The most feared enemy of humanity is death, which even Jesus feared (Matthew 26:39-44). But Jesus revealed that salvation was not possible without going through death. Through Jesus’ experience at Gethsemane; it is no longer necessary to fear death (1 Corinthians 15:57).
It is undeniable that everyone wants life. The multitudes that gather at miracle crusades need life. Any charismatic leader displaying tangible proofs of healing people in their desperate needs, probably gets the highest proportion of Christian followers. There is nothing appearing as amiss, except that the only way through death is through it.
Those receiving healing rejoice. Unfortunately, the majority fail to take cognizance that the only way of escaping death, is going through it, before receiving the esteemed fullness of life. It is only the fear of death that keeps most people in the same condition of possible death.
The current life keeps people in the most dreaded condition of inevitable death. I am afraid to say that the people ecstatically appreciating miracles of healing and prosperity remain on death condition, more than those surrendering to death, instead (Matthew 7:13-14).
We are more vulnerable when things go well for us, than when things appear as going badly. The book of Psalms shows that David was closest to God in times of persecution by Saul. The sin of Bathsheba visited him at a time when everything was going well in his God given kingdom. Likewise, many people, rejoicing in what they assume to be blessings of this life may be more vulnerable than those going through hard times.
No one can deny the fact that this life is very comfortable to some people, but very uncomfortable to others (Luke 16:19-31). False preachers are those telling people that salvation is about being healed of diseases and enjoying prosperity in this life.
I hope that no-one interprets this argument as suggesting that people should be kept in sickly and poverty condition, in order to receive salvation? All that has got nothing to do with receiving or not receiving salvation. But salvation is possible, only after having gone through death, which naturally, humans are not comfortable with. Paul clarifies this point:
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:3-7) KJV.
The mystery of resurrection engulfs most people. This is why even one of the top Jewish leaders struggled with being born again (John 3:1-21). But it is not possible for a new person of the spirit to die. Yet death is designed for all people in our present life. The beauty of the salvation of Jesus is that it is now possible to go through death processes, without necessarily having to experience pangs of death.
Paul likens the process of baptism to death. While also carrying discomfort, the death process Paul refers to is outweighed by the excitement of discovering new truth about life. A truly converted person does not fear death any more.
To a true Christian, death becomes a blessing (Philippians 1:21). This is just as God regards the death of a saint as something precious to Him (Psalms 116:15).
But why would a truly converted person desire living longer in this life? With all the limitations of human nature, why would someone not desire to be released from its distressful limitations?
My own observation, in recent years, is that this is caused by much deception out there. Many people talk of Christ’s deliverance, when referring to provisions associated with the comfort of their physical lives.
Is it possible for one to enjoy prosperity in this life and desire dying at the same time? The prosperity gospel preachers tell their followers that Jesus came so that they could enjoy good life without dying. John 10:10 is therefore taken out of context and used to suit the person’s deceitful intentions.
However, as death is possible with all people, including the prosperity gospel preachers, disappointments are inevitable. There is no abundance in physical life. The abundant life can only be experienced in the spiritual nature, and this is for all eternity.
Jesus came to reverse the norm in physical nature. While used to crying when our loved ones die, Jesus came with a message that it is no longer necessary to cry for our dead ones. While Jesus cried at Lazarus’ death, this was for those people’s unbelief. To Jesus, Lazarus was not dead, as to need His mourning.
Can there be any other good news to surpass this? But more so, the restoration of the Kingdom, lost at the Garden of Eden, makes true Christians salivate, as they look forward to its fullness, with anticipation.
While going through the experience of death gives discomfort to the physical body, Jesus reversed that to a wonderful victory for all humanity. It is now a question of how many people subscribe to it, because the world needs this message more than anything else.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social instability. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com for $6.99