Grace to You Resources
Grace to You - Resource

As we come to the teaching of the Word of God this morning, obviously we are talking about the resurrection of our Lord. But I want to direct our attention to the great reality of the fact that most people don’t understand that everybody who’s ever lived and died will rise again. That’s right, everyone. There will be a resurrection of every single person who has ever lived and died. Wherever their bodies were laid, to whatever degree of corruption they were then subjected, will have nothing to do with God’s ability to raise them in a new body fit for their eternal dwelling.

Everyone lives forever. People who think that death is sleep and they go out of existence are mistaken. They will go into an eternal existence with all their faculties heightened and intensified to a degree that’s incomprehensible to them. They will also be raised in a body that is fit for their dwelling place: either in heaven or in hell, a body suited to eternal blessing and service to God or a body suited to eternal punishment and suffering. But everybody will rise. People who assume in taking their life they have escaped have only ushered themselves into the reality of the next and eternal world.

Back in the book of Job, which was a book written in the patriarchal period, back in the time of Genesis, the question is posed, “Shall a man live again,” or, “Is there life after death?” And the answer comes in the nineteenth chapter of Job, where Job says this: “After my skin is destroyed”—in other words, after his body has decayed—“yet in my flesh I will see God; whom I will see for myself, and my eye will behold and not another. My heart faints within me!” Asking the question, Will a man live again? Job answers the question: “Yes, he will live again. His flesh is corrupted, but yet in a new kind of flesh he will see God.” And that’s enough to make his heart faint. Every human being who dies will be raised to see God, every person who’s ever lived—there is no escape. Once you’re born, you’re forever.

Now I want you to turn to John chapter 5, and I want to offer this very, very profound text to you to help you understand what I’ve just said. The Resurrection is the subject of this passage. The chapter begins with Jesus healing a man at the pool of Bethesda, a man who had been in some form of disability for thirty-eight years, and had believed a kind of superstition that if he could get into the water first when the angel stirred the water—as the superstition might have indicated—he could be healed. Well, he’d been there for many years, and it never happened. But one day Jesus came along, and Jesus healed that man and told him to roll up his little straw mat and put it on his shoulder and walk, and he did. It was a massive, massive miracle, inescapably obvious to everybody who had seen that man there for decades.

As a result of that healing by Jesus, the Jews escalated their desire to kill Him. Their desire was already to kill Him, but it was sort of under the surface; it hadn’t really boiled up. But healing that man and telling him to take his bed and walk brought their hostility to the surface, and verse 16 tells us why: “For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.” They had created false rules for the Sabbath. The Old Testament did say that you are to limit your travel on the Sabbath, but certainly a man who had been healed in a divine miracle could pick up his bed and walk away from the place of his healing. But they were so circumscribed to these externals that they saw this as an act of blasphemy on the part of Jesus, doing even the work of healing, because you weren’t supposed to work on the Sabbath, and then having the man do the work of carrying his bed. And so in verse 18, we read, “For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him.” They had been already seeking to kill Him because He rejected their false religion. And now it was intensified because He had violated the Sabbath.

They “were seeking all the more to kill Him,” verse 18 says, “because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, and making Himself equal with God.” This was the ultimate blasphemy. Back in verse 17, He had said, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” What He was saying is, “The Sabbath doesn’t relate to God, and I’m God. The Sabbath doesn’t relate to Me. Neither God nor the Son of God are subject to your fabricated rules.” They understood that as a claim that He was equal with God, and that is exactly what it was. The Jews were never mistaken about Jesus’ claim. They knew He was claiming to be equal with the eternal God, Yahweh, the creator God, the triune God of reality and of Scripture.

Verse 19 then, “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them”—instead of backing off when they were accusing Him of blaspheming for claiming to be equal with God, He intensifies the reality of that and presses it even stronger—“‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.’” This is a terrifying set of claims by our Lord Jesus. He is saying, “I’m not subject to your rules on the Sabbath. I align with God; I do what the Father does.”

Look at verse 17: “My Father is working . . . I am working.” And they understood that, verse 18, that He was saying He was equal with God, He was one in nature, one in essence; in fact, He is God—the ultimate blasphemy in the mind of the Jews.

Not only was He one with God in nature, but He was one with God in work. Verse 19, “Jesus answered [them with] saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner’”—“Everything you see Me do is because it is the Father doing it. Everything you see Me do is the work of the Father, based on the will and purpose of the Father.” So He is one with God in nature; He is one with God the Father in works.

And then coming into verse 20, “The Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing.” In other words, the third thing He says here is that He has full knowledge of everything that God knows. So He is equal to God in nature, equal to God in works, and equal to God in truth—in revelation, in knowledge.

And then He adds, “The Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.” Greater works than the healing of that lame man. And what would that be? Verses 21 and 22, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.” Here He says He is one with God in power to raise the dead, and He is one with God in sovereignty to give life to whomever He will, and that He has been given the right to judge everyone. That’s how sovereign He is: one in nature, one in works, one in knowledge, one in power, one in sovereignty with God. Sovereignly He will judge. “Even the Father,” verse 22 says, doesn’t judge but “has given all judgment to the Son.”

And then in a final declaration, “So that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent Him.” The Jewish people thought they knew God, they honored God; they did not because you can’t honor the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ if you don’t honor Him as well. So He is equal to God in nature and works and knowledge and power and sovereignty and judgment, authority, and honor. So He’s just pressing this issue of equality to a degree that was shocking beyond comprehension to the Jews, who thought He was a liar and a fraud.

He claims this power and authority—which is the heart of this section that I want you to look at, in verses 21 and 22—when He says He has power to raise the dead and give them life, and He gives it to whomever He wishes. And then He has the power and the authority to judge everyone. This is ultimate sovereignty and ultimate power: the power to give life and the power to judge. He is the one who will make everyone alive, and He is the one who will judge everyone.

Since that’s the case, look at verse 24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” So this is the sum of all of it. This is an invitation; this is a declaration of fact. Since it is the Son of God who has the power to raise the dead and will do that, who has the authority to judge everyone and will do that, then truly, truly, you must hear His word and believe in Him and the God who sent Him, to have eternal life and to escape from death into life and not come to judgment.

This is the simple reality of gospel truth. Everybody’s headed for eternal judgment; everyone is headed for a resurrection unto damnation, a resurrection unto condemnation, a resurrection unto judgment. The only way to avoid that is to hear the word concerning Christ, believe in Him, believe in the One who sent Him, receive eternal life, avoid judgment, and pass out of death into life. This is the heart of the gospel.

Many times when you hear about the gospel in our time, it seems as though people only want to talk about what it can accomplish for you in this life. That’s a lie. I mean, we are currently blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ. So there are benefits in this life. But the reason for salvation is not to bring you bliss in this life, because even if you’re a believer in this life you still have to fight your way through all of the realities of a fallen world and you being a fallen person.

Several years ago I preached a sermon based on Joel Osteen’s book Your Best Life Now, and I said, “If this is your best life now, you’re on your way to hell, and it is your best life. But for those who are in Christ, this is far from our best life.”

So what the gospel offers you is an escape from eternal judgment. Christ, the only one who can save you, will either be your Savior, or He will be your Judge. He will either raise you to life abundant and eternal in His presence forever, or He will raise you to condemnation and judgment to suffer forever out of His presence in a place the Bible calls hell. So the word here is to listen to Him. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word concerning Christ.” He is the one who raises the dead and gives life and escape from judgment.

So I can’t emphasize probably enough for you to understand the shock of those kinds of words to the Jewish people who saw Him as a blasphemer. And instead of backing down from what they perceived as blasphemy, He escalated it to a point the likes of which they could never imagine. There’s a lot to say about what He says here, but I want to focus on just two things. They are the statements in verses 21 and 22 that He raises the dead, gives them life, and He is the Judge. He has the power to raise the dead and the authority to judge. This is Jesus Christ.

Now as we keep that in mind, I want you to draw down to verse 25. This is the focus of the passage that I want to call to your attention. Here He is going to demonstrate His power to raise the dead and to judge. Listen to what it says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice”—all—“and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”

Mark it: Everybody is going to be raised from the dead, everybody—everybody who’s ever lived and died. And the Lord will have no problem sorting out that individual from the completely disintegrated and dissolved parts, to bring back to life that same person in an eternal form—some kind of body, a body suited for service and worship in heaven. For the unbelievers, it’s a body suited for suffering and punishment in hell. But everybody will be raised from the dead, everybody. “Don’t marvel at this.” And why does He say that? Because this is shocking, this is shocking.

Now there are two aspects to resurrection that our Lord is referring to, and if you go back to verse 25, I’ll show you how He does that. He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” Well, there wasn’t a physical resurrection at that time; the great, final resurrection is yet to come in the future. So what is He saying, “An hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live”? What does He mean by that? He’s talking about spiritual resurrection, spiritual resurrection.

Look at the “now is.” Even at the time in our Lord’s ministry and life in which He was speaking here, He was giving life to people, He was saving people, He was raising them from spiritual death. Jesus defined the people as dead. He said, “Let the dead bury their dead,” in the book of Matthew. And what He was saying is, “Let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead.” The Scripture is clear about the deadness of the condition of the unconverted.

In the familiar story of the prodigal son, twice in that parable Jesus defines the prodigal as dead—Luke 15—and dead in sin. So even now, Jesus is saying He is giving life to the spiritually dead. And I can show you that. Go back to John chapter 1. Before the cross—listen—before the cross and before resurrection, He was giving life to people who believed in Him. Listen to John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”

There’s no cross yet. There’s no Resurrection yet. They weren’t required to believe in His death and resurrection; it hadn’t happened. But to any who received Him, having believed in Him—believed Him to be who He claimed to be, the Messiah, the Son of God—and received Him as Savior and Lord, without even knowing anything concerning an as-yet unfulfilled event, the cross and the open tomb, He gave them a right to become a child of God. So they could believe, and they could receive Christ and have nothing in their minds at all about His death and resurrection, and they would still be children of God.

Go over to the familiar third chapter of John. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in”—what?—“in Him”—not in the cross, not even in the Resurrection, but believes “in Him”—“shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God didn’t send [His] Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; [but] . . . he [who] has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God [is judged already].” So already, He was making people alive. He had been making people alive since the beginning.

Go back to Abraham. Paul says about Abraham in Romans, “[He] believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” He’s the illustration of justification in Romans 4: He believed God, and he was justified by believing in God. And Abraham knew nothing about the cross or the Resurrection.

Now I know Romans 10 says, “If you confess . . . Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” That’s because on this side of the death on the cross and the Resurrection, you must believe in that. But before that, it was a matter of believing all that had been revealed; and God accounted that kind of faith as the faith that embraced divine righteousness.

You see the same thing in the thirty-sixth verse of John 3: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” and the wrath of God doesn’t abide on him. So already, people who believed in Him, like the disciples, they hadn’t gotten to the cross yet—like the Samaritans; we see that in chapter 4. If you look at chapter 4 of John’s gospel, you see many Samaritans who believed. Down in verse 41, after Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, “Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.’” They needed to believe that He was the Savior of the world, the anointed of God, the Redeemer; and believing, they would be saved. And that goes through the gospel of John. Even before you get to the cross, He’s calling people to believe in everything He has revealed.

At any point in progressive revelation, salvation came to one who believed what God had revealed. Believing to the point that God had revealed was all that could be expected. So that’s the “now is” part. Go back to verse 25.

Now the dead are hearing the voice of the Son of God and coming to life. Spiritual life is being given to those who hear the voice of the Lord, who hear the voice of Christ. The hour of life is already here, as it always has been; salvation is available. But there’s more to come. “An hour is also coming”— also coming—“when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” What is it that’s coming? What’s coming is the cross and the Resurrection, and an hour is coming when there will be a great, sweeping response to the cross and the Resurrection, and faith will give birth to the church—and I read you that from Acts 2. The hour that was coming was the cross, the Resurrection, the birth of the church, the preaching of the gospel, the gospel of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So already the spiritually dead are being made alive as Christ was giving them life. But yet in the future, after the cross and Resurrection, there would be an even greater explosion of faith. On the Day of Pentecost three thousand people were converted; another few chapters and you have five thousand being converted, and pretty soon the gospel turns the world upside down.

So our Lord is talking here about spiritual life; He raises the spiritually dead. Takes us back to Ephesians 2: You were dead in trespasses and sins, but God has, together with Christ, made you alive. You have been given life.

Romans 6:13 describes Christians as those who have been made alive. “You were dead in your trespasses and sin.” Colossians 2, “Dead in your transgressions”—dead because you are literally born dead; and only the Lord could give you life.

How did it happen? By hearing the voice of the Son of God. Christ is the only one who can speak life into the dead. He is the one who regenerates. He is the one who gives spiritual life. This is an amazing expression of spiritual power. He takes the spiritually dead and regenerates them. It’s the new birth; it’s regeneration; it’s new life; it’s new creation.

And by the way, He is given the title “Son of God” in this particular ministry of giving life because only God can give life. Only God is the source of life. And those who hear the voice of the Son of God as He speaks will live, because He has the same power—verse 26—to give life that the Father has as well. Ephesians 5:14 says, “Awake, you sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” This is what we do with the gospel: We preach the message of salvation in Jesus Christ, by which the Holy Spirit makes people alive. Colossians 2:13, “He made you alive.” Spiritual resurrection: He has the power for that, and He has the authority for that.

But the issue that I want to focus on just briefly is not that spiritual resurrection but rather what follows that spiritual resurrection in the future, and that is the physical resurrection. Look at verse 27. The Father not only gave the Son also to have life in Himself, but He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man. He’s the Son of God, because it takes God to give life; He’s the Son of Man, because it takes one who is a man to sit in judgment on men, lest men think they were judged by an unfair judge. Christ, who was in all points tempted like as we are, will be the judge of all men. He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man. So He is the life: “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” He said. “Whoever finds Me finds life.” And He also has the power to judge.

And that takes us to the physical resurrection, verse 28: “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming”—again, not an actual hour but an epoch, a time period—“is coming”—still in the future—“in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, and those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” There it is: Everybody comes out of the grave, everybody.

He has the power to give spiritual life to those who hear His voice, and they will be made alive from the dead, and they will escape judgment—that’s verse 24: If you believe, hear His word and believe in Him, you have eternal life; you don’t come into judgment, you pass out of death into life. Believing in Christ is the only way to escape Him as Judge in the sense of a condemned nation by judgment. Everybody comes out of the tombs; they will hear His voice—not the spiritual resurrection but the physical one—and it will appear that “those who did the good deeds” are taken “to a resurrection of life,” and “those who committed . . . evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” The point there is simply to say again, everybody rises from the dead, absolutely everyone.

And would you notice that they will judged by their deeds. You say, “Well, I thought salvation was by grace.” You’re right: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. So why are we judged by our works? Because that’s the validation of your salvation. “If any man be in Christ, he’s a new creation: old things have passed away; and new things have come.” Or Ephesians 2:10, you are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that you would walk in them.”

Paul says much the same in Romans 2:6-10, that the final judgment will be a judgment based on works, and the works of one who has been regenerated and given life and been transformed will manifest righteousness; and it is by those works that they will receive the resurrection of life. Again, this speaks to this important issue that salvation is not a matter of some experience at some point in your life, or some prayer, or some emotional connection with Jesus. You will be judged on your works; they don’t save you, but they affirm the reality of your salvation. If you are truly transformed as a child of God, it shows.

But just think of it: “An hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice.” The power to do that is stunning, incomprehensible. Taking you back to the creation: In six days the triune God spoke the entire universe and everything into it into existence, everything. In six days He created everything. So it’s really not a difficult situation for Him to raise the dead and reassemble them in some eternal form fit for heaven or hell, but the power to do that is beyond any kind of comprehension.

I think we know enough science to know that matter is never really destroyed; it just changes form. So the Lord will reach back into the creation and reassemble everyone. In some expression of who they actually were, they will continue to be who they were, only in a physical body suited for heaven or hell. When I say “physical,” that’s the only word I can use. It’s not an ethereal body; it’s an actual body. Jesus walked and talked and ate. And the believers will have a glorified body, the unbelievers will have a body also that can feel pain. Hell is described as burning, darkness, pain, gnashing of teeth, agony. So this is astounding power.

Again, you have to put yourself in the position those Jews are in as He’s speaking this to them. First, there was enough that He did something on the Sabbath, and then said He could do what God did because He was God to go from there to saying, “I have the power to raise every single person from the dead and bring them to judgment, and then I have the authority to judge them.” Obviously for those who have been raised spiritually, there is no condemnation—Romans 8:1—and they are raised to the resurrection of life, not judgment. Those who committed evil deeds, and therefore demonstrate there was no transformation, have a resurrection of judgment.

This is where the world is headed. Pretty shocking when you think about how cavalier people are about the end of their life, how little they think about it. Luke 14 talks about the resurrection of the righteous; that will happen at the rapture of the church and at the end of the tribulation, as the saints are all raised and brought into the thousand-year kingdom with Christ. At the end of that thousand years is the resurrection of the unjust. It’s a special resurrection. I want to close by showing you that resurrection in Revelation chapter 20.

In the book of Revelation we follow the chronology. Christ comes in chapter 19, sets up His kingdom for a thousand years, and after the thousand years, look at verse 5 of Revelation 20, “The rest of the dead didn’t come to life until the thousand years were completed.” That’s a parenthetical statement. So the unbelieving dead will remain in the grave until the thousand-year millennial kingdom is finished. The saints, first group of them, will be taken at the rapture of the church; then comes the Tribulation. The remaining Old Testament saints at the end of the Tribulation, Daniel chapter 12 indicates, will be raised from the dead. And so you’ll have the New Testament believers and the Old Testament believers in glorified, resurrected form coming back with Christ. You see that in chapter 19. They come back with Him, their robes are washed white, to reign with Him on the earth, all the resurrected saints.

During that thousand years there will be still people who went into that kingdom alive on earth as believers. They will have offspring over the thousand years. There will be a rebellion, an insurrection against God at the end by those who refuse to believe even when Christ is reigning in the world; and there will be a judgment at the end of the thousand years, but that will involve all the unrighteous dead. That’s exactly what it says: “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.”

The first resurrection, however, is different. The first resurrection—verse 6—is for the “blessed and holy” ones. They’re in the first resurrection. “Over these the second death”—the second death is that eternal death—“has no power. They will be priests of God and Christ and reign with Him [during His thousand-year kingdom].”

So all the saints are raised to go into the kingdom, but when the kingdom is over, the rest of the dead are brought to life. Go down to verse 11. Here’s the picture of that judgment: “I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. I saw the dead, the great and the small”—significant and insignificant—“standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” If your name is not in the book of life, you’re going to be judged by your deeds, and your deeds will not be sufficient. Whether the body is in the ground or in the sea, every unbeliever will be at that judgment, and they will be judged for their sins, and then sent to the eternal lake of fire.

For all that we celebrate in the resurrection of Christ—and rightly we have done that today and lifted up our hearts in praise for all that we are grateful for, for all the joy, for all the hallelujahs, for the resurrection of Christ—that’s only for those who listen to His voice: who know Him and have received life from Him. For the rest, this is a terrifying reality because they killed Him. But God raised Him; and He has now the power to give life, and He will raise everyone. And then He has the authority to judge everyone, and He will judge them by their deeds; and unless those deeds manifest the transformation of salvation, they will be thrown into the lake of fire. That’s the second death. That is the fact Scripture lays out, and that’s where the Bible draws to a conclusion. Be warned.

Down in verse 8 of chapter 21, “For the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” You want to be a part of the first resurrection, right—the resurrection of the just, the resurrection of the righteous.

One final word from Scripture, Hebrews 10:26, “If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth”—you’ve heard the gospel, you know Christ alone saves, but you go on sinning, willfully rejecting—“there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin.” If you reject Christ, there’s no sacrifice for sin. So you will bear your own sins to the judgment and pay for them forever. All you have left if you go on sinning—willfully rejecting the knowledge of the truth, the gospel—all you have left is “a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries”—all there is left is hell. And he gives an illustration, or a comparison: “Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” If you violate the Law of Moses, that’s Old Testament order. “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”

When you insult the Spirit of grace by rejecting the gospel, when you trample under foot the Son of God by rejecting His sacrifice, there’s a much severer punishment. And God says, “Vengeance is Mine,” verse 30, “I will repay. . . . The Lord will judge His people.” And then this: “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” That’s the word of God. And I know that’s not a popular message, but it’s the truth, and God has revealed it so that you can come to Christ and escape. Let’s pray.

Father, we do thank You for the clarity of Your Word. We know this is a message with which You culminate the entire revelation of Scripture. We all live forever. We will be raised fit for punishment or fit for blessing, fit for joy or fit for sorrow, and that forever. I pray, Lord, that You will speak in such a way that calls some of the dead even here to life even now. Jesus said, “You have eyes, but you see not; you have ears, but you hear not.” May You give people eyes to see and ears to hear Your voice. And for Your own glory, speak, Lord; give life, and rescue people from judgment into the glories of eternal heaven.

Thank You for a wonderful time of worship. And even as we end it now, we know what our responsibility is in the world: to proclaim the truth to a world that is very worried about what’s going to happen here and oblivious to what is to come. May we be faithful to proclaim the truth and to proclaim the gospel by which sinners can hear and come to life and be delivered from judgment. Do that for Your glory, we pray in Your Son’s name. Amen.

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