I Believe In the Life Everlasting


Daily Devotions - Faith Lutheran Church

I Believe In the Life Everlasting

“I believe in … the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.” – The Apostles’ Creed

What will happen when you die?

One of the truths that change the life of a Christian is the coming resurrection and the fact that our lives are eternal. We do not simply die. We are promised that through faith in Jesus Christ we will be raised to eternal life, just as Jesus was raised from the dead.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”  – 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

This changes our perspective on everything.

  • We do not need to fear death.
  • We can live boldly for Christ, even when that brings persecution.
  • We understand that suffering and illness are temporary.

While we still mourn the loss of loved ones, we do so with hope for those who die in Christ.

There is a church tradition that tells of the martyrdom of Polycarp, a student of the Apostle John. He was arrested for being a Christian and refusing to worship Caesar, a crime that carried the punishment of death.

Polycarp was 86 at the time and the proconsul didn’t want to execute him. The proconsul pleaded with him to simply say something in the worship of Caesar and he would let him go.

“86 years have I have served him (Jesus),” Polycarp declared, “and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”

The proconsul told Polycarp he would be burned to death and Polycarp responded, 

“You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour and is then extinguished, but you know nothing of the fire of the coming judgment and eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly.”

The Persecution of Christians Still Exists
Countless other Christians have also faced persecution and death and refused to deny Christ. Today, there are still many who live under this threat. It is the power of the Holy Spirit and our belief in the resurrection and eternal life which allows us to face death and remain faithful. We fear not the judgment of men for we are chosen by the one who will judge the world.

Yet, it’s not just persecution for which this matters. We need not fear the terminal illness for we know we will be raised in bodies that will not know disease or injury. As we lay to rest our Christian friends and family, we miss them, but we know death has no hold on them and we will see them again.

To proclaim the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting is to proclaim the victory of Jesus over death and hell and our trust that He will bring us to be with Him forever.

So, let us proclaim the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting boldly. Let us proclaim it to ourselves in our suffering and let us proclaim it to the world that has the terminal illness of sin.

Dear Jesus,

You walked the hill of Calvary and suffered death that we may live. When we suffer or even face death, remind us of the hope we have in You and give us peace, comfort, and strength.

Amen.

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Kurt

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