Not The End

Not The End

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” (John 11:4)

Read: Habakkuk 1:1 – 3:19, Zephaniah 1:1 – 2:7

Relate: Is it OK if I get a little honest with You? I’ve yelled at God. I’ve gotten a bit angry with Him a time or two. I’ve questioned Him. I’ve asked for a piece of His knowledge and then turned right around and given Him a piece of my mind. My vocabulary in some of my prayers haven’t always been what you would consider “acceptable for respectable company”. I am a firm believer that God knows everything and so it is completely acceptable and even healthy to express to Him exactly how I am feeling. We are doing neither Him nor ourselves any favors when we pretend to maintain a respectable demeanor while inside a furious storm is brewing.

That said, I can’t say I’ve ever truly argued or debated God. When He speaks, I do my best to listen. I know that I know that I know that His word is true and good. I might question a situation but I do not question God’s nature. God is truth. That is not up for debate. So I know that my knee jerk reaction to today’s verse is wrong. I read Jesus saying, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death” and my initial reaction is to say, “Yes it is. He is going to die.” Yes, of course I know that Jesus is going to raise him up. That doesn’t change the fact that this sickness will ultimately lead to death.

React: My perspective is so limited. I think it would be safe to say all of ours is. We view death as a termination. We see the end of our mortality as a finality. We understand the grave as our ultimate resting place. It is an end…

Or not.

The Psalmist says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.” For those whose life is found in Christ, death is not the end. For those who have been born twice, death is merely a way station. It is a metamorphosis. Death is merely a catalyst that enables our real life to truly begin. It is not the end of the story. One day I will see my father, and my sister, and my niece, along with a host of other family and friends again. One day, after I die, I will truly begin to live. Will you?

Respond: 

God, help me to see this life from Your vantage point. Help me to understand how fleeting and transient my time here truly is. Help me to live every moment, make every decision, and speak every word with the knowledge of the reality of eternity at the forefront of my mind. One day I will truly see You as You are in all Your glory. How I long for that day. Please speed its coming.

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14 thoughts on “Not The End

  1. BJ, can I get honest here? How refreshing to hear “real” rather than acceptable and appropriate!! As one who remembers stalking off with a “Prove it then!!” over my shoulder (He did and with such tenderness and love), I don’ t think God counts like we count, nor thinks like we think, or sees death like we do. And I am pretty sure that He views our “acceptable” and “appropriate” behaviour towards Him as a complete waste of all our time.
    Love this post. Thank you!

  2. WOW!

    “I’ve gotten a bit angry with Him a time or two. I’ve questioned Him. I’ve asked for a piece of His knowledge and then turned right around and given Him a piece of my mind.”

    Been there too and how refreshing your honesty and openness are!

  3. Love your perspective. Many times I’ve feared death, and really spent way too much time thinking about it! I love that you quoted the Psalmist, knowing that it is actually “precious” in the sight of the Lord. So comforting! Thank you 🙂

  4. Death is not the end because those that die in the faith are going to be in the first resurrection. All those who die are “asleep” in an unconscious state waiting for the Lord’s return when they along with the living will all rise again and have immortality (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Can’t wait for that day to come!

  5. I too have been mad at our Father. Many Christians have at some point; it’s a human failing, just as falling to sin’s temptations is. But God doesn’t tell us that we can’t get angry, He says “in our anger, do not sin.” (Eph. 4:26).

    It’s the trust and devotion over the long-haul that God is after in our relationship with Him. That is what we need to keep in tact and seek to grow and nourish in Him. He will never leave us, nor forsake us. Let’s return that love to Him!

    The True Light

  6. several years ago I gave my first sermon, and it was on the story of Lazarus. I had no idea what to say, it seemed to me the story was very clear, so what more was there to say? finally i prayed and asked God what he wanted me to tell this congregation. the next morning as my feet hit the floor it came to me. “God wants us to come out of our graves, now! The grave of depression, sickness, loneliness, complacency, etc”. For a first sermon, it went quite well, judging by the responses. I appreciate your writing here about Lazarus and how our lives are ongoing. I believe this, death is not the end, it is but a door.

      • well we all have our good days and not so good. with that one, i had 3 months to prepare. i have some others posted on my blog if you care to read. look under Messages at mysticheart.blog.wordpress.com i will have another one posted Sunday afternoon. How long have you been preaching?

        • My first sermon was a good twenty years back. I’m not the senior pastor at my church and only get to a few times a year but I’m definitely a bit better now than I was at fifteen.

  7. I’ve got you beat – I’ve thrown chairs during my arguments with God. But somehow, like the Psalmist, I’ve always come back around to knowing God is for me. That’s the key. Like air into lower pressure, I’ve irresistibly been drawn back into the knowledge of his goodness. Like a spiritual gravity. I guess that’s the mark of the Spirit on me, how I know that I’m really God’s and can never escape.

  8. Great post. And I agree with this…”We are doing neither Him nor ourselves any favors when we pretend to maintain a respectable demeanor while inside a furious storm is brewing.” And I might add that we don’t help others either. It doesn’t help Christians or non-believers to read how “together” we have it. Our writing should point to the greatness of our God.

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