SCRIPTURE READING: Rev. 14:12-13
1. A Christian who owns a barbershop is eager to share the gospel. One
day, a customer asks for a shave. The barber decides to talk about
Christ with the customer. He walks up to the man, holding the
straight-razor, and asks, "Friend, are you ready to die?"
2. Over the years, Christians have been criticized for talking about
death. There's a method of persuasion called FUD, F-U-D, which stands
for "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt." This method is used in almost
every section of public life, from politics to business. Essentially,
FUD is the introduction of unreasonable fear, uncertainty, and doubt
in order to persuade someone to take a particular action.
3. For instance, one advertiser says, "Buy our brand of toothpaste to
get rid of that 75% of bacteria that the other brands don't kill!"
4. You've probably heard the accusation made that all Christians are
doing is trying to make people feel guilty and afraid in order to
control them and take their money when we talk about sin and death.
5. The truth is that the Bible is God's word. The Bible says that
everyone must die and face God's judgment. (Heb. 9:27) Therefore, it
is very reasonable to bring up the topic of death: According to the
Bible, there are only two ways to die: we either die in the Lord or
die while not in the Lord.
6. Because of the importance of this topic, tonight, we will study
five reasons why it is better to die in the Lord.
A. Jesus is the resurrection and life. (Jno. 11:25-26)
1. When Lazarus died, Jesus was comforting his sister Martha by
telling her that her brother would rise again. She told him that she
knew this, that he would rise on the last day. (v23-24)
2. What Jesus said next went beyond what anyone knew about the
resurrection. Jesus gave proof to his identity and mastery over life
3. Jesus states that because he is the resurrection, two facts are
true: First, he who believes in Christ will live even if he dies,
Second, everyone who lives and believes in Christ will never die.
4. Even if we must die, if we believe we will live in him. In this
sense, we never really die.
5. Jesus demonstrated his power of resurrection and life when he
raised Lazarus from the dead.
6. Just like he was able to do this, he will raise us from the dead as well.
7. It is better to die in the Lord because we know the one who has the
power over life and death.
B. They who die in Christ are blessed. (Rev. 14:12-13)
1. John writes that the perseverance of the saints, the ability to
keep going, is something not just that God performs for Christians.
2. I believe in the perseverance of the saints; I believe just what
John says about it: Christians will persevere, will keep going, if we
continue to keep faith in Christ and obey God's commands.
3. Here, John connects our obedience to Christ to our eternity just as
he does in Rev. 2:10.
4. Those who die in the Lord are those who are active in the Lord,
trusting and obeying him. John says that those who do this will have
rest from their labors when they die in the Lord.
5. It is better to die in the Lord because when we die we can't take
our Playstations, gold rings, and Ferraris with us. However, our work
in the Lord follows us to eternity. (v13)
6. It is important to know, then, that the doctrine of "Once Saved,
Always Saved" is not true.
7. It is only those who keep Christ's word, who are in fellowship with
him, who will not see death. (Jno. 8:51; 1 Jno. 1:3)
C. Christ has prepared a place for us. (Jno. 14:1-3)
1. Wherever Christ is, we will share his place with him. Christ has
promised those who obey him that where he is, we will be, whether in
life or death, since we belong to him.
2. When I think about this, I'm reminded of the words of Richard
Baxter when speaking about eternity: "My knowledge of that life is
small, / The eye of faith is dim, / But it's enough that Christ knows
all, / And I shall be with him."
3. It is better to die in the Lord since we'll be with him. As Paul
says, to die in Christ is gain.
D. The dead in Christ are with him when he returns.
(1 Thes. 4:13-18)
1. Because of this, we have a hope that those outside of Christ do not
2. It is okay to grieve for Christians who die to this life. However,
our grief is different for them because we have the expectation that
we will meet again in heaven.
3. Paul's reason for telling the Thessalonians this was not to scare
them but to comfort them.
4. As long as we die in Christ, we will be with the Lord when he comes
E. In Christ, it is okay to die. (1 Cor. 15:16-18)
1. In the summer of 2004, I thought I was going to die. It was only
briefly that I thought this, but I
did think this. It was a Wednesday night just before service. It was
only a matter of weeks before I was set to go to Florida College.
2. I spent the night in the hospital; it turned out that I experienced
a muscle spasm, not a heart attack. However, I realized that had I
actually died, I would have been okay: I am in Christ, and Christ has
been raised from the dead.
3. We should not be afraid of death! Christ has
freed us from the fear of death. (Heb. 2:15)
1. When our loved ones face death, it is comforting to know that the
fellowship with Christ they enjoy in this life follows them into
2. This is comforting for us when we think about our loved ones in
Christ who have already died.
3. This is uncomfortable for me when I think about everyone I know who
is not in Christ. Unless these come to Christ and obey him, they will
not die in the Lord and be with the Lord.
4. What about you? Are you in the Lord? In order to die in the Lord,
we must first be in the Lord. Let the rest of our time here be devoted
to fighting the good fight, finishing the course, and keeping the
Jno. 11:25-26: "(25) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and
life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, (26) and
everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe
Rev. 14:12-13: "(12) Here is a call for the endurance of the saints,
those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. (13)
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Write this: Blessed are the
dead who die in the Lord from now on.' 'Blessed indeed,' says the
Spirit, 'that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow
Jno. 14:1-3: "(1) Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God,
believe also in Me. (2) In My Father's house are many dwelling places;
if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place
for you. (3) If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again
and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
1 Thes. 4:13-18: "(13) But we do not want you to be uninformed,
brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as
others do who have no hope. (14) For since we believe that Jesus died
and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those
who have fallen asleep. (15) For this we declare to you by a word from
the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the
Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. (16) For the Lord
himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice
of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the
dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive, who are
left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the
Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (18)
Therefore encourage one another with these words."
1 Cor. 15:16-18: "(16) For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ
has been raised; (17) and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is
worthless; you are still in your sins. (18) Then those also who have
fallen asleep in Christ have perished."
By Sam Stinson
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