The Daily Word of Righteousness

He Will Never Die

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25,26—NIV)

The Lord Jesus told us whoever lives and believes in Him will never die. We understand He is not referring to physical death (which the New Testament often refers to as "sleep"). Somehow, it appears, the concept that the true saint will never die has been buried under the tradition of "going to Heaven."

Perhaps there is more to the idea of continuing to live than that of going to Heaven to reside forever. Perhaps the emphasis is on continuing to live on the earth. Maybe this is the meaning of John 3:16!

There may be no more profound concept in the New Testament than this.

We need to consider the meaning of life. To live is to move about, think, speak, imagine, plan, love, hate, and everything else involved in being a person. Physical death puts an end to all of this—we suppose!

The concept of obtaining eternal residence in Heaven is so deeply entrenched in Christian thinking that the message of the Gospel is not clear to us. Dying and going to Heaven is not associated in our mind with living. We don't really know what to expect when we die. We talk about mansions and being with Jesus and our loved ones. We expect to be free from dread, fear, worry, pain, sickness. But we do not associate this with living in the customary usage of the term.

We lose a child in a car accident. We hope to see the child in Heaven when we get there. Will he or she be the same age? We do not know. Our beloved son or daughter is somewhere beyond the stars. He or she is dead! Dead! The Lord Jesus can talk about our child being only asleep, but we know our little Sally or Tim is dead. Why can't we get used to the idea? Our darling is gone!

The talented pianist practices diligently for forty years to perfect the Beethoven sonatas. He has a heart attack and dies. Now no one can enjoy the perfect rendition he is capable of. He is dead! Gone! His days of performing on the piano are no more. The artist is decomposing in the ground. Can we accept it? Bach is no more. Beethoven is no more. Rembrandt van Rijn is a grinning skull and a pile of dust.

Death makes a mockery of our talents and accomplishments. It separates us from those we love most. Oh yes, they are in Heaven, up somewhere with the tinkling bells and the angels. Will they be in white robes floating above the ground? Will they look the same? We understand we can't really touch them. They will be quite different, we suppose, not really the same.

How would you respond if I told you this is not the Gospel of the Kingdom of God? It is part of the mythology of the Christian religion.

To be continued.