Yesterday we completed the Daily Notes on the Apostles Creed. There is one last matter relating to the Creed that I would like to deal with today before we return to “Dare to be a Daniel”. Most people live on earth without any thought to who we really are and where we are really heading for after this life on earth. The most common religions in the open world (first world and all countries aligned with or associating in some way with the first world) are the Religion of Materialism and the Religion of Secularism. In both these religions, it’s all about the here and now; what possessions I can amass; what image I can portray; what wealth I can have; what friends in high places can I draw as friends that will boost me in society; etc. etc. There is absolutely no thought given to death and what happens after death. Largely these people do not believe in life after death even if they say they do, because they live their lives as if they don’t believe in a life after death. They are absorbed with self, pleasure and what they can extract out of others for self-gain. They use and abuse and trample on others to achieve personal objectives. As long as “I” am satisfied and experiencing kicks and pleasure its all okay. Let me analyze such a person briefly.
1) The World-ling. This person can only be described as “death”. They even smell like death and look like death. The very clothing they wear, which might be expensive; The very hairstyle that is popular fashion; The very car they drive which might be off the top rack; The very friends they have who might be reeking of wealth; The very things they do and places they frequent … smells of death. This does not mean to say these things are necessary bad and wicked, but how they are used and what experience they produce and the effect they make on the soul of the person is the real issue. Mostly such people are in death and living in death and are oblivious to it.
(1) They are spiritually dead. They don’t realize it because their religion (Secularism and Materialism) only caters for the body and imagine and how onlookers and associates (yes associates not friends) perceive them! We have dealt sufficiently with passages from the Bible as we considered the Creed to know that man is “body and soul”. This soul of theirs is dead … dead because it lives and thrives in spiritual deadness. Where their lifestyle is a mindset and attitude, it is also a coffin. Such people are hopelessly lost in sin. They might be friendly. They might be educated. They might even be good neighbors, family members and colleagues, but they are dead … spiritually dead … and hopelessly so because they are separated from the God of the Bible and Calvary!
(2) When they who are spiritually dead die physically whilst they are spiritually dead, their soul and body are separated. Whilst this is true for all people (all souls), the awfully sadness in these cases is that they cannot change what happens after death. The separation of the body and soul implies that once the spiritually dead person dies, the body goes the route of all dead bodies, but the soul is set for judgment. How will this soul be judged? Not by what they amassed on earth. Not buy their education. Not by the way they helped their associates enjoy a decadent life. Not by slipping a few notes to the poor beggar. Not by whether they were good parents, wives, husbands or children. Not by their support of a democratically aligned political party. No, not at all. They will be judged on the condition of their soul. You see, this was the fate of the rich man in Luke 16. It was not those royal robes or his riches that kept him out of heaven. It was the condition of his soul. His soul’s god was materialism and secularism. He lived for the moment in luxurious pleasure and entertainment. And he was judged and sent to hell where his life was agony. Go and read Luke 16.
(3) It is here that eternal death is the owner of the lost, hopeless soul. “Death” here depicts the depravity of the soul. It speaks of being naked with no covering for sin. It speaks of being decorated in all the filth of evil for all of one’s life … and is separated from God for all eternity! That is everlasting death. Yes there will be pain and suffering and agony as Luke 16 says but the greater “hell” is the soul’s eternal separation from God forever! The route idea of death in the Bible means separation … final, forever separation from God.
2) The Heaven-ling. The opposition of death is life … and the route of “life” in the Bible is union … union with God.
(1) The first union is that of the soul with God because the soul is spiritually alive. This soul was once spiritually dead and might have been the same as the person whose followed the religions of Materialism and Secularism … but heard the gospel invitation and responded positively. This soul understood its lost-ness in sin compared to the holiness of God. This soul became aware that death in this state would be eternal hell. This soul grasped that God came to earth, died on the Cross, rose three days later … to pay for all the sin and guilt of every believing soul. This soul believed this and turned to follow Jesus. This soul confessed all sin and pleaded for pardon. This soul proved its genuineness through repentance … turning away from those other “religions” and “gods” to follow Jesus Christ as Sovereign and Lord. This soul is Born Again, spiritually alive and in love with God.
(2) The second union is that this soul is physically alive … the body and soul are in union. It will not always be like this, but the body is the vehicle in which the soul is housed whilst preparing for its future with Jesus in heaven.
(3) The third union is that of the soul, being united with its spiritual body and together being united with God in heaven. The soul who is alive will be judged when the body dies and will be declared not guilty because of the Blood of Jesus and be ushered into heaven where it will receive its spiritual body. Now union with God is in person where eternal life is lived out with God forever. Friend, hopefully you have read the Notes on the Creed (Doctrines of the Christian Faith) and this one … where do you stand with God? You are either spiritually alive or spiritually dead. If you are still spiritually dead, please come to Jesus today for pardon through repentance and faith.
O God, mercifully save lost souls for Jesus sake. Amen.