Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
One of the most popular beliefs that many people have on their lips, even the most righteous who say they wait for the second coming of Christ, is this: "Death awaits all of us, everybody has to die." You see the statement over and over in church publications. It's taken for granted everywhere.
But the Bible squarely and directly contradicts it. "We shall not all sleep [die]," says the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51.
Then he explains more minutely what will happen, in 1 Thessalonians 4: "We who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (vss. 15-17).
Yes, there will be some people who will be "alive and remain" at the coming of Christ, who will be ready to meet Him, and who will be translated. They will have overcome, "as I [Christ] also overcame" (Rev. 3:21). Although they are living in the same "flesh" and "nature" all of Adam's descendants have always lived in, they will have "condemned sin in the flesh," even as Christ did (cf. Rom. 8:3).
If everybody has to die on and on, century after century, and millennium after millennium, how could Christ win the "great controversy" with Satan? We must never abandon the fundamental gospel (Good News) truth that "we shall not all die"!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 30, 2007.
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