“Vampires, Eternity & the Living Dead” October 17

 

Vampires, Eternity & the Living Dead - To say I'm not a fan of the vampire, living dead crazes would be an understatement. I think it contributes to our society's loss of shock about the things of darkness. Many of us have witnessed so much death, blood, and wickedness on our TV screens that we are no longer repulsed or shocked by it. But could there be an even more deadly reason for people's fascination with fictional eternal creatures. There was, however, a time when the dead did come out of their graves and it will happen again. Imagine, if you will, your family sitting around the dinner table one night when there is a knock at the door … and there stands “Uncle Joe,” whose funeral you had attended a few years before?To say I’m not a fan of the vampire, living dead crazes would be an understatement. I think it contributes to our society’s loss of shock about the things of darkness. Many of us have seen so much death, blood, and wickedness on our TV screens that we are no longer repulsed or shocked by it. But could there be an even more deadly reason for people’s fascination with fictional immortal beings?

There was, however, a time when the dead did come out of their graves and the Bible says it will happen again. How should that influence our thoughts about eternity?

Imagine, if you will, your family sitting around the dinner table one night when there is a knock at the door … and there stands “Uncle Joe,” whose funeral you had attended a few years before? 

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 19 & 20
Psalm 119.1-8
Proverbs 27.13
1 Thessalonians 4.1-18

 

Vampires, Eternity & the Living Dead

 

1 Thessalonians 4.1-18:

Living Dead

 

Ecclesiastes 3.11 says that God has put eternity in our hearts. John MacArthur in his Study Bible said, “God made men for His eternal purpose, and nothing in post-Fall time can bring them complete satisfaction.”

I believe it was Paul Tripp who said we were “made for glory.” We want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s in our bones.

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5.1-8).

Even those who claim no belief in a Creator God, often have a desire to leave a legacy and so live on in some way.

But like all God-given desires, the Fall has twisted our thoughts about eternity and immortality. Many of us believe we can control our own destinies and even decide what truth is. We, often, refuse to acknowledge that we will all stand before God one day (2 Cor. 5.9-10).

Some even claim they would rather go to hell than to heaven with a God who holds them accountable to His law, as if hell is some eternal party and not a place where “their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mk. 9.44).

The truth is, we will all live forever. The question is “where?”

But instead of contemplating that reality, whether directly or not, has led to a strange fascination with fictional immortal beings.

I want to be careful here. I don’t want to make this sound like a sin issue. Each of us must decide before God where we stand on these issues. Like Halloween and many other things, these are conscience issues.

But what about those who truly did come back from the grave?

 

Vampires, Eternity & the Living Dead - To say I'm not a fan of the vampire, living dead crazes would be an understatement. I think it contributes to our society's loss of shock about the things of darkness. Many of us have witnessed so much death, blood, and wickedness on our TV screens that we are no longer repulsed or shocked by it. But could there be an even more deadly reason for people's fascination with fictional eternal creatures. There was, however, a time when the dead did come out of their graves and it will happen again. Imagine, if you will, your family sitting around the dinner table one night when there is a knock at the door … and there stands “Uncle Joe,” whose funeral you had attended a few years before?


A Preview

 

Matthew 27:

50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Even though these resurrected believers would die again, it was a preview of what will come in the future.

Today’s reading in Thessalonians pictures what we call the Rapture of the Church.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

The word “rapture” means to be “caught up.” Paul said those who have died in Christ will rise first. So when Christ returns for His church, the bodies of believers who died previously, whose spirits are already in heaven, will be resurrected and changed. And those of us who are alive will be caught up and our bodies will be changed, as well.

Can you imagine what it must have been like at the time of the Crucifixion—a family is sitting around having dinner when there’s a knock at the door … and there stands “Uncle Levi or Cousin Benjamin” who had died a few years before!

Now imagine what it will be like when the Rapture happens. The graves of dead believers will be opened, but this time they’ll be gone, along with believers who were alive at the time of the Rapture!

I would imagine there will be more than a few family members who had rejected what their husbands and wives and mommas and brothers were telling them, who fall to their knees and cry out to God. It won’t be too late for them to be saved, but it will be too late for them to escape the Tribulation, seven years of famine, disease, earthquakes, disasters, and persecution the likes of which the world has never seen. We’ll talk more about this when we get to the book of Revelation.

So, let’s pray and stand up for the truth while there is still time for those who will listen and may we be sensitive to the Lord’s leading about those things which are less clear.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Jeremiah 19 & 20:

Is the Word like Fire in Your Bones?

 

Rather than believe the truth, the leaders of Jerusalem tried to intimidate Jeremiah into silence. Have you turned on the news lately? Sound familiar?

Even though Jeremiah was tempted to keep quiet, he said:

But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not (19.9).

Is that you? Are you so full of God’s Word that it’s like fire in your bones? So much so that you would risk mistreatment, persecution or death, as Jeremiah did?

 

Psalm 119.1-8:

Mind, Will, and Emotions

 

Psalm 119.2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!


Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and is an acrostic psalm. As it was written in the original Hebrew, it has a literary device to drive home the truths contained in it—something like what we do when we say “A is for apple; B is for ball; … or when we use an acronym to help us remember the name of an organization.

While it’s long, it contains some of the greatest truths about God and His Word, beginning with verses 1-2:

1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!

“Who walk …” When the Bible speaks of our walk, it refers to our lifestyle. Blessed is the man or woman whose lifestyle is one that is centered on God and His Word.

“… Who seek Him with the whole heart!” The heart speaks of the inner man including the mind, the will, the emotions … who we really are. We’re not to be mindless in our beliefs, but mindful, studying His Word and getting to know Him better and better. Our faith is not blind faith, but faith built on the truths of Scripture. Loving God, is not first a feeling, it’s a choice to fix our hearts on Him.

Our emotions are certainly involved in our seeking and worship of God. We should put our whole heart into loving, knowing and worshiping Him and when we do, there will be times when we experience Him in our emotions, but too often, people seek after an experience instead of God Himself.

These three aspects of our inner man should work together. If we only know Him with our intellect, it may never impact our life. If we just grit our teeth and will ourselves to serve God, it can become nothing more than religious activity. If we seek after the thrill of some experience with God, it can easily become self-centered. Instead, all three aspects of our inner man are to be involved in seeking to know, to love, and to worship Him.

Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4.24).

 

Proverbs 27.13:

Lending Foolishly

 

“Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress.”

Lending foolishly to those who are irresponsible can cause our own financial ruin.

 

There’s a lot in today’s Bible reading. I hope you were blessed. It should be our lifelong endeavor to know God better through His Word. Is there someone who would benefit from today’s post and readings? Why not share so they can be blessed, as well?

 

Your Thoughts:

How has God spoken to you today? Did you see a passage in a new light? Did you see an area where you need to grow and change? Did you find a promise to hold on to? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Coming Up:

In the next few days, we’ll talk about ways to live like we’re expecting Jesus to come back soon, how our words and attitudes matter, abortion, unborn babies, the Tribulation, and more.

Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.

You can also sign up for special “Christian Living” posts like last week’s “Praying through the Bible.”

Praying through the Bible - One book that continues to resonate with me and impact my life, particularly my prayer life, is Donald Whitney's book Praying the Bible. Even though I had prayed many Bible passages in the past, his book encouraged me to pray more from the Scriptures, especially the Psalms. One of my goals for next year is to pray through the Bible as I read. I'd like to share with you what that will look like and give you some examples of how to pray passages of Scripture.

Blessings,
Donna


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8 thoughts on ““Vampires, Eternity & the Living Dead” October 17

  1. Interesting and powerful post, Donna. Thankful for bloggers, writers, and sisters in Christ like you who aren’t fearful to put this kind of bold truth out there. Thank you for that. I’m not much of a TV person, Hallmark Movies and Andy Griffith of Mayberry are my cup of tea. 🙂 Recently we even had our cable disconnected and now picking and choosing shows from Netflix. So I’m not into all this type of entertainment and have seen very little. But I agree, once we see so much of anything Hollywood produces, we’re desensitized and start believing the enemy’s deception and lies about real life, real darkness, and the very real spiritual world.

    • It can seem like a subtle thing at first, but that’s how the enemy works! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We watch a lot of Hallmark, too!

  2. I like old movies. The movies about monsters were even funny, but you could clearly define the good and evil. I hear all about the walking dead, and I say those are people who don’t really know Jesus, the line is blurred to make it more fascinating than clear cut, I would not want to be around for a zombie apocalypse. I hope I get to link with you again.

    • Yes, the old ones were pretty funny, especially by today’s standards! Things are a little different today, aren’t they? So glad you stopped by today, Rebecca.

  3. “We want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s in our bones.” Donna, your thoughts and Scriptures really resonated today. Thank you so much for passing on the hope we have in Jesus!

    • I’m so glad that it resonated with you and thanks for letting me know. It’s a great encouragement to me. Have a great week in the Lord!

  4. I have to say, I was pretty curious when I clicked on your post (from the Grace & Truth linkup)! I’m so glad you’re sharing the truth about eternity and life after death. It’s something that causes both confusion and fascination for those that don’t know what they believe. I’m thankful that we who know what’s to come can shed some light on why this is the case–because we have eternity in our hearts. ❤ Thanks for sharing!

    • It’s so sad to realize how many people have no idea where they will spend eternity and many others who give it so little thought. I know we all have people in our lives who fall into one of those categories. May we be faithful to pray for them. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Blessings to you!

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