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Christian Perspective About Death

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II Corinthians 5:8 "We are of good courage, I say, and prefer to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."

There is no intermediate state. The Bible teaches us there is no soul sleep, no purgatory, but instant entrance into God's presence and home. So, heaven is our eternal home. Our Lord is there. Our friends and loved ones in Christ are there. There is no sin nor sinful nature there to cause unhappiness.

Death for the believer is not a venture into the unknown, or a strange or alien atmosphere: it’s like going home. But it is even more wonderful than that because it is a home in God’s presence.

 While the ultimate wiping away of every tear awaits the final battle and the resurrection, our victory in Christ means that at death, we are ushered into the Lord's presence which brings joy unspeakable. In this heavenly home there won't be the sorrow, the tears, and the pain that we have here, and certainly, there is no death there (Rev. 21:4). The believer there experiences perfect happiness and all the joys which attend being in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

When thinking of the glories of heaven and being at home with the Lord, the apostle Paul wrote, "I am in a straight between two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better, or to abide here."

So you can see we should receive much comfort and joy if we think about what death really means to the departed believer in Christ.

 Our victory in Christ also assures us that the believer will one day experience a glorious resurrection and a glorified body like that of Christ. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me though he were dead, yet shall he live."

Paul said, "For our manner of life is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil. 3:20-21).

This life is so often beset by ailing and painfully sick bodies, but our future body will know no such problems.

 The Word of God assures us that the victory accomplished for us by the Lord Jesus means a glorious, eternal inheritance "an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, that fadeth not away, which is reserved in heaven for those who are kept by the power of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:3-5).

In other words, our heavenly inheritance is everything that our earthy inheritances are not. Our heavenly inheritance is: incorruptible in substance, undefiled in purity, unfading in beauty and joy, and reserved in heaven (kept sure) for every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ by the eternal power and love of God in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:39).

This means that our work on earth is never forgotten and that the labors of believers will follow them into eternity. So the Apostle concludes the resurrection chapter with these words:

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).

 Finally, we can find further comfort in knowing "that precious in the sight of the LORD, is the death of His saints." There are no accidents with God, His timing is perfect, and He works all things together for good, for the one taken and those left (Rom. 8:28-29). When a believer is called home, it's because God's purposes for that believer are over. It's because in God's love and wisdom, He wants that believer with Him in glory.

The apostle also wrote: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Posted by William Price with 0 Comments
in Faith

Going to Battle

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The phrase “resist the devil” is found in James 4:7 where the apostle James exhorts believers to resist the devil in order to cause him to flee or “run away” from us. To resist means to withstand, strive against, or oppose in some manner.
 
Resistance can be a defensive maneuver on our part, such as resisting or withstanding the temptation to sin. Or it can be an action we take to use the only offensive weapon in the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18), the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Using the Scriptures to expose Satan’s lies and temptations is the most effective way to strive against and defeat them.
 
It is important to read the whole verse: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Resisting the devil must be accompanied by submitting to God. A disobedient or unsubmissive believer will not see victory.
 
The apostle John records Jesus saying about Satan, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). As Christians, we have full life when we are aware of the reality of the presence of evil.
 
As we struggle to stand firm in our faith, we must realize that the enemies we are up against are not merely human ideas, but real forces that come from the powers of darkness. The Bible says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
 
Why will resistance cause the devil to flee? Because he knows he cannot have victory over us if we are prepared to do battle against him. As mentioned before, the Bible assures us that we need only put on the full armor of God to be fully protected from evil and to actively resist it.
 
There is nothing more frightening to Satan than a believer who is fully equipped with spiritual armor, beginning with the “helmet of salvation,” which protects our minds, and the “breastplate of righteousness,” which protects our hearts because it is the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Only a true believer wears these because only those who have received God’s forgiveness by grace through faith have eternal salvation and the righteousness of Christ imputed to them.
 
Once fitted with the helmet and breastplate (literally, “chest protector”), we are then to take up other defensive weapons with which to battle Satan: truth, the readiness to proclaim the gospel, and the faith that shields us from all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
 
The final piece of armor is prayer. We pray for strength to resist evil and to actively battle against it. We pray for wisdom in the conflict, and most of all, we remain steadfast in our prayers, both for the ability to resist the devil and also for other believers who struggle in the same battle. When the church, the body of Christ, stands united against evil, fully equipped with the armor of God, we present a formidable foe to the evil one and we will see God get the glory for the victory.
 
As a side note, the Bible never gives Christians the authority to “rebuke” the devil, only to resist him. Zechariah 3:2 tells us that it is the Lord who rebukes Satan. Even Michael, one of the most powerful of the angels, did not dare to accuse Satan, but rather said, "The Lord rebuke you" (Jude 1:9).
 
In response to Satan's attacks, Christians should redouble our efforts to clothe ourselves in the spiritual armor, wield the Word of God, and rely on His power through prayer. Instead of focusing on “rebuking” the devil, we should focus on resisting him with the full armor of God.
Posted by William Price with 0 Comments

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