Boletim dos Obreiros

Death: Blessing of the Righteous

"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."

(Revelation 14:13)

The second of November is the "Day of the Deceased". This date has been selected in the calendar by the traditional church, making it a universal holiday, as a day to pray for the souls of the dead. A great mistake! A totally useless measure!

Death, undesirable, always surprising, tragic and bruising, inexorably establishes the end of opportunity to define the hereafter. When it occurs, eternal destiny will have already been defined irreversibly, in conformity with the choice made in life.

On the "Day of the Deceased", the gates of the cemeteries (not in God's project, for He created man to live eternally) open so that the crowds may come close to the tombs of the departed. It is a moment of great commotion, tears, anguish of soul, recollections and nostalgia.

Nothing more can be done to change the destiny of the dead! To them, the "Day of the Deceased" means nothing! The error in human attitude is due to the total ignorance regarding the origin of death and its implications in the light of the Bible.

There are three fundamental aspects to be considered:

  1. DEATH IS CONSEQUENCE OF SIN - Gen. 2:17 "for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Death was not the wish of God for man He created to live for ever. It resulted from the exercise of human will, manifesting incredulity and disobedience to the Word of God. It is the righteous and inevitable punishment of human sinfulness (Rom. 6:23a; Eze. 18:20a). It constitutes the greatest disgrace of man, for it affects him physically, spiritually and eternally. When he sinned he died physically (loss of the eternity he had, passing on to a limited physical existence), spiritually (separation from God, who is Holy) and eternally (destined to everlasting destruction).
  2. RESTORATION OF LIFE - Eph. 2:1 "He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins." The Bible reveals how in a very clear manner God acted in the richness of His mercy and in the greatness of His love, manifesting His Saving Grace to all men (Eph. 4-9, Tit. 2:11). The Redeeming Work of Christ (His passion, death and resurrection), satisfactory to the exigencies of Divine JUSTICE, guaranteed the reversion of the sad prospect of death into "eternal life" (John 3:16; 5:24, 11:25-26; 10:10; 10:28). Because of this, Paul stated in Romans 6:23: "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Read John 12:24.
  3. ONLY THROUGH FAITH DO WE ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE - John 11:25,26: "He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die." Only Faith correctly exercised by man, based on the Person, on the Word and on the Work of Christ, enables the miracle of the "new life" (2 Cor. 5:17) and the glorious expectancy of eternity with God. But it is necessary for FAITH to be manifested by man while he is physically still alive, because, after death, follows the Judgment of God (Heb. 9:27), and there is no possibility to change this terrible picture caused by the sin of man. Read Romans 5:12.

And so "death" for the Christian is not the expectancy of eternal perdition. It is the sublime BLESSING granted by the Grace of God, of the expectancy of eternity with God (Tit. 2:13-14). See some of its aspects:

  • A REFRESHING SLEEP – 1Thes. 4:13; Rev. 14:13 - "that they may rest from their labours".
  • IT IS PRECIOUS – Psa. 116:15 - "Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints."
  • IT IS EXEMPT FROM FEAR – Psa. 23:4 - "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."
  • IT BRINGS HOPE – Prov. 14:32; 1 Thes. 4:13 - "the righteous has a refuge in his death."
  • IT IS AN ADVANCE SIGN OF VICTORY – 1 Cor. 15:53-57; Rom. 8:37-39 - "Death is swallowed up in victory."
  • IT IS GAIN – Phil.1:21 - "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain".
  • IT IS TO ENJOY THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD – 2 Cor. 5:6-8; 1 Thes. 4:17 - "well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

Let us not be ignorant with regard to those who sleep! Let us comfort ourselves with these truths! (1Thes. 4:13-18). Let us praise and thank God for the fact that to us, justified by the Grace of the Lord, the "Day of the Deceased" revives the blessing of those who die in the Lord, Our expectation of eternity is of "blessing" and not or "curse", because we have the valuable heritage of eternal life, by FAITH in Christ.