Today’s message summary of April 16, 2017 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:
We see death everyday. Death reigns in this world. We see this because Adam sinned against God in disobedience, and as a result, all who have followed Adam would pay the penalty of sin, and that is to die. We all will die eventually. It is inescapable.
The other dilemma in this is not knowing when it will happen. It happens to all regardless of wealth or race. Death is the great equalizer.
Indeed, I took all this to heart and explained it all: the righteous, the wise, and their works are in God’s hands. People don’t know whether to expect love or hate. Everything lies ahead of them. Everything is the same for everyone: there is one fate for the righteous and the wicked, for the good and the bad, for the clean and the unclean, for the one who sacrifices and the one who does not sacrifice. As it is for the good, so it is for the sinner; as for the one who takes an oath, so for the one who fears an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: there is one fate for everyone. In addition, the hearts of people are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live—after that they go to the dead. But there is hope for whoever is joined with all the living, since a live dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything. There is no longer a reward for them because the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate, and their envy have already disappeared, and there is no longer a portion for them in all that is done under the sun.
All other religions try to address the problem that death presents.
The question to pose here: Will we rise again?
The believer who is in Christ will not escape the first death but will escape the second one.
Please make a note of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was unique in that he was the only one who did not die a second time. All of the others, according to Scripture, who were raised up also died once again.
Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years.
For those who were raised in the first resurrection, they were blessed. There were many blessings of happiness as noted in the beatitudes:
When He saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. Then He began to teach them, saying:
“The poor in spirit are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Those who mourn are blessed,
for they will be comforted.
The gentle are blessed,
for they will inherit the earth.
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed,
for they will be filled.
The merciful are blessed,
for they will be shown mercy.
The pure in heart are blessed,
for they will see God.
The peacemakers are blessed,
for they will be called sons of God.
Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
“You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me.
I believe that John, in the Revelation text, is conveying that there will be great happiness and joy with the first resurrection.
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: The dead who die in the Lord from now on are blessed.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!”
We will be raised with a sanctified, holy body, and in that resurrection we will be made perfect with a body that will never deteriorate. Nothing unclean will ever enter the kingdom of God. The first resurrection is for God’s people. The second death has no power or effect over them.
What is the second death? It is an eternal death. If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, you will receive a body that will be suitable for eternal damnation.
Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
This means there are some here today that will die and also “die again.”
But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
The two deaths differ. The first is physical, and the second is spiritual. It is eternal and filled with torment.
The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The Lord gives a warning to the church about all of this:
Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death.
In Revelation 20:6, the passage notes that all who follow Jesus Christ are referred to as priests. Priests, in the Old Testament, were the ones appointed to speaking and carrying out the duties and responsibilities to the people. We are all called priests, which was a high calling, as we are saints of God who believe.
It is true that we will be raised again after death, but the question is where will we find ourselves. Those who believe in Jesus Christ will escape the second death, and will fellowship with Jesus Christ for all eternity.