“Blessed are the Dead - Part 2”

Blessed are the Dead - Part 2

Wade Webster

“Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (Revelation 14:13).  As we examine this beatitude, we will see four things. In the first installment of this study, we noticed the paradox and the place.  In this part of our study, we will notice the period and the promise.

The Period - From now on

When man sin, death entered the world and began to reign.  Paul wrote, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (Romans 5:12-14).  Men lived in fear.  In Hebrews we read, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).  When Jesus was raised from the dead, He broke the hold of death. From that day forward, we can have the victory.   In the resurrection chapter of the Bible (1 Cor. 15), Paul wrote, “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law” (1 Corinthians 15:54-56).

The Promise - That they might rest from their labors, and their works follow them.

God has given to us exceeding great and precious promises.  Peter wrote, “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).  Two promises are made in this passage.  The first promise is rest from our labors.  As you know, this life is filled with burdens.  Paul wrote, “For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:4).  Some of the burdens are very heavy.  Jesus declared, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  In heaven, we will have a new body and the former things that troubled us and tired us here will be no more.  John wrote, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).  In addition to resting from our labors, our works follow us.  Through John, Jesus declared, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Rev. 22:12). We can be assured that God will not forget the smallest things that we have done.  The Hebrew writer wrote, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb. 6:10).

What a comforting study this has been.  As Christians, we do not have to sorrow as others who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13-18). We have great hope because of what Jesus did.