THE HAPPY DEAD
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. (KJV).There is happiness in death to the self, giving all for Christ, possibly even dying for the faith, and ultimate happiness when our salvation is completed at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Does the above statement shock you. Death is our enemy according to Scripture, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor 15:26 (KJV). The “death” of the above statement is the giving of one’s self for Christ’s sake.
In our day of modern technology there are many who have an innate fear of death. Maybe that is as it should be. Death tends to remind us that we are but finite (limited) beings, and uncertain of what lies beyond. That is shown in our technology, which appears at times to lengthen man’s life span.
It seems that man has always sought for a “Fountain of Youth”. It also seems, that in the minds of many, the new “Fountain of Youth” is modern technology. People fearful of growing old are almost shameful of their age. There are some who have made request, that upon their death their body be frozen in hopes that in some future day their body can be revived and cured of the ailment which caused their demise. There was, at one time a great effort at promoting “Cryogenic labs” which provided the service of freezing the dead. If you were rich enough and foolish enough to believe such things. I have not heard much about it in recent days.
The one who has faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ should know that for them death is an enemy which has been defeated. It cannot hold us, and escape from it is not provided by any of the technological advances of man. For the believer death is to be “Absent from the body, present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). Why would any sensible person want to continue in a body wracked by pain, a life filled with tragedy and sorrow? Let me clarify something – Life is in God’s hands, and it is He and He alone who gives life, and He is the only one who has the right to take it, or those to whom He has given authority (Read Romans 13:1-7).
Who are “The Happy Dead”? Those who are dead to the self life, and living for Jesus. Those who while physically alive chose Jesus’ life for their life, and lived for Him, but whose bodies are now in the grave, and their spirits are in the presence of the Lord who will one day bring the spirits with Him to rejoin them with their bodies, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (1 Thes. 4:14 (KJV).
Why should we call them “The Happy Dead”? or Why are they “The Happy Dead”?
In the first place THEY HAVE A PASSION FOR GOD. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20 (KJV). “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (1 Cor 15:31 (KJV). They receive that passion before their bodies return to the earth from which they came. The one’s who are in Christ Jesus have given their lives to Him for the cause of Christ and eternity. In doing this it shows their passion for Jesus. Their hearts are on Jesus, for Jesus, and not just to gain eternity, but because of it. Those who have died in Christ Jesus are now in His presence and enjoying happiness beyond our mortal understanding.
Secondly, THEY HAVE A PLACE WITH GOD. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalms 116:15 (KJV). Through faith in Jesus and the finished work of the cross we are promised a place (John 14:1-3). Those who have a promised place with God throughout eternity have given Him a permanent place in their lives. They spend time daily in fellowship with Him. Reading, studying, meditating, and living by His Word – led by the Holy Spirit. They have found strength for living by Jesus living His life in them. There is no place four with God in the life of the wicked, but God does not joy in that, “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek 18:32 (KJV). He desires for all to come to salvation in Jesus.
Thirdly, THEY HAVE THE PEACE OF GOD. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:7 (KJV). “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Heb 4:9-11 (KJV). Those who believe come to a place in their lives where they relaize that all their labors (for salvation) are in vain. They will realize that if they are to have the “Peace of God” they will cease from their own labors and completely trust in the finished work of grace by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Last, but certainly not exhausted, THEY HAVE THE PRAISE OF GOD. “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt 25:21 (KJV). “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt 25:23 (KJV). “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt 25:34 (KJV). God rewards those who are always faithful with that which He has given them. Your salvation is the greatest gift He has given. It could be asked, “What can I do faithfully with my salvation?” The answer for that is, “Do all that is in your ability and the power of the Holy Spirit to grow into the image of Christ”. Reading the Scriptures, praying, praising, witnessing, living the life that will honor and glorify Christ. Be faithful with the material blessings God has given. We all must remember that the praises of men have a short duration, but the praises of God are eternal. The praises of God begin when you act on faith in God’s Word. When there is sin in your life – agree with God. When it concerns the matter of salvation; it is only a work of God and God alone – agree with God. When God says, “This is my Son, your Savior” – agree with God. When you are in agreement with God you are walking with Him. When you do not agree with God you are away from Him.
In conclusion, the people who are THE HAPPY DEAD are those who realize their position in Christ Jesus. These are a people who are dead to the self-life and alive in Jesus. These are also a people who know that victory over death is their’s through Jesus Christ our Lord.