Death is referred to in the Bible as an enemy, and that’s true. It is in - is it 1 Corinthians 15:26? Death is an enemy? And the question says, if it is an enemy, how is it that it results in being present with the Lord? You know, 2 Corinthians 5:8 or 7 there, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord”? How can we say death is an enemy if it means that we’re present with the Lord? How is it an enemy? Well, that’s a fair question. It’s an enemy in several ways.
Number one, it never came into the picture until the fall, right? So it is associated with sin, and anything associated with sin is the enemy of holiness. So just from its theological context, it is an enemy. But beyond that, death is an enemy in this sense: It is certainly an enemy to every man because it is actually the thing which sweeps men into hell. So it’s an enemy.
It is also an enemy to Jesus Christ, for it was the one enemy that Christ finally put down, but it cost Him His life and His blood and the bearing of the sins of all those who sinned. And so death was an enemy to Christ as it is an enemy to all men, and I think there’s a sense in which death is an enemy to the Christian. It’s only in the sense of the pain of it, wouldn’t you say? That’s all. I certainly don’t fear death and yet I wouldn’t want to go being chopped starting at my toes one inch at a time. I mean I don’t look forward to the pain that may be associated with death.
So death is an enemy in the sense that it was an intruder into man’s paradise. It’s an enemy in the sense that it sweeps men into hell. It’s an enemy in the sense that it pays the wages of sin. It’s an enemy in the sense that it caused our blessed Lord Jesus Christ the suffering and pain of the cross, and yet, I hasten to add, it is a defeated enemy of which Paul says, “Death, where is your sting?” The sting has been removed because of Christ, so it’s a defeated enemy.
The question went on, then, and said what about those who died before Christ arose? Were they with the Lord? The Old Testament teaches that the people who died went to a place called Hades or Sheol. It can be translated the grave. It means a waiting place. Apparently, this was not the prepared heaven that our Lord spoke about. But in the Old Testament, you have a rather limited view of life after death. The best we can assume is that when the saints in the Old Testament died, they went to a compartment, or a part, of Sheol or the grave. I’m sure it was a place of joy and fulfillment, a place of blessing, a place of enrichment, a place where the godly would go.
It is referred to as Abraham’s bosom, isn’t it? And you have the picture that the Lord gives of one individual being tormented in a flame, and the other one being sort of at ease in Abraham’s bosom. So whatever the two parts of Sheol were, one was where the ungodly were, and it was torturous. The other was where the godly were, and it was comforting.
When Jesus died on the cross, He said to the thief, “This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.” And Paradise would have reference to that place, the holding pattern, as it were, for the Old Testament godly. But when our Lord died, the Bible says that He entered into this place. And I believe that when He entered into it and declared His victory over the demons, in one part of it, He then went back through the holy part of it and scooped up all the souls of the saints and took them to heaven.
You say, “Where do you get that?” I get that out of Ephesians chapter 4, verse 8 and following, which says that Christ led captivity captive. It seems as though Christ descended, led captivity captive – that is, took all of those who were being held there and took them with Him to the presence of God, and their souls now are with Him. I believe the souls of Old Testament saints are right now in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe they’re the invited wedding guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Now, anybody who dies today goes immediately to be with the Lord because there’s no waiting place. You see, Christ was the first one to lead those people out of Hades. It was His death. He became the leader, the prōtos, the preeminent, the first, and He led the - the godly into the presence of God and the fullness of all that heaven could be. And so from now on, there is no waiting place. Absent from the body, present with the Lord, since the resurrection of Christ.
The third part to the question was: Why raise the dead at the rapture if they’re already with the Lord? Because, at the rapture, you’re going to raise their bodies. Their spirits are with the Lord, but their bodies are going to come out of the grave, and the bodies will be reunited with the spirits. You say, “What’s our body going to be like?” Just like Jesus Christ. 1 John, “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” And you read 1 Corinthians 15 if you want to know what your body’s going to be like. That’s exciting to read that. I mean you start reading about that body you’re going to have, and you can really get excited, especially if you check yourself out in the mirror. I mean it gives you great hope, believe me. Each year that goes by, I’m getting more anxious for my glorified body, you know. But there will be a resurrection.
Did you know also that the ungodly will be resurrected and given some kind of a body in which to be tormented? Yes. Revelation chapter 20 says there will be a resurrection of the ungodly to the great white throne judgment. In John 5, Jesus said, “There will be a resurrection of damnation and a resurrection of life.” Two parts. The first resurrection was the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the church saints at the rapture, and the resurrection of the Old Testament saints at the second coming. Those three form the first resurrection.
The second resurrection is the resurrection of all the ungodly at the great white throne, and it happens at one time. So resurrection is for the physical body, the glorified body to be joined with the spirit that’s already with the Lord.
Another question. I have heard that after death those who had not believed will be given a last chance. Is this so? I wish I could say it was because the hardest thing for me to believe is the concept of an eternal hell and that once a person dies, that’s it, but there is no other thing taught in Scripture than that. In Hebrews chapter 9, and verse 27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” Once to die, and after this, the judgment. There isn’t anything in between. Death ends the possibility of salvation. That’s why I said to somebody the other night as I was talking with them, “You know you need Christ?” “Yes.” “You believe all these things?” “Yes.” “Are you willing to commit your life to Christ?” “I can’t do it.” “You realize that if you died in that situation, you would be confirmed in that?” That’s true.
Listen to John 8:21, very important passage. John 8:21: “Then said Jesus again unto them” - He’s having a little dialogue with the Pharisees. Jesus said to them, “I go My way, and you shall seek Me” - now listen - “and shall die in your sins.” And what is the result? “Where I go” - what? - “you can’t come.” Once you die in your sins, the door is closed. “Where I go, you cannot come.” Then the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself because He says, ‘Where I go, you can’t come’?” That’s a despicable answer.
You see, the Jews felt that the deepest pit, the blackest death belonged to people who killed themselves. Why? Because they saw man created in the image of God. To take your own life was a crime, and so they believed that the deepest pit was for those who killed themselves, and so when Jesus said, “You’re going to die in your sins, and where I go, you can’t come.” In mockery, they said, “Oh, You’re going to kill Yourself? You’re going to go to that lowest level of the pit where we won’t ever come.” And Jesus really got strong in verse 23. He said, “You are from the pit.”
“You are from beneath, I am from above. You are of this world, I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, you shall die in your sin, for if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” “And where you won’t go is above where I’m from.” You see the point? There is no second chance. A man has his lifetime. A woman has her lifetime. That’s it.
Another question. What is the difference between soul and spirit? Boy, do we get asked this a lot. All right, let me give you the best answer I can give you. There is no difference. You say, “Now, that’s not what I’ve heard.” Maybe not. That’s just what I believe. Now, I can’t be dogmatic about this because I can’t perceive the imperceptible, but I’ll tell you this: I believe that we would all agree on this. Man is basically two parts, right? Body, that’s the material part, and the immaterial part, whatever you want to call it and however you want to cut it up. You basically are a body with a something living in it. Whatever that something is. A rose by any name – you know.
Now, what about your material part? Well, your material part is made out of interesting substance. According to Genesis 2:7 and Genesis 3:19, it’s made out of dust. Your body is important. Important enough for God to want your body. Important enough for you to subject your body to holy patterns. Important enough for you to dedicate your body to God. Your body is the partner of the soul. It is the expression of the immaterial part. Sometime the Scripture uses sōma to speak of body. That’s the word in the Greek, sōma. Sometimes the term sarx or flesh is used in reference to the physical.
But you are a body. You are flesh and bones and blood and muscles and tissue. You are a body but, really, the real you is more than a body. In fact, the body is just the house you live in. In fact, some day you will transcend this body to another body, right?
Like Benjamin Franklin wrote on his epitaph, “Here lies the body of Franklin, printer. Like the cover of an old book, stripped of its lettering and gilding, it lies here food for worms. But the work shall not be lost, for it will appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author.” That is on Benjamin Franklin’s epitaph. I’m not sure that’s true in his case because I’m not sure he was a believer.
But the point is simply this: your body is a house for your soul – or your spirit, whatever you want to call it. Now, that’s the material part. What about the immaterial part? Where’d it come from? Well, in Genesis chapter 2, it tells you where your immaterial part came from. Verse 7 – don’t look it up, just listen. “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became” - what? - “a living soul.” You got two parts. He made man out of dirt, and He breathed into him the immaterial part. There’s two parts.
In the Creation, how many parts of man were made? How many? Two. So people say to me, “How many parts are there to a man?” I say, “God made two.” He made him out of dust, and then He breathed into him, and He breathed into him and he became a living soul. Now, there are some people who feel that man is body, soul, and spirit, and that’s all right. Those are terms that are biblical. They - they’re what they call trichotomists. That you have three parts and that your spirit is your Godward part, your soul is your earthward part, and your body is your body. Nobody has an argument about that.
And the support they use for the trichotomy view is 1 Thessalonians 5:23, where it says, “Your whole body, soul, and spirit.” But remember, there can be different terms used to speak of the same thing, and there can be different activities conducted within your immaterial part that don’t necessarily mean there are different parts there.
Hebrews 4:12 is another one they use where it says, “He divides the soul and spirit.” And they say, “There it is. You got to have two parts because they can be divided.” Well, that isn’t what it’s saying. What it’s saying is it penetrates into the deepest part of man’s soul, man’s spirit. The Word of God penetrates deeply into a man. The other view is that man is only two, that he is body and soul-spirit. Now, if you want to know where I’m at, I’m there. I don’t want to blow all your little charts that you’ve got in your mind. That’s just my opinion.
I believe man is a combination of soul-spirit. When you die, what goes to heaven? Soul? Where does the spirit go? Goes there, too, doesn’t it? If they’re both going there, I sure can’t figure out how they’re two different things. You say, “Well, why do you believe we’re only two parts?” The first reason I believe it is because when God made man, He only made two parts, the material part and an immaterial part, and that was it and man was done. And, in fact, the Bible talks about a body and a soul making a whole man. It also talks about a body and a spirit making a whole man.
Throughout the New Testament, the body always is identified as such, but the soul and the spirit are used interchangeably, over and over again. Sometimes a man’s spirit is doing it. Sometimes a man’s soul is doing it. They’re very frequently interchanged. Just to give you an illustration so you know you can go to some Scripture, James 2:26 says, “The body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.” There you have two parts, a body and a spirit. The body needs a spirit to be alive.
Some people say the spirit is when you get the Holy Spirit. You ever heard that view? That you’re two parts until you get saved and then you get the third part? No, no. You’re not two-thirds of a human. That is the worst view. In Hebrews 12:23, it says that your spirits are made perfect. The spirits go to heaven. That a man is a body and spirit. So there are a couple of Scriptures that talk about man being a body and a spirit, and there are other Scriptures you can look at. Revelation talks about some. Let me look at Matthew 20 for the time being. I don’t want to get bogged down in Revelation.
Matthew 20:28: “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and give His life or His soul a ransom for many.” Give His soul a ransom for many. So here, the immaterial part is called soul. Elsewhere, it is called spirit. This interchange goes on all the time in Scripture. I find it very difficult, scripturally, to separate soul and spirit.
Now, maybe the soul has a different function, in a sense, than the spirit, but they’re one and the same thing because when – they are the total you. You can’t lose your spirit and still be you, and you can’t lose your soul and still be you, and you can’t say, “Well, my soul did it, but my spirit didn’t. My spirit’s really doing great, my soul is all messed up.” You’re just you. I see them as interchangeable, and I guess I would be what is classically called in theology a dichotomist.
Another question: When a person dies, what happens to his soul? We get this asked a lot because, for example, there are various views – some people teach that when you die your soul goes into sort of sleep. You may have heard some Seventh-Day Adventist friends talking about soul sleep, or some other group, that your soul just goes to sleep. You just kind of go out of existence. Some say it’s either temporary or permanent. You could sleep for a while, and then you’re resurrected. What does the Bible say? Well, let’s look at Philippians 1:21. What happens when you die? When we go to a funeral, what do we say to people?
Do we say, “Well, our dear brother is asleep – we hope he’ll wake up in the right spot”? Is that what we say? What do we say? Sometimes when I have funerals with some of these other groups, there are various groups, the secret societies and stuff, and sometimes they’ll ask me to do a funeral, and I’ll do a half of it, and the society will do the other half of it, and I just, you know, I just grind in there at the shenanigans that are going on. “Our dear departed is sleeping in the arms of the grand master in the sky,” and all this kind of hocus-pocus and so forth. What is going on? And they never say anything to the people to tell them what’s going on with this poor fellow, least of all the reality that is often the case.
Philippians 1 tells us. First, let’s look at what happens to a believer when he dies. Verse 21 of Philippians 1: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is” - what? - “gain.” So whatever it is, it’s better. Right? Whatever it is, it’s better than what you have here. Some of you are saying, “Amen.” Others of you are saying, “It’s pretty good here.” “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is better.” You say, “Yeah, but Paul didn’t have it good.” Don’t kid yourself. He loved every minute of life. But that was better.
Verse 23: “I am in a strait between two” - boy, I got a problem - “having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.” If you said, “Hey, Paul, what happens when you die?” He’d say, “It’s better.” “Why is it better?” “Because if I depart, I will” - what? - “be with Christ, and that is far better.” That’s what he said. That’s the teaching of the New Testament.
Look at 2 Corinthians chapter 5. There isn’t any waiting time. The minute a person dies, they’re instantly in the presence of Jesus Christ. Second Corinthians 5:6, Paul says, “We’re always confident,” or we know this well, there’s no mystery here – “while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.” Now, he says as long as we’re here in the body, we’re absent from the Lord. That’s clear. And “we have to walk by faith, not by sight.” But he says, “We’re confident, I say, and willing rather” - again, it’s better - “to be absent from the body and thus to be” - what? - “present with the Lord.”
There are only two things. You’re either here or with Him. There isn’t any middle area. You don’t float off into a Rip van Winkle deal for so many years. None of us is going to be a spiritual Rip van Winkle. To be absent from the body - bang! - to be present with the Lord.
One other passage that gives us clear word on this, Luke 23:39, and here is the thief on the cross and one of the malefactors or criminals hanged, mocked Jesus. Luke 23:39: “And he said, ‘If You be the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other answering rebuked him, saying, ‘Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?’” While you’re criticizing Him, you’re hanging here for your crimes. “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds. But this Man has done nothing wrong. And he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee’” – if you’re lucky, in a few hundred years – ‘you’ll be with Me in Paradise.’” No. Jesus said, “Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.” When? Today.
What happens, John, to an unbeliever when he dies? Luke 16:19. Luke 16:19. You know, this is apostolic, doing this, because this is what Paul used to do. It says in Acts that he reasoned with the people, and the word means he dialogued, question-and-answer. So this is a profitable thing, I trust. Just thought I’d throw that in while you’re fishing around. Luke 16:19: “There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen” - that’s the kind of thing rich men wore in those days - “and fared sumptuously every day.” He ate well. “There was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores.” That’s a stark contrast.
Don’t confuse this Lazarus with the brother of Martha and Mary, different. Common name. And we believe this is not a parable but this is a true story simply because there is a proper name and no parable ever uses a proper name. So this is a true story. “...desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.” That’s a sad character. He just wants a few crumbs off the rich man’s table, he’s lying there all sore, and the dogs are licking his sores, that’s a pretty sick scene.
“Came to pass the beggar died” - no doubt - “and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.” I like that. You know how you get from here to there? You know who takes you? Who? Angels. Nice to know, right? You know why? There’s a lot of stuff going on up there. Remember our study on angels? Yeah, you remember they tried to hold up the body of Moses? The angels take us. Terrific. It’s a fast trip. You might not really know what’s going on but - anyway, “He was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.” Well, you say, “What is that?”
Abraham’s bosom is simply the name for the righteous area where the believing people go. That’s what - that’s the Old Testament designation where believing people go. You’ve heard – Sheol, right? Hades? That’s just the place of the dead. It’s divided into two compartments. The compartment for the good and the compartment for the bad. The compartment for the good was called Abraham’s bosom. It was also called Paradise.
And so he takes him to Abraham’s bosom, “But the rich man also died and was buried and in Hades, lifted up his eyes.” The rich man was an unbeliever, died, and immediately where was he? In Hades. What happens to the people who die without the Lord? They wake up separated from God. They wake up conscious. Listen. “He lifted up eyes.” He was conscious. He was awake. He wasn’t asleep. Secondly, “being in torment,” they wake up in torment, “saw Abraham far off” with a sense of lostness and being estranged from what he could’ve had. You want to know what hell is like? It’s conscious torment, knowing you missed what you could’ve had. Okay? That’s what happens to the unbelievers.
And Jesus said it, didn’t He? In the passage earlier, John 8:21, “You shall die in your sins and where I go” - what? - “you can’t come. You die in your sins, and you go to a place different than where I shall be.”
Now, what happens to the body of the unbeliever? What happens to the body of the believer? The body goes into the ground, but the spirit of the believer goes to be with the Lord. The spirit of an unbeliever, soul of an unbeliever, goes to the place of the unrighteous dead, and that’s not the final hell. That doesn’t come until after the great white throne and they’re thrown into the final hell. But they go to a place of torment for unrighteous folks until the final hell.
But in John 5, it tells us what happens to the bodies. Do you know there’s a resurrection for everybody, saved and unsaved? That’s right. All the graves are going to give up their victims. John 5:25: “Verily I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.” Hmm. Everybody that hears His voice is going to live. Verse 28: “Don’t be surprised at this, the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.”
These people will come alive. There will be a resurrection of life for the godly. What’s going to happen? Our spirits go immediately to be with the Lord. Where are our bodies? Decaying. But in the rapture, what happens? The bodies are joined with the spirits. The unbeliever, at the end of the millennial Kingdom, those bodies are raised to join those spirits that have been in Hades and then cast into the final hell. There will be a resurrection for everybody. This is something we need to be clear on, folks. Some people are teaching apparently lately that Christians aren’t going to have a glorified body. That isn’t true. We will be reunited, that’s what John 5 says. There will be a resurrection of the body to join the spirit.
Well, let’s ask another question. This is hard for you to make those transitions, I can feel it. Okay? It’s hard for me. I have a sermon on every one of these thoughts. I just, you know. What does the Bible say about cremation? I was trying to think of a good transition, and the one I thought of I didn’t use. But, anyway, what does the Bible say about cremation? There are a lot of people asking this, and it’s a fair question to answer. The Bible doesn’t say anything. People say, “Well, what about in the rapture?” Frankly, folks, your body isn’t going to be intact in the rapture if it’s anywhere over several years away anyhow.
So you don’t need to avoid cremation to keep your body preserved for the rapture. I want you to know that you will receive a new one anyway. It’s only a question of preference. Many Christians in the early centuries, you can study church history and find many of them were cremated – burned at the stake. It may be the only way to dispose of bodies simply in the future, it is done commonly in other cultures today. There’s not anything wrong with it, if that’s your preference. In many cases, I think it’s a little less morbid than having them alive and on display in strange ways that some do and have done in America in the past more than in the present.
All right. Another interesting question that I get asked very often: Can Christians who have died see what’s going on here on earth? This question arises from a misinterpretation of Hebrews 12:1. Let’s look at it. I remember when I was a little kid, hearing a sermon on this, where this guy presented a picture of a big stadium. “Wherefore, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is set before us.” He said, “Now, we’re Christians, and we’re out there running the race, and the stadium is filled with these cloud of witnesses watching us.” And he went on to say, “And the saints that have gone before are hanging over the edges of heaven, and Moses is up there saying, ‘Go, MacArthur, go.’ And David and Daniel and everybody else, and they’re all hanging out of the - out of heaven, and cheering us on, and when we stumble they all know it, and they say, ‘Oh, I’m disappointed in you. Come on,’” and all of this.
And this was very traumatic for me because I – it was bad enough living my life with God watching without the entire redeemed community of all the ages past sitting around watching me fall all over the place. Now, I only want to add that that is a terrible misinterpretation of Hebrews 12. “Seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” Not witnesses looking at us, but people giving testimony to the life of faith. He spent an entire 11th chapter by faith, by faith, by faith, by faith, by faith, by faith, and then he says, “Since we have so many people who testify to the glories of faith, then let us also run the race of faith.” That’s what he’s saying.
It’s not anything like a stadium. It’s saying, “If this many people have said, ‘The life of faith is the way to go,’ if there are that many witnesses to the life of faith, then that’s the kind of life we ought to live.” That’s what he’s saying here. That’s a far cry from the other. I’ll tell you something, folks, when I go to heaven, the last thing that I want to do is hang over the edge looking down here. Listen, who is the glory of heaven? The Lamb. And when you go there, what are you going to do? You’re going to gaze on Him. Not going to spend your time looking back down here. Who cares?
Please comment on the recent publication by Kurt Berna, Christ Did Not Die on the Cross. Well, obviously, this totally denies everything that the New Testament teaches. No comment needs to be made other than to say the man is totally and absolutely 180 degrees from the truth. The biblical evidence is that Jesus died on the cross. The soldiers came by. They were experts in whether a man was dead or not. They said, “He’s already dead,” and, thus, they didn’t break His legs. There’s no question about the fact that He died on the cross. Pilate required certification of death.
In order for a man to be finally certified as dead, four executioners had to examine that man, and then the verdict was precise and the verdict was clear, and that’s what Pilate would’ve demanded and did demand, and that’s exactly what happened. There were many experts. In verse 39 of Mark 15, it says, “And the centurion who stood facing Him saw that He cried out and gave up the spirit.” The centurion saw that He died, and the centurion was an expert in death, a Roman soldier. “He said, ‘Truly, this Man was the Son of God.’”
In verse 44, “Pilate marveled that He was already dead and called the centurion and asked him whether He had been any while dead. He asked him, “How long has He been dead?” The centurion knew He was dead. The centurion confirmed He was dead, and Pilate wanted to know how long He’d been dead. John 19 says, “There issued from His heart blood and water.” There’s no question that Jesus died. People who say He didn’t die on the cross say that in order to eliminate what? The resurrection. But He did die.
I don’t know about you, I’m thankful He did. It is because of His death that you and I live. It is because of His death that we have anything to sing about as we sang earlier. It is because of His death that we have the provision for our sins, and someday we’ll be able to praise Him face to face when we see Him in heaven.
Here’s an interesting question: How did Saul die? Well, that is a good question. Turn to 1 Samuel 31:4. You say, “Well, that’s easy, I remember that. He fell on his sword.” Well, let’s look at it. First Samuel 31:4. Now, you remember there was a terrible defeat here. Philistines. “Philistines slew Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons.” Sad thing when a man sees all of his sons die, loses a battle.
“The battle went heavily against Saul, and the archers hit him. He was severely wounded by the archers. Then said Saul unto his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through and abuse me.’” He didn’t want any gentiles messing around with him. “But his armor-bearer would not, for he was very much afraid. Therefore, Saul took a sword and fell on it.” How did he die? Suicide. Killed himself.
What’s the problem? The problem is 2 Samuel 1:10. Turn the page over, and you’ll be there. And some young guy comes in, and he wants to be a hero with David. See? David’s a great victor. “And the young man” - verse 6 - “said, ‘I happened by chance upon Mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear, and lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me and called unto me. And I answered, ‘Here am I.’ And he said unto me, ‘Who are you?’ And I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ And he said unto me again, ‘Stand, I pray thee, over me and slay me, for anguish is come upon me because my life is yet whole in me.’ So I stood over him and slew him because I was sure that he could not live after he was fallen. And I took the crown that was upon his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here unto my lord.’”
Say, “Now, wait a minute. We just said Saul committed suicide. What’s this?” What is the answer? This guy’s a liar. He made up the whole thing. You know why? He wanted to get in the good graces of David. He came in and said, “David, look what I’ve done. Here is his crown. Here is his bracelet. I have slain Saul.” You know what David did? Executed him. You know, David wasn’t happy that Saul was dead. Grieved his heart. Look at verse 12, “They mourned and wept and fasted until evening.” Verse 15, he killed him. One of the things you want to be careful about is telling the truth. Let’s pray.
Father, we’re thankful for just a little time of sharing from Your Word. We thank You for what the cross has done in our lives. We thank You for the death of the Lord Jesus Christ in our behalf. We thank You that, in the Word of God, there are answers to our heart’s questions, to the questions of our mind. Father, we know that all those answers are revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, granted to us by the resurrected Christ. We thank You for this. And, Father, we thank You for our sweet fellowship tonight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.