Monday Musings for July 09, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

What happens when we die — and, by the way — who gets to say when we are dead in the first place? I address these two questions today. Now, you’d think the second would be easy. But as we examine the possibilities closer to the moment of death, you can see why different people often give different answers. But time is… as it usually is… the great leveler and the great giver of perspective, and here’s how it works.

The further away we are from the moment of death, the more apparent it is that we are dead. Ta-da! This is why Jesus dragged his feet rather than rush home to heal the sick Lazarus. God had a hard lesson for the people of Bethany (and by extension, us).

You see, rather than lift Lazarus from his sickbed, God wanted to raise him from the dead. But to do this, Martha and Mary had to experience the genuine grief of a loved one’s passing… and I’m sure they felt a little disappointed, too, when their family friend, Jesus — that well-known healer of the sick — did not perform his signature miracle for these close friends.

Now, I’m not going to talk about Lazarus’s case today. I’m just using him as an example of biblical deadness because a greater issue looms: Lazarus died again… and he now waits with the rest of the dead until Jesus comes back to raise him up at the last day. This was Martha’s original hope and comfort (John 11:14), and it should be ours, too.

So, although Lazarus was brought back to life — for the glory of God and to cement Jesus’ reputation — this was not a permanent fix. Belief in God was. So, here’s the thing: Lazarus still awaits judgment — as does everyone else who has ever died — and this ties into today’s question.

An atheist asked our questioner (who is a believer) to explain the nothingness he experienced during the four minutes he was “officially” dead. Now, there are a few issues here. One is that the Bible doesn’t teach that we will be judged immediately after death. Hebrews 9:27 allows for that but does not insist upon it… which is good because other passages put the judgment after the resurrection of the dead, after Jesus returns (Revelation 20:13).

So, what are all those dead people doing in the meantime? I’m not sure. But they are not being judged… and that’s just one of today’s interesting points. So, join me as we poke a little at eschatology… and at death… and, enjoy the musings.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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