Blessed are the Dead

With all the daily doses of death and destruction in the news these days, it is extremely difficult not to become insensitive and callous. With each homicidal Islamic maniac blowing up himself and others in all parts of the world, it is becoming easier for people to get used to the miserable news. To top it all off, everyone anxiously awaits the outcome of the showdown with Saddam Hussein, as to whether or not he insanely fights the might of the American military machine. If he does will his terrorist friends increase their attacks on Israel and America causing more despair and death? Or will Saddam put on a Anwar Sadat impression and lead the Islamic nations into making peace with Israel? Life is full of sickness and death without all of this war and terrorism. We are confronted with our mortality daily and even though the media is becoming interested in “End Time” events, I have yet to hear one newsman ask the important questions: Why do people die? Is there a Heaven and Hell after death? Where did those who just died go? Will their dead bodies ever live again? Will there ever be an end to all of this?

Before I became a follower of Jesus Christ my solutions for drowning out the cries of the sick and dying came from alcohol and the things money could buy. I was as the prophet Isaiah said of Israel’s backslidden condition and their rebellious attitude when they said….”Eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die,” Isaiah 22:13. That was my way out of the misery that surrounds us all. I’m afraid that America and Israel are right now becoming consumed and overtaken with a similar attitude. God forbid that we should allow the terrorists to take away our fun and entertainment, our pursuit of more and more of this world’s goods. But America and Israel are making the same mistake as the people of Isaiah’s day; they are not looking within themselves and being honest with God about their national and personal sins. To ease their conscience and conviction, many have redefined sin and even their concept of God himself.

This grave error of indifference to sin will only grow worse and worse, leading the entire world on a collision course with God himself. The nations and religions of this world are in the beginning stages of God’s final judgment. They are reaping the whirlwind of 2000 years of indifference toward the Lord Jesus Christ and his teachings, especially those dealing with eternal life, the reality of Heaven and Hell, and his triumphant return. Sadly, this indifference is just as bad within the walls of Christendom as anywhere else. How many people who name Jesus as God and Lord really long for him to return, long to be with him in Heaven? Many say they hope to make it to Heaven someday, but very few want to go there today! This attitude marks the difference between true and false brethren. Paul in his letter to the Philippian church even dared to call them….”enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things,” Philippians 3:17-21.

When Jesus walked the Earth with his disciples, teaching and preaching the coming of his Kingdom, healing the sick and raising the dead, multitudes of disciples flocked to his side. But as he continued to teach them to pick up their cross and love their Roman enemies, they began to fall away. At one point Jesus asked those who remained with him….”Will you also go away?” Then Peter answered him and said….”To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life,” John 6:66-68. Is it any different today? Multitudes around the world claim to be Christians but shy away from talk of the second coming of Jesus, loving your enemies and picking up one’s cross. It appears that most in the western democracies follow Jesus for the health and wealth they think is their right as King’s kids.

Very few people understand deep down in their hearts what Jesus came to Earth to do. When he was condemned and crucified he took all of our sins to the bloody cross to then give us eternal life in Heaven with him forever. Then on the third day his body was raised from the dead. Most in Christendom just gloss over the resurrection and really don’t know or care what that means for them personally. Think about these things for a moment. Let it begin to soak in deep into your heart and you will realize not only how much God loves us, but also how rotten and depraved we are as selfish sinners, for we all have crucified him. Those of you who don’t think you are responsible for killing the Son of God are blinded by the hater of all men, Satan, who doesn’t want you to love Jesus, only yourself and this life. When we turn to him in repentance and faith we receive eternal life with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus then, from inside us, begins to teach us his ways. Our old life of sinful pleasures is replaced with the joy of the Lord’s presence within us. Our place and position among the nations is replaced with the citizenship of Heaven. Jesus in us fills our hearts with the desire to be with him in Heaven and to call as many as we can to join with us. Jesus gives us comfort and confidence that he has glorious future plans for our bodies.

Today it is the religious-political zealots of Islam and Christendom, who know nothing of this eternal life with Jesus and personal resurrection, that are beating the drums of war and destruction. They are lining up to bring great death and despair to the world, led by their father, Lucifer the Great. As I have written before, it will be the leaders of Islam, fearing their imminent demise by America’s military power, that will treacherously plot against Israel by making a peace covenant, thereby causing Israel and America to think they have achieved victory. They will believe the lie that Islam has reformed itself. Later, the Islamic hordes, led by Russia, will invade and overrun Israel, unleashing world war upon the planet. The God of Israel will allow this to happen to give mankind one last chance to chose eternal life and bodily resurrection through Jesus Christ. The death toll of this coming war will be in the billions!

At that time many of those Jews and Gentiles who become followers of Jesus Christ will also perish, Revelation 7:14-17, 13:7, 20:4. For the American Antichrist and his friend the Pope, will cause these followers to be hated and hunted down like wild animals for not being patriotic and refusing their loyalty mark, Revelation 13:16-18. Please read carefully the following scripture. Revelation 14:12-13…. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.”

Have you ever heard in your heart this kind of message….”Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord?” In today’s patriotic, positive thinking, prosperity minded Christendom such a thought is considered cowardly, defeatist, even delusional. Keep in mind that John is writing of saints who will be massacred by their enemies, who like Jesus before his death on the cross, refuse to take up arms and kill their enemies. Do you hear and read anywhere where John is told to build weapons and form up an army to defend themselves and the homeland? No, what you hear is….”here is the patience of the saints.” These saints know well that Jesus is coming to bring fiery judgment upon all who reject him and his offer of forgiveness. They know that only then will Satan and his fallen angels be locked up in the bottomless pit of Hell. They are content to wait for that day. John, who wrote these words as he was guided by the Holy Spirit, understood what these words mean. Even though bodily death is still the enemy of God, it is only temporary. John knew about and longed for the day when Jesus would return to resurrect the dead bodies of his followers. John knew that at the time of bodily death, his spirit would leave his body and go to be with the Lord in Heaven. John knew that the grave would not remain victorious. This message is what Christendom desperately needs to embrace, not all of this worldly philosophy of self love, prosperity and violent patriotism. But as in Paul’s day, the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who today love themselves and the pleasures of sin.

A longtime friend, who is having great difficulty repenting of his militant patriotism, recently asked me if God ever changes, quoting the scripture in Hebrews 13:8 that says…. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” It seemed as though he was trying to trap me into confessing that since God in the Old Testament commanded Israel to destroy all life in some enemy cities, Deuteronomy 20: 16-18, that it must be alright for Christians to make war today. I replied to my friend that indeed God never changes in that he is both a God of love and wrath. I asked my friend where in the New Testament did Jesus ever instruct his followers to kill his enemies, in his name, before he personally returns in fiery judgment? There was no answer! There will come a day when two Jewish prophets will call down fire from Heaven upon their enemies during the coming days of judgment, Revelation 11:5. Even then it will be angelic fire, not carnal weapons in the hands of these great prophets. There will come a day when a wrathful Jesus Christ instructs his angelic army to kill every soldier in the Middle East gathered against him. There will come a day when he will order his army to kill every person on Earth that has the loyalty mark of the Presidency, Revelation 14:9-20, 19:11-21. I told my friend that this same Jesus who came to this Earth to be rejected and killed by his own people, has only postponed the final outpouring of God’s wrath, lovingly and gracefully giving mankind time to repent and be reconciled with his creator. It’s been 2000 years and time is about up. I hope my friend repents and embraces eternal resurrection life and stops trying to have it both ways.

All of us are going to live forever. Whether you spend eternity with Jesus Christ in Heaven or with the American Antichrist and the Pope in the Lake of Fire is your choice. But you must decide before you die. There is no purgatory or second chance once your soul and spirit depart your dead body. The God of Israel created all of us living souls in physical bodies to be with him forever. But since the fall of Adam and Eve we have all been born in sin and rebellion, we have all gone astray. We all have the sentence of death upon us. The only way of escape is through repentance and faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then long for his return to give us immortal bodies that will never taste of sin and death again!