What Will Become of Death When Jesus Returns? #147
Hello Friends, and happy Lord’s Day to you! As I do every Sunday of late, I’d love to invite you to join with our church – Valley Baptist Church in Salinas, Alabama – for a time of worship and Word and Prayer this morning at 11am Pacific. You can join us live at VBC Salinas, or come to that page and find the video and join us on tape delay, so to speak. The message today dovetails with our conversation topic quite well, and it is on a fascinating biblical topic, The City of God. I noticed several of you joining us last week, including John Finch, and some Alabama friends, and I hope you all can make it this week too! Our Bible readings for the day includes Numbers 33, Psalms 78, Isaiah 25 and 1 John 3.
Today’s pod, as almost always on Sunday, will be fairly short, but our question is very significant. The Bible tells us clearly that DEATH is an enemy. Almost all of us listening have faced the specter of death before – either as a scare in our own lives, or as a loss of somebody that we dearly loved. Our church family has experienced more than one death this week in their family, and there are many to grieve with right now. When we experience death, we agree with the Bible’s characterization of death as an enemy:
25 For he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death.
1 Corinthians 15:25-26
Our focus passage today in Isaiah, gave Old Testament saints a hint (that we now see realized in the resurrection of Jesus) that death would be no more at some point. Let’s read it and then come back and celebrate!
On this mountain,
the Lord of Armies will prepare for all the peoples a feast of choice meat,
a feast with aged wine, prime cuts of choice meat, fine vintage wine.
7 On this mountain
he will swallow up the burial shroud,
the shroud over all the peoples,
the sheet covering all the nations.
8 When he has swallowed up death once and for all,
the Lord God will wipe away the tears
from every face
and remove his people’s disgrace
from the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9 On that day it will be said,
“Look, this is our God;
we have waited for him, and he has saved us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him.
Let’s rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
What a wonderful, wonderful promise! Death will be SWALLOWED up by God and He will wipe away ALL of our tears. The beginning of the end of death happened on resurrection Sunday, almost 2000 years ago:
14 Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.
But we are still living under the fist and thumb of the enemy and death…however, as Isaiah tells us – the day is coming when human history ends with the FEAST of the Lamb AND the ultimate destruction of death AND the wiping of every tear from every eye by God. That gets us to Revelation 21, maybe my favorite chapter in the Bible. Let’s read a chunk of it and exult in its truth!
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.
5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life. 7 The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
If you are in the pit today, metaphorically – for any reason whatsoever, allow me to encourage you to spend your day – over and over – going back to Revelation 21 and the beautiful end of history. No matter how bleak your life is now, the one who promised you abundant life is coming back, and the end of all things – right before you step into eternity – is going to be beautiful and wonderful beyond compare. Death and sorrow and pain and grief will be NO MORE. MARANATHA!