Zarephath-and-Nain

 

Today, reply is on the duty of Christians to proclaim hope, share divine ministry, and acknowledge genuine sacred events (miracles; resurrection) when attending funerals.  Within the church, only apostles have been granted lawful authority and faith by being charged and ordained to raise the dead as representations of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, like atonement accomplished only by Christ as High Priest, raising the dead is not a benefit, duty, or privilege routinely imparted to born-again followers of Jesus Christ.  The raising of the dead is not intended to cause confusion, intimidate, strike fear among, or threaten the living.  For Christian believers the raising of the dead is a divine operation and entails sacred processes that reveal the authority, power, and eternal purposes of divine fullness.  Responding to the needs or requests of loved ones, Jesus raised multiple persons from the dead (e.g., Jairus’ daughter; the son of the Widow at Nain; Lazarus) in demonstration of his divine origin (“I am the resurrection”); none of them are alive on the earth today.  This helps us understand that the aspects for resurrection that pertain to eternal life are very different.  Followers of the Lord will not endorse accounts and explanations that continue antichrist sentiment; horror movie and fictional characters along with so-called living things created or re-animated by science (e.g., clones, Frankenstein, flesh-eating ghouls, vampires, zombies); superstition; beliefs in the occult and the supernatural; sorcery and witchcraft; or other forms that allow and generate spiritual confusion.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “?” (Level 4 with 3,457 points, a member since August 31, 2014) posted the following:


Should Christians only attend funerals if they are planning to raise the dead as Christ instructed us to do?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  (1st Thessalonians 4:  14-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Be Still Before GOD? (05/20/2018); “I Am The Resurrection” (03/25/2018); Jesus Rose? (11/08/2013); Why Was A Son Sent? (11/10/2013); Sacrificed and Risen? (10/06/2013); Assurances of Salvation? (10/07/2013); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013); Why Jesus Authored No Books (05/01/2013)

 

“?”, it is a Christian’s duty to counsel and assist those who are in mourning to practice forbearance, forgiveness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, and “the patience of the saints.”  The raising of the dead pertains to the deceased appearing alive before GOD through the harvesting of the earth by Jesus Christ (we say, Advent; his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming) as well as the restoration of the dead to appear in tribunals of final judgment.  Resurrection of the dead provides more than a response to human needs that are emotional, financial, and social in nature.  The primary purpose of a funeral is a public witness to the burial and internment of the physical remains (body; cadaver; corpse) of someone deceased.  With this in view, Christians are to attend funerals as acquaintances, co-workers, family, and friends who respond to the bereavement and loss of others through personal expression more than as spiritual spokespersons sent to alter the beliefs of others, to make prophetic demonstrations, or to be witnesses who authenticate and testify regarding divine operations and sacred process.  Believers may not raise the dead by the application of their own self-will, on the basis of their own emotions and feelings, or as a practice of personal power.  Christians are to establish the active presence of divinity by being those who prophecy (i.e., comfort, edify, exhort) and share testimony in divine judgment.  The believer is to display humility, glorify GOD, and avoid magnifying his own office and self-promotion.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 9:  57-60, King James Version (KJV):  57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 15:  12-14, KJV:  12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 15:  50-57, KJV:  50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Philippians 3:  7-14, KJV:  7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:  but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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