Summary: This sermon deals with items a person might examine in their lives to see if they know Christ.
Think for a moment how it is we know someone is alive. Suppose a terrible crash happens on the interstate. Several cars are involved. The ambulance is called as well as the police. When the ambulance arrives, the paramedics begin to check on those involved in the accident. You see, in this accident, no one is walking around saying they are okay. Some are sitting in their respective vehicles and not moving. It is apparent that others have been thrown around a little. There is broken glass and blood on the seats. No one is yelling for help. The paramedics then do that most important thing to see if they are alive. They check their vital signs. The most important is their pulse. There are several places on our body where we can check our pulse, but the pulse is important because it signifies our heart is beating. If our heart is not beating, we are not alive. It is the heart that pumps blood throughout our body, which we need to live. So if there is not a pulse or no blood pressure, the person is presumed dead.
We could imagine a similar scene taking place in the emergency room of the hospital. An ambulance brings in a heart attack victim. There is no visible sign that the person is alive, but sometimes the visible signs are deceptive, so the attendants begin to do the same thing the paramedics did at the scene of the wreck. They check for a pulse to see if the heart is beating. They check the person’s blood pressure. They may do CPR or shock treatments, but if there is no pulse after these efforts, the person is presumed dead.
Usually, it is pretty obvious when a person is alive. I mean, most of us know we are alive. We could think of the person who is in a coma. Maybe some of us have known people who have been in a coma. It is not really obvious to us that they are alive, but we can look at the machines that are hooked up to them and see that their heart is beating or we can see their chest rising and falling so we know they are breathing. Then we know they are alive even if they don’t show the more normal signs of a person being alive.
What about the person who is asleep? We can normally tell they are alive even though they are not up and about. How? We see their chests rising and falling, or we hear the almost imperceptible breaths. Now it is very obvious when some of us are asleep that we are alive. There is this terrible sound that comes from us that makes it evident that we are alive. We call it snoring. Snoring is an indication of life.
Some of us are guilty of making statements that are contradictory with the obvious evidence that we are alive. We might say things like “I’m dead tired,” or “I’m dead on my feet,” or “I feel so bad I would have to die to feel any better,” or “Boy I feel dead this morning.” None of us, of course, knows what it feels like to be dead, but these are figures of speech to let others know how we feel. We are alive, but we don’t necessarily feel alive.
The bottom line, however, is that there are very definite ways to tell if we are alive. I don’t know of anyone, except Jesus Christ and those he raised from the dead, who has come back to life after they were declared dead. There are just ways we can know for certain that a person is alive or dead.
All of the above pertains to physical life. But what I want us to consider this morning is how we know we are spiritually alive. This is quite a different story. A person can take our pulse and it can be good and strong and we can still be spiritually dead. Physical life has nothing to do with spiritual life. Spiritual life is not as easily discernible as physical life. And there is some confusion about what it means to be spiritually alive.
For instance, a person readily confesses that they are not a Christian, but yet they tell you they believe in God, Satan, heaven, hell, angels, etc. Does this mean they are spiritually alive? There is a great deal of emphasis on spiritual things now. Shows like Touched By An Angel are popular. Oprah Winfrey is a very popular figure, and her shows often touch on spiritual matters. People like to think that they have guardian angels. There is a great interest in Eastern practices such as yoga, meditation and such. All of these things touch our spiritual sides, but does it necessarily mean we are spiritually alive? Does a person have to be a Christian to be spiritually alive, or is it possible for an unbeliever to be also?