ESOCS Devotional 12 November 2023 – The Blessedness of Death
MEMORY VERSE: ““And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13
TEXT:REVELATION 14:13- END; 15: 1-4 (KJV)
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
The subject of death is one that we cannot run away from because death itself is inevitable. Even though death has come to be a part of this present life its thought remains unbearable. The thought of dying or losing a loved one is something that is very scary. Our natural reaction to death is the evidence that it was never part of God’s plan for us. But as scriptures reveal; through the sin of Adam, sin came into the world and death by sin; so, death reigned over all because all have sinned. Since then, death has been man’s greatest nightmare, man’s greatest fear. There’s nothing that terrifies man than the thought of death because death is the end of life. Death is the end of every ambition, every vision, and every plan. Death is considered so horrible that a man would give up everything once life is threatened. Even the scriptures present death as an enemy “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26). And God Himself sees the death of His saints as something costly. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalms 116:15). So, we can generally conclude that death is an unwelcomed intruder. But our study text presents us with a different view of death. The blessedness of death: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”
The question then is WHAT CHANGED? How does that which the bible considers a terrible thing turn to be a blessing? We can find the answer in Hebrews 2:14: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
Jesus through His own death destroyed the power of sin and death and made immortality available for mankind. He paid the full price of sin and stripped death of its power. By this act he provided for us an opportunity to live again. Death is therefore no longer the end of life but a transition into another life. There is yet another life as also there is yet another death. The death and resurrection of Jesus made eternal life available for us. What this means is that life does not end with this present natural life, there is yet another. To take a part in the second life one must take part in the second birth. As there are two kinds of lives so also are there two kinds of deaths; the first death is natural, which is the separation of the spirit of man from body and the second is the eternal death which is the eternal separation of man from God his Creator. As there are two kinds of births there are also two ways of dying. It is either one dies in the Lord or one dies in sin. Jesus said in John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” To die in one’s sins means to carry one’s sin into death with him. The opposite of this is to die in the Lord. Christ took our sins into His death, so that if you are in Him, you will not take them into yours.
FURTHER READINGS: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16
ESOCS Devotional 12 November 2023