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 (Manna 19)
What to Live for
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Birth is the beginning of life. Death is the end of life. Death is painful, fearful and that which no one can escape. The Bible states, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this judgment” (Heb 9:27). The Bible states further, “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men ... There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death” (Ecc 7:2,8:8). However, the Christian’s concept of life is different from the people of the world. A Christian is optimistic whether he lives or he dies. In fact, there is no reason to be pessimistic for there is hope for a Christian when he dies.

Since Adam disobeyed God sin entered into the world and there was death (Rom 5:12). Therefore it is appointed that everyone must die. And since everyone is under the power of death, when death comes no one can prolong a cubit of his life span (Mt 6:27). We give thanks to the Lord that He had been crucified on the cross bringing salvation to us. Moreover, He had resurrected and overcome death. In 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 it is written, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. This passage of the Bible tells us four things:

1.      Death came by sin. If there was no sin, there was no death (Rom 5:12).

2.      Sin came by law. Sin was not imputed when there was no law (Rom 5:13; 1 Jn 3:4).

3.      The Lord had fulfilled the law by His sacrifice unto death and through death He had destroyed the devil who had the power of death (Heb 2:14-1 5). The Lord had overcome death.

4.      Death was destroyed. Its sting is no longer harmful. Death to an unbeliever is a sting but to a Christian it is nothing. Stephen, before he died, asked the Lord to receive his spirit (Ac 7:59).

Paul said that he was hard pressed from both directions. If he had the choice he would choose to die and he with the Lord for it was far better (Phil 1:23). On the other hand, the people of the world fear death because they have no hope. They do not know where they will go after they depart from this world. But a Christian can live a peaceful life in this world and when he leaves this world he will be transported to a reserved place in heaven which is far better (1 Cor 2:9; 1 Pet 1:3-4). So, why fear death?

It is not important how long a person lives. What is important is whether he has lived a godly life and brought benefits to society. Longevity is not the aspiration of the people of God but the hope of the people of the world. One who has kept the truth, worked for the Lord, glorified God and done a lot of good to mankind goes to the heavenly kingdom whether he dies at the age of thirty or fifty. On the other hand one who has lived a hundred years hut has done a lot of evil is no better than one who has died in the mother’s womb. The Lord Jesus lived slightly over thirty years yet he had done so much good works and left so many teachings that people still remember Him today and shall continue to remember Him till the end of the world.

Since we know that the Lord has overcome death and that our labour is not in vain in the Lord, we should live a godly life and be abounding in the work of the Lord so as to live meaningfully (1 Pet 1:17, 4:2).

Paul said, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, hut unto Him which died for them, rose again” (2 Cor 5:14-15). The Lord Jesus has died for us. We are unable to measure the length, the breadth, the height and the depth of the love of the Lord. Whenever we think of the love of the Lord we are spurred to live for the Lord. Therefore Paul said, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8).

He said again, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). When Paul was alive he had lived according to the image of Christ and left his fine example and letters which had constrained many believers to serve the Lord zealously. We should emulate Paul to magnify Christ in this world, to live meaningfully and to leave good examples for others to follow so that more people will be spurred to love the Lord.

As Christians we should have spiritual insight and be able to see things far ahead (2 Cor 4:17-18) and to live for the Lord and to die for the Lord so that when we have completed our course we shall be able to return to our heavenly home triumphantly to enjoy incomparable glory.

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Publisher: True Jesus Church
Date: 07/17/2012