Sermons

Summary: The good news of Easter is that the power to conquer death is already available to those who will humble themselves to receive it as a gift.

For the man who has everything there is now a solar-powered headstone. John Dilks, a

computer engineer for Western Electric designed this headstone with a recording device and

a video display screen, which will display a biographical account and a computerized

photograph. Dilks Creative Tombstone Incorporated offers many options so you won't be

just one of the crowed in the cemetery. You can get a voice-activated box if you don't want

just anybody toying with your tombstone tapes. Other options include sensors to tell when a

visitor is approaching, and when the grass needs cutting. He will even include a nozzle that

will spray incense. For those who really think long range you can include messages for future

generations, and so you will be able to speak some words of wisdom to your great, great,

great, great grandchildren.

The potential of this device called "Imitations of Immortality" are nearly endless. And

the cost is only 39,500 dollars, if you throw in the bulletproof glass to protect from vandals.

Future generations will be going to the cemetery for multimedia presentations from the

grave. Death will be to some degree swallowed up in this death denying Disney Land display

of data. Technology has made it possible for modern man to talk from the tomb, and this

gives him a sense of power over death.

This is all mere child's play compared to the game being played by the men described in

the book The Tomorrow Makers. We are talking about the top researchers of our day who

are convinced that downloading will happen in our lifetime. This means that man will be able

to figure out how to make a copy of the human brain just like we now make copies of movies

on videotape. The brain can be hooked up to a computer and a copy made, and then that

copy can be put into a robot, which will then be controlled by that tape of the brain. When

the machine wears out or becomes obsolete the brain can be transferred to a new model.

This is not fantasy. It is the serious research going on in Carnegie-Mellon, MIT

Stanford, and in Japan. Many of these researchers have a passion to never die, but become

immortal by means of downloading. They believe that this could be the last generation that

will have to die. Hans Moravec says, "We are on a threshold of a change in the universe

comparable to the transition from non-life to life." Modern man is truly excited about the

potential of developing power over death, and why shouldn't he be, for death is no friend.

Death is the final foe that man must somehow defeat if he is to live forever.

The problem is that man in his pride always wants to try the Moby Dick approach to life.

Moby Dick is Herman Melville's classic about Captain Ahab's search for a fierce white whale.

On the surface the novel seems like a story about whale hunting, but it goes much deeper.

Some consider it one of the most deeply theological novels ever written in America. When

Melville finished the book he wrote in a personal letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, "I have

written a wicked book." This was long before the "Save the whales" movement, and so he

was not feeling guilty about the obsession of Ahab to get revenge on Moby Dick for his lost

leg. He was feeling guilty because his book was really about God and man. The whale in all

its brilliant whiteness was a symbol of God, and Ahab's obsession to hunt down the whale

represents man's mad pursuit to reduce God to his slave in order to control God and use His

power to achieve human ends.

The technological search for immortality is Captain Ahab at work. Man wants to figure

out some way to live forever without doing it God's way. Man wants to be in control and do it

his way. In other words, it is the same old story of a works salvation. Man does not want a

handout and a salvation by free grace. He wants to get it by his own power, even if he has to

capture heavenly power to do it. All of history is a power struggle between God and man, or

Moby Dick and Ahab.

The good news of Easter is that the power to conquer death is already available to those

who will humble themselves to receive it as a gift. The power of the resurrection is so much

greater than anything man has even imagined. In the power of the resurrection of Christ

there is available the power to give every person in history the gift of eternal life. And not

merely mechanical life that is lived by a machine, but the life of a real person in relationship

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