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  • Bayo Afolaranmi
    Dearly Beloved, THE IRONY OF DEATH Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2007
      Dearly Beloved,


      "'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?'
      The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks
      be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1
      Corinthians 15:55-57, NIV).

      Death is one of the themes that people hardly discuss except it
      happens. Even preachers hardly make it the theme of their sermons in
      normal situation. Sermons on death are heard mostly during funeral
      services and the Easter period when it is part of themes for the
      season. However, death is one of the inevitable things that happen to
      human beings. Someone has rightly said that death is a debt that
      everyone has to pay one day.

      Death is the main consequence of sin upon humanity (Romans 6:23).
      Biologically, physical death is the cessation of all biological
      functions of human body. Culturally, it is a departure to the
      ancestral world. Philosophically, it is the freedom from the slavery
      of the body. Theologically, it is a rest, sleep or passage to the
      world beyond. Death is ironical because there are sadness and joy in
      it. What are the sadness and joy of death?

      Let me briefly give some facts that make death sad: one, it happens
      suddenly and unexpectedly. Two, it is inevitable. Three, man cannot
      stop it. Everyone will die one day (Job 14:1-6, 10-12; Ecclesiastes
      2:16; 6:8; Psalm 49:10; Hebrews 9:27). Four, neither will people see
      nor enjoy the company of such a dead person again. Five, there will be
      the fear of the unknown for people left behind. Six, people are not
      sure about the future of their dead loved ones.

      However, death is a thing of joy to those who died in Lord because it
      is a victory in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Jesus Christ
      has had victory over death on the cross by resurrecting from the dead,
      and He has guaranteed the same victory for anyone who believes in Him
      (John 11:25-26). Death is the end of pain and suffering for most
      people, especially those that have had long-term illness. Even to a
      hearty person, death puts an end to all other pains and sufferings of
      this sin-stained world (Romans 8:18-23). Death is also a gain to
      believers in Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:8).
      Death is a thing of joy because it transforms our corruptible bodies
      to incorruptible ones (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). In fact the bodies of
      Christians are transformed to glorious ones.

      God does not act contrary to His divine will. He has warned Adam and
      Eve that if they disobey Him, they would die. They did disobey, and
      they instantly died spiritually and later died physically. In spite of
      this, God has a special plan for each of us. He is not caught unaware
      about the death of anyone (Luke 12:7; 21:18). And He has a purpose and
      time for everything, including death (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2, 14; 7:14;
      8:6; Romans 8:28).

      Yes, there are sadness and joy in death. However, anyone that has not
      accepted Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior and Lord cannot
      experience the joy of death. There is no hope for such people (Isaiah
      38:18; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Luke 16:26-31). Nevertheless, Jesus Christ
      said in John 11:25-26, "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" (NIV). There is hope for the dead in
      Christ. They have joy that they have gone to be with the Lord. They do
      experience the victory of Jesus Christ over death. In fact, it is
      great to die in Christ! "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from
      now on" (Revelation 14:13, NIV). That is the irony of death.

      In His service,

      Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

      I deliberately abridged this message to conform to the usual length of
      my weekly messages. If you want to full text of the message, contact
      me at <spiritualdigest@...>. God bless you!

      Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
      +234 805 515 9591

      "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will
      have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted
      in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST
      AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21, NIV).
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