We all must deal with death at some point. At times, while sad, it is beautiful. Consider the elderly saint who lived a long and simple life, quietly passing during the night while sleeping. Nothing overly special about this person, but a well-lived life. Then there is devastating death: a young person killed in a car accident; a mother of three who passes of cancer; the freak accident of an infant dying.
What I don’t want to talk about today is physical death. I’m not talking about the death which will send us into the next life. I want to talk about the death of every day and earthly things. Death beyond death. The kind of death that when it happens to us, we still are alive to deal with it.
At one point when I looked at James 1:12-15 and I read the phrase “sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” I thought about final death. The physical death that leads to eternal physical death which sends us to Heaven or Hell, depending on our faith and belief in Christ.
After mulling on this for a while, I realize that this is not talking as much about eternal death of our bodies, but the death of all things in our life. What James is contending for is anytime we sin against our Holy God, and do not follow His ways, there will be death.
What areas could there be death in beyond death? Except for physical death we could be talking about spiritual death. Or death of a relationship with other believers or even an entire church because we are not willing to forgive or reconcile. Death of failing in an area of our spiritual life and giving wholeheartedly into sin.
What about financial death? It could be something as big as foreclosing on a home or going bankrupt. It could be as small as not being able to make the bills this month because we overspent; or not being able to make the car payment because we borrowed beyond our means.
There is mental death, emotional death, and relational death. We could talk about blow-ups at work which cost us a job, divorce, anxiety – about things that are outside of our control, which we are called to put in God’s hands. The list goes on.
The reality is that sin brings death. It brings not just physical death, but death of hundreds of little and large things in our lives. This is why James talks so much in his book about having godly wisdom, controlling our tongues, and living out our faith and not just talking about it.
There is good news though. Jesus is the great conqueror of death! When it comes to ultimate death, I Corinthians 15:55-57 says “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives its power. But thank God! He gives us the victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” If you put your faith and trust in Jesus’ work on the cross for salvation, you will conquer death, because He has conquered the result of our sin – death – for us.
He also has made us new. Now, because we are still sinners, even as Christians, we won’t have everything perfect until the other side of Heaven. That being said, as we start to follow Jesus, He makes things new. Ephesians 4:24 says that God gives us a “new self.” This new self, as it starts to obey, starts to glean the rewards of obedience. Once you do that, you will see less death beyond death.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.