“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
But about the resurrection of the dead-have you not read what God said to you, `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living. Matthew 22:31-32 NIV
God is the God of the living – not the dead. But whom is He talking about? Who are the living and who are the dead? There are those whose bodies are dead, yet their spirits live on eternally. There are those whose bodies are alive and yet on the inside they are dead.
The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 1 Timothy 5:5-6 NIV
If we are dead to God and alive to sin, then we are dead even while we live. If we put selfish, worldly lusts and desires above and before God, then we are dead on the inside – even though our bodies are alive on this earth. Death is a state of being where a person is cut off from God. However, if we are dead to sin and alive unto Him, then we live – both now and eternally.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Sonhas life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12 NIV
If we have the Son, we have life. We will live eternally – alive unto God – even after our bodies fail us and pass away. The Bible tells us that God will give us a new body one day – a glorified body – free from sin and death. We will eventually return to live in God’s presence on the earth – in the New Jerusalem! However, if we do not have the Son and our body dies – our spirits will continue to exist, but death will reign in us and will hold us captive in hell. At that point we will experience physical, spiritual and eternal death – we are cut off from God for eternity.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 NIV
If we believe in Jesus, we will live even though our body dies. If we believe in Jesus we will never truly experience death. We will just pass from one life into another. The flame of our existence will never be extinguished.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyonewho believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:14-18 NIV
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” John 3:36 NIV
Until you believe in Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior, you live in a state of condemnation before God. You are alienated from the presence of God. If you die physically in that state – the Bible says that you go straight to hell. Some people think that God would not send people to hell because He is a God of love. Yes, He is a God of love – that is why He sent Jesus to die in our place. After that, it is our choice to make. We must choose Jesus if we want to live in peace and love and joy eternally. We must choose Jesus if we want to live at all.
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. John 5:24-26 NIV
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31 NIV
But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because ofrighteousness. Romans 8:10 NIV