Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we ponder our lives as seek to understand the spiritual meaning and value of death.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Spiritual Meaning and Value of Death
“ Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." John, Chapter 11, Verses 25 and 26.
Brothers and sisters, this morning we explore the spiritual meaning and value of mortal death. Mortal death is an inevitability. Sooner or later the specter of death rears its ugly head and we must face it. No matter how it occurs, those left behind are unprepared for it. Death is so final. Nothing can be said or done after that instant in time. Death is a terrible shock to the survivors, so awesome in its finality.
From the human material point of view, an irretrievable loss has occurred. Someone who was loved has ceased to exist, materially. All the functions that the deceased individual carried out must be carried out by someone else, or left undone. The emotional impact is devastating. It sends the mind into a deep depression, and numbs the entire being. The survivors walk around like semi wax figures, in a daze and emotional stupor. Those unable to comprehend the finality of death are left in a painful confusing bind as they seek to find their loved one, only to realize failure. Only time can lift their confusion, but often does nothing for the sense of sadness or the continued sense of loss that colors the entire after life. It does not matter how helpless those are who were dependent on the now deceased one, nor how young or how old. Death still calls.
Death calls for those who believe in God as well as for those who do not believe. It even calls for those who are not even old enough to comprehend the idea of God. Yes, the God of love controls all of this. Some believers pray to God with the hope that they and their loved one will be spared an early death, and will live to grow old, and even beyond, always seeking just one more year to live. There is no material solution to the problem of death.
From the spiritual point of view, no insurmountable problem exists. God loves all and each of His children with an infinite and eternal love. No matter how difficult it may be for the material mind to comprehend, nothing or no one, not even death can destroy that unbreakable bond of love except the individual himself. As the Apostle Paul stated, “ I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We must always remember our destiny is spiritual not material. The spirit Father has commanded us to be perfect even as He is perfect. The Father has an eternal and spiritual plan for us. The Father's divine Son, Jesus, has said, "I go away to prepare a place for you so that you may be where I am also." And this is exactly what he meant. This world while it is our starting point is not our final destination. Our final destination is with the Father, our real and true home. At some point in time, the spiritual part of us, the soul must begin the journey where Jesus waits for us. This journey can not be made by flesh and blood.
Being a two fold being, one material and the other spiritual, we must react to the emotions of our material status, but we can also react to the hope of our spiritual natures. By faith we must satisfy ourselves that the spiritual values of our loved ones, including the soul and the personality factors that make up the individual are safe in the hands of Jesus. He could intervene and prevent the death of a loved one, but divine wisdom preclude such a course of action most of the time. From Jesus point of view, we must come to be with Him sooner or later, and whether we go sooner or later is not that important. But even so, the Father prepares us for the loss of loved ones. Very early in life, we become subject to losses of every kind. Our emotions go through the experience of losing. And we are constantly being exposed to the death of others. This familiarity with losses and death in and of itself prepares us though we may not be in a position to consciously appreciate the preparation.
As hard as it may be to grasp by our material minds, the circumstance surrounding the loss of a loved one provides a variety of spiritual opportunities for the ones left behind though they may not be in a position to immediate appreciate such a truth. One of the spiritual problems confronting us we live this material life is the problem of appreciating spiritual values. The loss of a loved one galvanized our souls, and cause us to realize how much we appreciate the loss of our loved one. It has been truly said that you don’t miss your water until the well runs dry. It is the experience of loss that causes us to deeply appreciate the object of our loss.
The death of a loved one also causes us to reflect upon own mortality, and always does this cause anxiety in the mind which in turns serves as a stimulus to find relief from the anxiety. The relief of the anxiety can only be relieved by making those faith conquests of believing in Jesus that lead to a consciousness of eternal life. Without this stimulus of loss, we would never turn to Jesus; we would feel no need to. But the consciousness of mortal death in the face of the supreme desire to somehow survive does the trick.
In the case of a helpless child left behind, this serves as a stimulus to arouse the divine nature in ones who are left behind by calling forth qualities of mercy and compassion. Being a free will creature, an individual may not respond to those aroused urges of mercy and compassion, but those urges are certainly present in the conscious mind whether the individual acts on them or not.
For an individual who has become overly dependent on the deceased one, and who has ceased to grow, the destruction of this mortal crutch provides both the stimulus and the opportunity for the individual to become independent, as well as to grow. For an individual with great potential who would not otherwise find a stimulus or an opportunity for those potential to actualize themselves, the mortal loss provides the driving power to bring forth those slumbering potentials.
For the individual who is called upon to endure the loss of his loved one, it provides a stimulus for the growth of faith, as an additional incentive to do the Father's will with the sublime hope of seeing his loved one someday. For the person who was not appreciative of the loved one while he was alive, mortal death makes one more sensitive to the unselfish efforts that the deceased one expended on one. And for all of those who are involved, feelings of sympathy are evoked which unlock the capacity for compassion to emerge.
Mortal death may be a human tragedy which it most certainly is, but from the spiritual point of view, it is an excellent opportunity for all concerned to grow spiritually, thus demonstrating the great spiritual law that all things work together for good for those who love God. To grasp the meanings and to obtain the values of this experience is to experience hope in the very jaws of despair.
This concludes today’s message on understanding the spiritual meaning and value of mortal death. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about while you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.