Man must wait for Christ for his Reward!

by: By Wayne Schatzle

       Did you ever take time to stroll through a graveyard? Especially an older one with inscriptions on the headstones? It can be very thought provoking.

      Recently, I visited several cemeteries in this area and wondered about our departed ancestors. Most of these people are a mystery to us, all of what we know of them is engraved on their headstones

      One from Indian Creek cemetery said: "My flesh shall slumber in the ground, Till the last trumpet's joyful sound. Then burst the chains with sweet surprise, And in my Savior's image rise." (G. Vanausdell 1842).

      I thought how ironic this truth of man's fate be carved on a stone in an ancient graveyard. Most people are completely ignorant of this Biblical truth that man's fate is to die then rest in the grave until the trumpet sounds and Christ returns. Then those who died as true Christians will rise from the grave with new spiritual bodies and meet Christ in the air.

       There is so much misinformation concerning the state of the dead, from soul migration, returning as bugs and animals, to floating to heaven and living on the clouds.

       A little study of the Bible plainly reveals God's plan does not resemble the popular beliefs of today. The truth of the resurrection permeates scripture.

       "Everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." This is promised four times in the sixth chapter of John alone. Graphic accounts of this wonderful day are also given in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. Revelation 20 shows there is a first resurrection for those who will be ruling with Christ in his kingdom here on earth (Rev 5:10) with subjects that survived the great tribulation. And then a second resurrection at the end of the 1,000-year reign of Christ on this earth, for those deceived by Satan to finally have a chance at' eternal life. This resurrection is depicted in Ezekiel 37. Here the dead are raised to a physical life, given breath and understanding with King David to rule over them. What a loving God to provide such a way by which men may be saved! God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for he shall receive me (Psalm 49).

       Death is an enemy we all must yield to, but it doesn't have to hold us if God finds us worthy to raise. For all the trials Job experienced he was confident he would see Christ in the last day here on earth (Job 19). The apostle Paul said he didn't want people ignorant concerning loved ones who died. He explained the resurrection and said to comfort people with this truth. It's of no value to tell people fairy tales about the afterlife which is unbelievable. Believe the truth of God and be comforted and look forward to the exciting kingdom of God to come.

       I conclude this article with a verse From a tombstone in Oxford, engraved in 1840: Remember me as you pass by, As you are now so once was I. As I am now so you must be, Prepare for death and follow me.

Written by Wayne Schatzle,
director, Freedom Biblical Information Center
P.O. Box 1806, West Chester OH 45071