Death Hasn’t Lost Its Sting

Recently the family of one of my wife’s cousins lost a son to muscular dystrophy. He was a few weeks shy of his twenty-third birthday. My thoughts today are prompted by the memorial service we attended a week ago.

The service was a long one and a real drag for me. It was held at a mainline denominational church which I doubt preaches the true Gospel and the need to be born again. The people who attend there regularly are playing religion, hoping their good works will get them to heaven.

I didn’t know the young man who died. I wish I could say for certain whether he knew the Lord as savior and friend. Evidently he took his affliction in good stride and didn’t complain. He was an inspiration to his family and friends.

He was an artist, having produced many sketches and some paintings over the years. One of the local TV stations featured him in a human interest story three or four years ago during one of their evening newscasts.

He provided those around him with something good–a bright spot–in the midst of a troubled world. I don’t know how he did it. He deserved the admiration and commendations expressed at the service.

While many mourned over the loss of one particular life, I was reminded that death hasn’t lost its sting for any of us.

It’s sad that this young man with so much potential died so early. And it was depressing for me to be sitting in a crowd of people who, for the most part, have been inoculated against the truth by false religion.

All of this magnifies the consequences of Man’s fall and the introduction of sin and death into the world. Satan is a liar, and there seems to be no escape from all he has wrought. It makes me hate this present world all the more.

The sting of death won’t go away until we who believe in Christ are resurrected. I thank God for true hope in Christ.

Genesis 3:4, 17-19
4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:…
17. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

1 Corinthians 15:17-22, 53-57
17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive….
53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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