November 6, 2016
After death, anything
The Triune God Curbs Evil and Overcomes Death with Resurrection
Christians live as “sons of God, being sons of the resurrection” (Luke 20:36), for the Lord our God “is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Luke 20:38). “Those who deny that there is a resurrection” (Luke 20:27) neither know the Scriptures nor the power of God, but the baptized faithful know “that the dead are raised” (Luke 20:37). For the Lord, who was, and is and is to come, knows Israel’s sufferings and has “come down to deliver them” (Ex. 3:8). Moses reveals the name of Yahweh to God’s chosen people, by which He is “remembered throughout all generations” (Ex. 3:15). In contrast to that sacred remembrance of His name, St. Paul warns against the antichrist, who “takes his seat in the temple of God” (2 Thess. 2:4). That lawless man preaches and practices the activity of Satan. Christians, however, are comforted by the coming of the Lord Jesus, who slays the antichrist and refutes his false doctrine “with the breath of his mouth” (2 Thess. 2:8). By His preaching, “stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught” (2 Thess. 2:15). Hear, receive and believe God’s promise of love, comfort and good hope.
According to a Gallup poll taken in 1976 - 60% of American people believe there is life after death. While the figure is encouraging it says that almost one-third do not believe anything follows death. That was 40 years ago. What about today? The most recent poll suggests that since 1997, belief in heaven has ranged between 72% and 83%. According to Gallup's most recent Values and Beliefs poll, 81% of Americans currently say they believe in heaven, 10% are unsure, and 8% do not believe. There are far less today than when Jesus lived. Do we have any basis for a belief in life after death? Other than wishful thinking? Or a personal longing to continue to live?
In Jesus’ day, the Sadducees used the ridiculous story of a man with seven wives to prove there was no resurrection. We need to know that life after death is not our doing but is God’s work. It is based on the truth that God is an ever-living God and is the God of the living because they live in Him. There is life after death because -
God is God only of the living – V. 38
God loves us in Christ – V. 36
God lives in us by faith in Christ – V. 38
By faith, we believe in the Resurrection for we are Easter people.
1. The Old Testament teaches the Resurrection.
A. The Sadducees try to us the Old Testament to disprove the resurrection. (Vv. 28-33)
B. Yet, Jesus uses the Old Testament to prove the resurrection. (Vv. 34-38)
C. Other Old Testament passages support this truth. (See. Job 19:25-27; Isaiah 26:19;
2. The New Testament teaches the Resurrection.
A. Jesus is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)
B. The resurrection consists of
1. The restoration and glorification of the body (1 Corinthians 15:42-49)
2. The reunion of the body and the soul.
C. Our resurrection has its basis in Christ’s redemption of the human family in His resurrection (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:14)
D. Jesus’ resurrection has significance for you not only on Judgment Day but also right now. Already in this life it effects in you a spiritual resurrection, empowering you to live even more and more in harmony with the Father’s will.
3. The Resurrection is consistent with the nature of God.
A. God created human beings for life, not death. (Luke 20:37-38)
B. The Father sent His Son to rescue fallen humanity.
1. He buys us back and redeems us. (Mark 10:45)
2. He gives us a new life. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
C. This gives power, purpose and meaning to our life. (Luke 20:38, “for all live to Him”; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:3)
The hope of the resurrection gives life an aim, purpose and goal. The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life funning up and down the field, but you never score a point. We are more then conquerors through Christ who loves us. Because of the cross and empty tomb we are in fact Easter people!
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for congregational and personal use
Passive Sentences – 4%
Reading level – 7.2