Blessed are the dead
Text: Rev. 14:13
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
The word blessed is frequently translated as
"Happy." Happy are the dead? Many times, when the end of life comes,
we know there is suffering, pain, separation, and there are heartaches.† How
can we believe that the dead are to be happy?
Here we have the answer! Blessed are the dead, which DIE IN THE LORD!† Those who know Jesus, those
who have invited Christ into their hearts, those who remain faithful, when they
die are blessed. They are happy.
Why? Well, there are many reasons; perhaps they are happy because death has brought relief from their pain. Revelation 21:4 tells us "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away."†
But, our text lists other reason.
They will rest from their labor;
Paul says it so well, 1 Cor 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your larour is not in vain in the Lord."
We are struggling with all our might to bear fruit, we labor
in sharing our faith, we work to influence our family members, we are in a
constant struggle to build our Church, to attract more people to Jesus Christ.
It is a constant struggle. It is an on-going labor, certainly it is a labor of
love. But it is tiring labor nonetheless. And when we die, we are no longer
caught up in the struggle, we will have done all that we can do, the rest will
be up to those whose lives we have touched throughout our life.
And there is even another kind of struggle; our struggle against sin, our struggle against temptation. Paul said, " Ephesians 6:12 ďFor we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high placesĒ.
If we remain faithful in the face of temptation, if we
refuse to follow the allure of sin, then, when we die, we are blessed, because
we no longer have to struggle against sin, our battle will be over.
Their works do follow them.
Scripture tells us that the dead are blessed because they will rest from their labors, AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM. So what does that mean? I see 2 meanings in this promise.
First of all, their deeds follow
them into heaven.
Scripture tells us that we will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. Our actions, our works, our deeds. Have we encouraged people? Have we helped those less fortunate? Have we been giving? These things will be rewarded when we make heaven our home. Our works do "follow us." John was on the Isle of Patmos when he wrote, in Rev. 20:12, "I saw the dead, great and small, standing before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works."
But I see another meaning to this promise. I believe that
the things that we have done here on earth go on long after our death. In other
words, blessed are those who die in the Lord; they will rest from their labor,
and, those good deeds they have done will continue to work and bless and
encourage, even after that person has gone to be with the Lord! Iím sure those
of you who knew Zelma, you are still
benefiting from having known her. Her deeds continue to bless and encourage,
even though Zelma herself is with Jesus.
The truth is, that we would do well to understand, you and I
have the ability to impact people even after we die! Itís all in how we live
our lives while we are alive. We can impact our families and our friends, and
that influence doesnít just end when we die. It goes on and on. So it behooves
us to make sure we are having a POSITIVE impact.
A glorious voice from heaven proclaimed, blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
But, I wouldnít be doing my job as a Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ if I didnít point out something very important,
What about those who are not a Christian? Scripture doesnít
say, "Blessed are all the dead who die. " Scripture says,
"Blessed are those who DIE IN THE LORD".
But what about those who arenít in the Lord? Well, the Bible tells us about
them too, but it doesnít use the word "blessed" or "happy",
it says, "the smoke of their torment rises
for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night" Scripture
says there will come a time when "The
angels shall come forth, and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw
the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth" Matt 13:49-50
The Christian will have rest from their labors, but the sinner will never rest, their pain goes on and on and on forever.
Zelma has rested from her labors, she is gone where the wicked will cease from troubling and the weary will be at rest, where all the saints of ages will set at His feet and be blessed.
Always howdy, howdy
No night there
No sorrow there
No Hospitals there
No Doctors there
No problems there
No funeral homes there
Hearse wheels donít roll there
The leaves on the trees are good for the healing of the nation
Every day will be like Sunday, Sabbath will had no end
Every month will be like May
Every year will be like Jubilee
Zelma saved her life, what about you? Will you see her again? The only way is thru Jesus Christ. The choice is yours.
Blessed are the dead which die in
the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their
labours; and their works do follow them.