Saturday, October 30, 2010

Speaking of the dead ...

Sunday is All Hollow’s Eve; Monday is the Feast of All Saints. Although lately a lot of good Bible studies and commentaries that speak of a renewed heaven and earth have been published, still there is that time of being absent from the body and present with the Lord. As Paul stated:

For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. (Phil 1:21-24)
Richard Wurmbrand, the Lutheran pastor who suffered many years in communist prisons, tells the story of several prisoners gathering for communion. Since one, who was of an Orthodox Church, insisted that the communion must be over the bones of a saint they celebrated communion over the dying body of one of the saints in that prison.

And that is often what belonging to Jesus is about-always with the Lord, always in communion with the saints, always relating to the suffering of Christ and his people. And that is also what death and heaven are about for Christians. Death and heaven, they are about Jesus. Nothing, not even death “will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 8:39)”

In Revelation the dead are called blessed. The text states, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying write ‘blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” The Holy Spirit confirms the words with the promise of rest and the redemption of not only the saints but of their work on earth. “Their deeds follow with them. (Revelation 14:13)"

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