Life After Death
Elder Jeff Winfrey, Pastor
Dawson Springs Primitive Baptist Church
101 E. Walnut Street
Dawson Springs, KY 42408
Oh! To Conquer Death
The scriptures are dreadfully honest concerning life and death in this world. It is repeatedly acknowledged that life in this world is short and death is to be quickly expected. The straightforward manner in which God’s word speaks of a fleeting life and a waiting death is illustrated in the following passages:
For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. (James 4:14)
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. (1 Peter 1:24)
Behold, thou hast made my days as a handbreadth (Psalm 39:5)
We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:9-10)
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:19)
Oh, men do yearn for a life after death. Is there any hope of such? Christ said that there was, and He lives to prove it.
The Fear of Death
There is much fear in the minds of many concerning what awaits us at the point of death. We, as mortals, quickly spend our days in this world and enter death’s door with no power to conquer the beast. But God’s true word claims that the beast was once conquered. Yes, we have heard good news of a man who did defeat death—even the man Jesus Christ, the Resurrected One. He said that He would rise again after three days—and He did. He also said that His children would live after death. Do you believe that He who raised Himself to life can do it for others? If you believe that He can and that He will, then you can be different to the world “who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrew 2:15)
If you know what Jesus did and what He has yet promised to do; therein, you will find relief from your fears concerning death. God’s children can enter death’s door, not knowing how to conquer the beast, but knowing the One who has already conquered it. Jesus conquered death in His own behalf. And through His death and resurrection He has conquered death for us. Through Him eternal life waits for us in a world to come. And through the knowledge of Him and His promises, a life without fear of death can be experienced in this world.
Many of God’s children need to be delivered from this fear of death. Jesus will deliver His children through death to life, and the knowledge of Jesus will deliver His children through the bondage of fear to a life of peace.
The Spirit After Death
In order to have relief from the fear of death the child of God needs to know some things that God’s word promises to us as His children. It is abundantly clear that death is not truly death to God’s children. Jesus has abolished death for His children and has brought the understanding of this continuous existence of a life and immortality to our understanding through the good news of the gospel.
The scriptures teach that the spirit, the very life, of the child of God is immediately whisked from this world to the next at the passing we call death. Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord and that to die is gain. The thief asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus got to His kingdom. Jesus said to him on that day of his death, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Jesus speaking of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob said that God is not the God of the dead but the God of the living, indicating that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not dead, but alive with God. This is true of the thief, and of Paul, and of thousands upon thousands of God’s children from Adam to now. The child of God who was given eternal life in the new birth retains that life; and he or she never ceases to live. The life just passes from this realm to the place where Jesus dwells.
And it will remain true when it comes time for you and me to pass from this world. The knowledge of the passing of our lives to a better world instead of the ending of our lives sure does help us to conquer the fear of death
Near the time of His own passing Jesus also left us with these words, “Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
The Body at Resurrection
It is a glorious thought to anticipate our spirits, even our lives, in heaven with Jesus forever. And to think that our lives do not end, but go to be with Him would seem to be a sufficient eternal outcome. But truly the most glorious part is yet to come.
Jesus left us with these words, “Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Upon Jesus’ ascension into heaven the angel proclaimed that “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”
And Jesus will return in the clouds one day with a purpose. “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.” We are promised that these mortal bodies will rise again, that the mortal shall put on immortality, and that even the death of the body is swallowed up in victory. He paid for body, soul and spirit at the cross. Yes, the spirit, the life, goes home immediately, but the day will come when the bodies will rise and be reunited with the spirits. What a Savior!! What a victory!!