IF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST IS TRUE, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR US?
By Ernest O'Neill
If the Resurrection of Christ is True, What Does That Mean for Us?
Rev. Ernest O'Neill
Now what does that mean for us, if that's the case? Well, it means that there's a dying that isn't death. There's a dying that isn't death. Why I thought of this was, I thought of Jesus’ statement that anybody that believes in Me will never die. And I thought about your dad -- he died on Tuesday -- and my dad died -- and your loved ones died.
Now what does that mean: “Whosoever believeth in me will never die”? Well, these loved ones -- we’re without them -– they’re dead. And loved ones the answer, I think, is what we've said: there's a dying that is not death. Now I’d point you to Jesus’ words about it in John 11:17 and it was after a certain friend of his had died.
John 11:17. “Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.’”
Do you see those words: “He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” In other words, there's a dying that you and I think is dying and it isn't dying. He says, “though he die yet he'll live” -- though to your eyes he's dead, to my eyes death hasn't occurred.”
There is a life that exists beyond what we call the physical life. There is a living that is normal -- that does not need the vital signs. That's why Jesus said, “Though he die, he lives.” And that's why he said, “He's just asleep. But all right -- you'll understand that I don't mean ordinary sleep if I say he's dead -- but really, he's just asleep.”
There's a dying that is not dying. That's what I mean, He said, when I say “whosoever believes in me will never die.” He’ll give the appearance to all of you that the life signs have ceased, that the vital signs are no longer there -- but if he believes in me, he has not died. In other words, the moment you stop breathing -- that moment there is a dear Lord who will open out his arms to you and say, “Come in.”
Do you know anything of the death bed and the casket the funeral? Not a thing. That's why Jesus said, “Today you'll be with me in paradise -- not a moment longer after you become unconscious -- that moment you turn round to the brightness and the Savior's arms and it's like one of those movies: you open the door and there are all your friends -- the party's waiting. Surprise, surprise! That's it. There's a dying that is not dying.