This World, That World (5)

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Luke 20:34-38 (34) And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: (35) But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: (36) Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (37) Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. (38) For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. In a previous meditation we considered how that the children of the resurrection who are accounted worthy to obtain that world to come (LUK 18:30; EPH 1:20-21) shall then be as the angels in that they do not marry. But we also see from our text that there is another identification with the angels that is unique to that world: “Neither can they die any more...” (v.36), information which is not provided in the parallel accounts in MAT 22:29-32 or MAR 12:24-27. From this we may observe: 1. Angels do not die. They are spirits (PSA 104:4) which have not flesh and bones (LUK 24:39) and so are not subject to the bondage of corruption (ROM 8:21) that plagues man (and the rest of the tangible creation, ROM 8:22-23; HEB 1:10-11). The parallel accounts in MAT 22:29-32 and MAR 12:24-27 specify that the angels with whom the children of the resurrection world share certain traits are “...the angels of God in heaven” (MAT 22:30). Fallen angels will experience something that will likely make them wish for death (in the sense of ceasing to exist). There is “...everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (MAT 25:41). The description of the final, climactic judgment of God upon wickedness declares, “...the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (REV 20:10) and “...This is the second death” (REV 20:14). They will not die in the sense of ceasing to exist but will experience death's torments for eternity. The fate of unredeemed men is no better: “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (REV 20:15); “...he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night...” (REV 14:10-11). How much should these terrors of the Lord teach us “...that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (TIT 2:12), for such faith has “...promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1TI 4:8). “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure...” (2PE 1:10-11). 2. The children of God in their glorified condition of resurrection cannot die any more. Of the blessed hope of the believer which is the future resurrection (JOH 5:28-29; ACT 24:14-15; 1TH 4:13-18), it is said, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1CO 15:54). Until then, we are sons of God who do “...not yet appear what we shall be...” (1JO 3:2) and are subject to death. In this world, God's elect will die in the flesh if Christ tarries (1TH 4:15) but that death will be unknown in the world to come. Nor will they then through sin anymore die to fellowship with their Heavenly Father as the prodigal son through sin died to fellowship with his father (LUK 15:11-32). There will be no more need to exhort brethren, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead...” (EPH 5:14). Nor will we need to convert a sinning brother from the error of his ways to “...save a soul from death...” (JAM 5:19-20), lest he be turned “...over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh...” (1CO 5:5) and so be put away from the brethren (1CO 5:13), for in that world “...he shall go no more out...” (REV 3:12). In that sinless world of “...riches in glory...” (PHIL 4:19) at the right hand of God where “...there are pleasures for evermore” (PSA 16:11) a sister will never need to be concerned about the warning, “But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth” (1TI 5:6). In that world, there will not even be a need for the elect to die unto sin and self (ROM 6:10-12) through mortifying the deeds of the body (ROM 8:13; COL 3:5), for we shall be like our Lord Jesus Christ, “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to even to subdue all things unto himself” (PHIL 3:21). How broad is the promise, “Neither can they die anymore...!”

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