Bread – pictures the Christians’ need to put away sin in their lives, to be observed on April 11-16.
May all of you who read this article become true participants in this arduous journey from death to glorious life!

Pedro R. Melendez, Jr.
19032022

Life After Death? Or Death Before Life?

Many people are obsessed with the “after life” –life after death. Cultural practices of many countries include the placing of worldly goods and riches in the tomb of their departed ones, in the hope that the dead will be amply provided for in the “next life.” It’s a vain practice that ignores the old saying, “No, you can’t take it with you to your grave.”
In the Philippines among the archeological finds in Tabon Cave on Palawan Island is a clay piece believed to be a burial jar, the cover of which has an image of a man riding a boat – supposedly to transport him to a “better place.”
People have many mistaken ideas about What Happens to Man After Death? However, God’s word – the Holy Bible – has a definite and unequivocal say on this matter, among others.
Another matter that the Bible is concerned with, but which only a few people think about is death before life. There are several facets to this matter.
The most crucial facet is the death of Jesus Christ before we human beings can have life – not just physical life in this present world — but everlasting life, or immortality, as we may call it. The second Person in the Godhead – called the Logos [Greek for “Word” or “Spokesman”] had to empty Himself of His divinity in order to become a mortal human being, so He could die to pay the penalty [“wages,” Romans 6:23] of mankind’s sin: the penalty of death. Thus man would not die or “perish” but instead have everlasting life (Philippians 2:5-8; John 3:16). Jesus offered His life on Calvary’s cross as a “ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6). [See: The True Christ, Forgiveness in the New Testament, and The Ransomed of the LORD.]
The next facet of death before life is embodied in Christ’s saying in Luke 9:23-24 – “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life [by following one’s own ways contrary to God’s] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
The cross was the cruel Roman device to execute criminals through slow but sure death. Christ commands that anyone who will follow Him needs to take up his own cross daily – to die to his old, sinful self every day, in order to find everlasting life [be saved].
The apostle Paul, whom Jesus especially ordained to preach His gospel, put it this way: “Shall we continue in sin [so] that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death? Threfore we were buried with Him through baptism unto death, [so] that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Paul explained that “our old man [our previous sinful life] was crucified with Him, [so] that the body of sin might be done away, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died [to sin] has been freed from sin. Now if we died in Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that /Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise, you also reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Verses 8-11).
Paul admonished: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your [bodily] members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Verses 12-13). We are to become “slaves of righteousness” instead of slaves of sin or unrighteousness – uncleanness or lawlessness [Verses 17-19). Thus we will have [the] “fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life (Vewrse 22).
It is such people – true Christians – who, though now physically dead [who “sleep in the dust”] will “awake… to everlasting life” and “will shine like the brightness of the firmament…like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).
Jesus spoke of this same event: “…all who are in the graves will hear His [Christ’s] voice and come forth [arise] – those who have done good [the righteous], to the resurrection of life [everlasting]” (John 5:28-29).
Paul confirmed these words when he wrote about the “coming of the Lord,” when “He will descend from heaven with a cloud, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first, b Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord [in His kingdom on earth]” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
Paul also wrote about this in his famous “resurrection chapter” – 1 Corinthians 15, especially Verses 51-55.
Another facet of the matter of death before life concerns everyone. Paul declared: “…it is appointed [by God] for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27|). That judgment comes when Christ, he Judge of both the living and the dead” returns to judge the earth (Psalm 98:9; Acts 10:42).
Those who have died without Christ in their lives will be resurrected to mortal life at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign on earth (Revelation 20:5). [See: This Is not the Only Day of Salvation.] This will be their opportunity to have God’s book [Greek biblia] – the Holy Bible – opened to their understanding (Verse 12), so that, as they would, their names would be written in God’s Book of Life (Verse 15), assured og receiving everlasting life.
Death before life will be celebrated by faithful Christians this year as they observe God’s commanded festival of the Passover, picturing Jesus’ supreme sacrifice at Calvary’s cross. This ceremony will be observed in the evening of April 9. The rest of God’s “spring festivals” – the Days of Unleavened Bread – pictures the Christians’ need to put away sin in their lives, to be observed on April 11-16.
May all of you who read this article become true participants in this arduous journey from death to glorious life!

Pedro R. Melendez, Jr.
19032022

Life After Death? Or Death Before Life?

Many people are obsessed with the “after life” –life after death. Cultural practices of many countries include the placing of worldly goods and riches in the tomb of their departed ones, in the hope that the dead will be amply provided for in the “next life.” It’s a vain practice that ignores the old saying, “No, you can’t take it with you to your grave.”
In the Philippines among the archeological finds in Tabon Cave on Palawan Island is a clay piece believed to be a burial jar, the cover of which has an image of a man riding a boat – supposedly to transport him to a “better place.”
People have many mistaken ideas about What Happens to Man After Death? However, God’s word – the Holy Bible – has a definite and unequivocal say on this matter, among others.
Another matter that the Bible is concerned with, but which only a few people think about is death before life. There are several facets to this matter.
The most crucial facet is the death of Jesus Christ before we human beings can have life – not just physical life in this present world — but everlasting life, or immortality, as we may call it. The second Person in the Godhead – called the Logos [Greek for “Word” or “Spokesman”] had to empty Himself of His divinity in order to become a mortal human being, so He could die to pay the penalty [“wages,” Romans 6:23] of mankind’s sin: the penalty of death. Thus man would not die or “perish” but instead have everlasting life (Philippians 2:5-8; John 3:16). Jesus offered His life on Calvary’s cross as a “ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6). [See: The True Christ, Forgiveness in the New Testament, and The Ransomed of the LORD.]
The next facet of death before life is embodied in Christ’s saying in Luke 9:23-24 – “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life [by following one’s own ways contrary to God’s] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
The cross was the cruel Roman device to execute criminals through slow but sure death. Christ commands that anyone who will follow Him needs to take up his own cross daily – to die to his old, sinful self every day, in order to find everlasting life [be saved].
The apostle Paul, whom Jesus especially ordained to preach His gospel, put it this way: “Shall we continue in sin [so] that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death? Threfore we were buried with Him through baptism unto death, [so] that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Paul explained that “our old man [our previous sinful life] was crucified with Him, [so] that the body of sin might be done away, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died [to sin] has been freed from sin. Now if we died in Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that /Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise, you also reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Verses 8-11).
Paul admonished: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your [bodily] members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Verses 12-13). We are to become “slaves of righteousness” instead of slaves of sin or unrighteousness – uncleanness or lawlessness [Verses 17-19). Thus we will have [the] “fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life (Vewrse 22).
It is such people – true Christians – who, though now physically dead [who “sleep in the dust”] will “awake… to everlasting life” and “will shine like the brightness of the firmament…like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).
Jesus spoke of this same event: “…all who are in the graves will hear His [Christ’s] voice and come forth [arise] – those who have done good [the righteous], to the resurrection of life [everlasting]” (John 5:28-29).
Paul confirmed these words when he wrote about the “coming of the Lord,” when “He will descend from heaven with a cloud, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first, b Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord [in His kingdom on earth]” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
Paul also wrote about this in his famous “resurrection chapter” – 1 Corinthians 15, especially Verses 51-55.
Another facet of the matter of death before life concerns everyone. Paul declared: “…it is appointed [by God] for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27|). That judgment comes when Christ, he Judge of both the living and the dead” returns to judge the earth (Psalm 98:9; Acts 10:42).
Those who have died without Christ in their lives will be resurrected to mortal life at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign on earth (Revelation 20:5). [See: This Is not the Only Day of Salvation.] This will be their opportunity to have God’s book [Greek biblia] – the Holy Bible – opened to their understanding (Verse 12), so that, as they would, their names would be written in God’s Book of Life (Verse 15), assured og receiving everlasting life.
Death before life will be celebrated by faithful Christians this year as they observe God’s commanded festival of the Passover, picturing Jesus’ supreme sacrifice at Calvary’s cross. This ceremony will be observed in the evening of April 9. The rest of God’s “spring festivals” – the Days of Unleavened Bread – pictures the Christians’ need to put away sin in their lives, to be observed on April 11-16.
May all of you who read this article become true participants in this arduous journey from death to glorious life!

 

Many people are obsessed with the “after life” –life after death. Cultural practices of many countries include the placing of worldly goods and riches in the tomb of their departed ones, in the hope that the dead will be amply provided for in the “next life.” It’s a vain practice that ignores the old saying, “No, you can’t take it with you to your grave.”

In the Philippines among the archeological finds in Tabon Cave on Palawan Island is a clay piece believed to be a burial jar, the cover of which has an image of a man riding a boat – supposedly to transport him to a “better place.”

People have many mistaken ideas about What Happens to Man After

Many people are obsessed with the “after life” –life after death. Cultural practices of many countries include the placing of worldly goods and riches in the tomb of their departed ones, in the hope that the dead will be amply provided for in the “next life.” It’s a vain practice that ignores the old saying, “No, you can’t take it with you to your grave.”

In the Philippines among the archeological finds in Tabon Cave on Palawan Island is a clay piece believed to be a burial jar, the cover of which has an image of a man riding a boat – supposedly to transport him to a “better place.”

People have many mistaken ideas about What Happens to Man After Death? However, God’s word – the Holy Bible – has a definite and unequivocal say on this matter, among others.

Another matter that the Bible is concerned with, but which only a few people think about is death before life. There are several facets to this matter.

The most crucial facet is the death of Jesus Christ before we human beings can have life – not just physical life in this present world — but everlasting life, or immortality, as we may call it. The second Person in the Godhead – called the Logos [Greek for “Word” or “Spokesman”] had to empty Himself of His divinity in order to become a mortal human being, so He could die to pay the penalty [“wages,” Romans 6:23] of mankind’s sin: the penalty of death. Thus man would not die or “perish” but instead have everlasting life (Philippians 2:5-8; John 3:16). Jesus offered His life on Calvary’s cross as a “ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6). [See: The True Christ, Forgiveness in the Bible, and The Ransomed of the LORD.]

The next facet of death before life is embodied in Christ’s saying in Luke 9:23-24 – “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life [by following one’s own ways contrary to God’s] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”

The cross was the cruel Roman device to execute criminals through slow but sure death. Christ commands that anyone who will follow Him needs to take up his own cross daily – to die to his old, sinful self every day, in order to find everlasting life [be saved].

The apostle Paul, whom Jesus especially ordained to preach His gospel, put it this way: “Shall we continue in sin [so] that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism unto death, [so] that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Paul explained that “our old man [our previous sinful life] was crucified with Him, [so] that the body of sin might be done away, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died [to sin] has been freed from sin. Now if we died in Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that /Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise, you also reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Verses 8-11).

Paul admonished: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your [bodily] members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Verses 12-13). We are to become “slaves of righteousness” instead of slaves of sin or unrighteousness – uncleanness or lawlessness [Verses 17-19). Thus we will have [the] “fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life (Verse 22).

It is such people – true Christians – who, though now physically dead [who “sleep in the dust”] will “awake… to everlasting life” and “will shine like the brightness of the firmament…like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).

Jesus spoke of this same event: “…all who are in the graves will hear His [Christ’s] voice and come forth [arise] – those who have done good [the righteous], to the resurrection of life [everlasting]” (John 5:28-29).

Paul confirmed these words when he wrote about the “coming of the Lord,” when “He will descend from heaven with a cloud, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord [in His kingdom on earth]” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

Paul also wrote about this in his famous “resurrection chapter” – 1 Corinthians 15, especially Verses 51-55.

Another facet of the matter of death before life concerns everyone. Paul declared: “…it is appointed [by God] for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27|). That judgment comes when Christ, he Judge of both the living and the dead” returns to judge the earth (Psalm 98:9; Acts 10:42).

Those who have died without Christ in their lives will be resurrected to mortal life at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign on earth (Revelation 20:5). [See: This Is Not the Only Day of Salvation.] This will be their opportunity to have God’s book [Greek biblia] – the Holy Bible – opened to their understanding (Verse 12), so that, as they would, their names would be written in The Book of Life (Verse 15), assured of receiving everlasting life.

Death before life will be celebrated by faithful Christians this year as they observe God’s commanded festival of the Passover, picturing Jesus’ supreme sacrifice at Calvary’s cross. This ceremony will be observed in the evening of April 9. The rest of God’s “spring festivals” – the Days of Unleavened Bread – pictures the Christians’ need to put away sin in their lives, to be observed on April 11-16.

May all of you who read this article become true participants in this arduous journey from death to glorious life!

 

Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.
19032022

 

 

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