Upon death, people want to believe that their dearly departed lost ones have been taken to a better place. Often that, is what is suggested at the grave site. Especially, if the person has suffered a long illness.That place being heaven. It is a comforting thought but without any scriptural foundation. The dead enter into a state of nothingness for an unknown period of time.
Nothingness was the fate of the great Israeli, King David. It was said by God, that David was a person after God’s own heart. and as king, he would fulfill God’s will, Acts 13:22. King David is one of the greatest men to have graced this planet. He gave the Jews, Jerusalem. For non Jews, through the linage of David came Jesus. Upon the death of King David, it was said that is “both dead and buried,” Acts 2:29. David did not ascended to the heavens, Acts 2:34.
While history has had some notable good people, who have served the needs of humanity in a most commendable manner. The opposite is also true. The likes of Adolf Hitler, perhaps the most recognizable name synonymous with evil. The fate is the same for everyone upon death. No grand welcome into heaven, or ushering off to hell.
Solomon, in Ecclesiastes three, made this observation. When death occurs among humans, or animals. Each will die and have one breath. In death humans have no preeminence over animals. All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again, verses 19-20. He went on to say, the living know they will die, but the dead know nothing, Ecclesiastes 9:5.
Job in chapter fourteen made this observation. People born from a woman have but a few days, and those days are full of trouble. From birth, Job compares our existence to that of a flower. Which when cut, has no future, verses one-two. In verse five, Job puts it this way, Our time here on earth have been numbered by months. The expiration of those months are known only by God. God has determined our appointed time to die. And our best efforts to extend that time will fail.
All of this is rather depressing, if that is all life is about. Numbered days filled with trouble that will end at some predetermined time. Resulting in placement in some grave where the future is one of nothingness. Unfortunately, that is how many understand their life span. If there is nothing beyond the grave, the attitude is to seek for themselves, as much self gratification as possible. Giving little thought about whom is hurt. Helping to shape humanity as people with human hearts being full of evil and madness, according to Ecclesiastes 9:3.
That is not what life is about. While there is an undetermined state of nothingness. The dead have a future. That future is described by the prophet in Daniel twelve. When many who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt, verse two.
We do know when this event will take place. In the meantime Christians are commissioned to bear fruits worthy of our service to Christ, Matthew 3:8. In Revelation 6:9-11 with the opening of the fifth seal. We are given a glimpse of what the fruits of repentance represent as Christians serve the slain lamb. The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his lord, Matthew 10:24. In great majesty, When he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. Those slain in God’s service lamented crying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will you wait to judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? With that plea white robes were distributed and they were told, that they should rest for a little season, until their fellow servants and brethren were killed like you were. Fulfilling God’s time table.”
Christians ready to serve Christ are in great demand. Future times for humanity will be difficult. Daniel 12:1, “there shall be a time of trouble , such as never was since there was a nation.”
The task was summed up by Jesus. “Whosoever shall save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. What shall it profit a person if he should gain the whole world, and lose his soul? Or what shall a person give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:25-26. Taken to the next level, Jesus said, if any person will come after me, let them deny themselves, and take up the cross and follow me, verse 24. And recall the commission of Matthew 3:8.
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