Afterlife

While the Pharisees and priests were taking their lumps at the hands of Jesus in a public debate, another team waited its turn in the ring.
The Sadducees were a joyless group of liberal theologians who had outgrown any beliefs in the supernatural. They denied the existence of a spirit world; there were no angels or demons. Chief among their beliefs was a denial of the resurrection; when people died they were just dead with no hope or fear of an afterlife. To the Sadducees, all that existed was what they could see and feel, count and measure. Sound familiar?

The Sadducees were the mortal enemies of the Pharisees who were the super-spiritual leaders. Strangely enough the presence of Jesus served to unite these enemies, at least for the moment. During His earthly ministry, the Pharisees led the opposition to Jesus. In the book of Acts, the story was one of a resurrected Jesus so the Sadducees took the lead.

Parables are easy, right?
These intellectuals took a play from Jesus’ playbook and presented Him with a parable of their own composition. They told a wretched story of a married man with seven healthy brothers and a wife who was childless. When the man died, the law of Moses required a brother to take his place to raise up children in his brother’s name. Unfortunately, the brother died before he completed his mission. The next brother in line took his turn and died in a similar childless state. Next! This pattern went on until all the brothers had died and the poor woman still had no children. Finally, mercifully, the worn-out woman died also. The spokesman of Sadducees smiled a wicked, lecherous smile as he sprung their trap:

“Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”

“Sons of the Resurrection”
Jesus looked at the man and the group he represented. Such pride! Such arrogance! Such ignorance of the Word of God! This time, Jesus did not answer their question with one of His own. He went straight to the Word. Mark reports that Jesus told them they were in error because they did not know the Scriptures or the power of God. Dr. Luke tells us more:

“The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”

He went on to remind them that their beloved Moses referred to the voice emanating from the burning bush as that of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“…For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”

Thus ended the Q and A for that day. After this, no one asked Jesus about anything!

The Afterlife
For the faithful, since death will be no more, there will be no need for procreation. This means that particular purpose for marriage will disappear. That does not mean that all the other joys of being man and wife will be gone.

The afterlife is there waiting for each of us. When we breathe our last, our story does not end. A new chapter with a new setting begins. What we have done in this life shapes how we will live in the life to come. What will it be for you?

Scriptures:
Luke:20:27-40
NKJV
Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her as wife, and he died childless. Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.” Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”
Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” But after that they dared not question Him anymore.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I choose to believe in You! I believe the words You spoke for they still speak in my heart. I know there are angels surrounding Your glorious throne in worship and I know also that angels are camped around me, keeping me safe. I know there is a spirit-world for I sense the presence of evil around me. I see the destruction wrought by evil everywhere. I have seen evil in the eyes and heard it in the words of evil people, influenced by hell itself. I know there is a hell for those who reject You and a grand promise to those who follow You. Today, help me lay up treasures, not here below where time and use can destroy them, but in heaven where they are secure from all evil. You are the God of the living and not the dead! Amen and Amen.

Song:
I’ll Have a New Life

Words and Music: Luther G. Presley

1. On that resurrection morning When all dead in Christ shall rise
I’ll have a new body. Praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life
Won’t it be so bright and fair When we meet our love ones there
I’ll have a new body  Praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life

Refrain:
I’ll have a new home of glory eternal
Where the redeemed of God shall stand
There’ll be no more sorrow. There’ll be no more strife.
Raised in the likeness of my Savior Ready to live in Paradise
I’ll have a new body, Praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life

2. When old Gabriel blows his trumpet And we walk the streets of gold
I’ll have a new body. Praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life
No more pain worry sorrow In this wicked world of sin
I’ll have a new body. Praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life

Refrain

3. Oh dear brother are you living For that day when Christ shall come
I’ll have a new body. Praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life
Graves all bursting Saints a shouting, Heavenly beauty all around
I’ll have a new body. Praise the Lord, I’ll have a new life

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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