Summary: God will one day destroy death, our last enemy.
“DEATH, the LAST ENEMY”
Introduction: The first mention of death occurs in the book of Genesis directly from the mouth of God. (Gen. 2:16-17)
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. The second time it was mentioned, it came from the mouth of Satan. (Gen. 3:4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. This is also the first and most dangerous lie of Satan. Note: Satan’s primary objective is to oppose God and to deceive man. Theologians commonly say that Adam died spiritually and not physically at the time. But close study of the scriptures reveals that God’s word was certain. 2 Pet. 3:8 says; But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Since no man lived a thousand years; it is also true that Adam and all mankind died the same day. The only exception would be Enoch, Elijah and those who remain alive when the church is raptured. So we see that sin gave birth to death. In order words, the first child of sin was death. Paul validates this in Romans 6:23, for the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Sin put a timer on the human heart. Death and judgment are Divine appointments due to the sin of Adam not the will of God. Remember; men do not die because of sickness, they die because Note: death is the result of sin and eternal life is the gift of God. Death is earned but eternal life is given. No living man can be considered wise if he fails to think of death. We must live as I frequently say; “with one eye on earth and the other on heaven”. We enter the world crying and dying. It is also true that we leave the same way. We have two funerals at two neighboring churches Friday. We too, will attend both: crying and dying at the same time. So we have established the premise that death was never in the plan of God. I think it is never proper to say that death is the will of God. Paul calls death and enemy or an intruder. Those same eyes that pierce the depth of Mary and Martha’s pain are with us in our walk through the valley of sorrow. Death is an enemy because it robs us all worldly goods and sends us back to the womb of the earth naked. It brings the Beverly Hills resident to the level of the poor beggar who slept among possums in the warmth of a garbage dump. The rich man wheels a fortune but dies poor like all men. He lives among all sorts of flowers and decorativeness but in the end, he too lays his head amid fading flowers as his silent neighbors. His voice that was once heard and respected by many is finally hushed and heard by no one anymore on this side of heaven. Death is an enemy; it robs us of the joy of our love ones and leaves us with photo albums of their smiling faces. Death turns holidays into hurting days. It chokes our memories and causes us to think afresh about our loves ones. To that end, we shall look at death in several ways:
I. It’s DERIVATION. (Sin)
II. It’s DISCRIPTION. (death)
III. It’s DELINEATION. (enemy)
IV. It’s DURATION. (last)
V. It’s DOMINION. (last enemy)
VI. It’s DISTRUCTION. (end)
VII. It’s DESTINATION. (lake of fire)
Application: Jesus died, so we could live. He had no sin, except ours. He took our sin and availed to us His righteousness; without which, we could not see God. Be comforted in knowing that your love ones are with God. We bury their body not their souls. No coffin can contain their memory. No cemetery can hush their voices within our hearts. No grave can house their spirits. No man made drapery can cover their love for us. We bury their body. No amount of years can delete them from our minds. Their hands are still and immobile but their works do follow them. We are restless in our thoughts concerning them but they are at peace awaiting our arrival to that great city wherein they dwell. Yet, those whom you doubt are under the judgment of a perfect mind. I have found great comfort in this passage:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Conclusion: We have known death all of our lives but the time is coming when death will be no more. Imagine a city, without a cemetery!